AltaSea Taps Former CalEPA Secretary Terry Tamminen as Next CEO

Tamminen, Governor Schwarzenegger’s climate change expert, starts January 1. AltaSea’s Board of Directors was attracted to his global environmental leadership. The Guardian ranked Tamminen #1 in its 2008 “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.”

LOS ANGELES, CA (December 14, 2021) – AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles announced today that its Board of Directors has elected Terry Tamminen, current AltaSea Chief Strategy Officer and former California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary, as the nonprofit’s next President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2022. He replaces current CEO Tim McOsker, who is stepping down to focus on his run for Los Angeles City Council. Tamminen will join the nonprofit’s Board of Directors upon assuming his new role. McOsker will continue to serve as a volunteer senior advisor.

Tamminen has over three decades of environmental leadership experience, including positions with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Tamminen joined AltaSea earlier this year in an advisory role, where he assisted the leadership team on guiding its new strategic plan.

“We’re privileged that someone of Terry’s caliber and depth of respect in the environmental movement has agreed to be our next CEO and lead us into 2022 – a year of action for AltaSea,” said Board Chairman Doane Liu. “Terry helped transform California into a global leader on climate change. He has become a respected international voice on how our oceans play a pivotal role in saving our planet. He will accelerate AltaSea’s current work in becoming a global leader for the blue economy. At the same time, we thank Tim for his outstanding leadership which has seen AltaSea flourish over the last four years.”

Tamminen’s career has taken him from founding the Santa Monica BayKeeper to the California Governor’s inner circle, crafting groundbreaking sustainability policies. In 2007, Tamminen founded 7th Generation Advisors, a nonprofit that empowers individuals and organizations to create and adopt solutions that protect the environment and fight climate change. Tamminen also served as CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, where he oversaw all operations and environmental initiatives. An accomplished author, Tamminen has published multiple books on environmental topics, including carbon emissions. In 2008, The Guardian ranked Tamminen #1 in its “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.”

“Terry played a very critical role in launching some of the most successful and progressive sustainability initiatives we created during my time as Governor. Without his guidance, California would not be the worldwide leader in environmentalism and sustainability that it is today,” said former Governor Schwarzenegger. “AltaSea is in great hands with Terry, who I consider a dear friend.”

Tamminen played a key role in helping Arnold Schwarzenegger become Governor of California. He was appointed as the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, and was later appointed Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor. Tamminen was the architect of many of the groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs Initiative.

“Ever since my first diving lesson in my youth just a few miles from AltaSea, I’ve had a deep passion and interest in the ocean. I’m honored to be working with AltaSea, a place teeming with researchers and innovators all focused on investing in a sustainable future for our ocean,” said Tamminen. “AltaSea is uniquely positioned to become the world’s leading destination for the blue economy and I’m excited to help guide the organization to continued success.”

Tim McOsker will conclude his service as CEO, effective January 7, 2022, after nearly 4 years at the helm. Since being named CEO, McOsker has helped put AltaSea on the map in both California and in Washington, DC. Earlier this year, he announced AltaSea’s plans for the largest rooftop solar installation at an ocean R&D facility. In February 2020, McOsker played a key role in AltaSea coauthoring the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation’s report that added the “Ocean Economy” as an emerging industry cluster to monitor and track in Los Angeles. In 2021, Tim was named to the regional advisory board of the Center for Sustainability Solutions Council at University of Southern California (USC), which works to solve urban environmental challenges. In October 2021, McOsker’s efforts led to the State of California and the Port of Los Angeles directing $12 million to AltaSea toward the construction of the Center of Innovation.

“As a native of San Pedro and life-long harbor area resident, it has been an honor to lead AltaSea the past four years and witness its transformation to the next stage of development,” said McOsker. “We’ve laid a strong foundation for the future, and I can’t wait to watch AltaSea continue to flourish for years to come—and importantly, help be part of the solution to climate change while also creating good jobs and economic development in the blue economy for future generations.”

McOsker’s leadership has created many strategic partnerships, including with USC and UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography – two of the nation’s premier research institutions. McOsker has raised millions of dollars in his four years, both from private philanthropic giving and state grants. Additionally, McOsker and AltaSea were named recipients of the Global Citizen Award in 2020, an award presented by the United Nations Association/Southern California Division to “individuals and organizations committed to making a difference in the quality of life of all people locally and globally.” Prior to becoming CEO, McOsker represented AltaSea in critical legal matters, including its lease renegotiation with the Port of Los Angeles.

“Tim’s leadership has brought about tremendous growth for AltaSea. He has helped guide AltaSea to its first ever state funding and make strong progress in securing federal funding as well. Thanks to him, we’re well-positioned for continued success,” said Liu. “Tim is a natural-born leader, and we wish him nothing but the best in his next endeavor.”

About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, located on 35 acres at North America’s leading seaport by both container volume and cargo value, is dedicated to accelerating scientific collaboration, advancing an emerging blue economy through business innovation and job creation, and inspiring the next generation, all for a more sustainable, just, and equitable world.

For more information on AltaSea, please see our website:



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