Dr. Stephen M. Coan is president and chief executive officer of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization which operates Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning. He is also chief executive officer of The JASON Project, an internationally acclaimed science program for classroom students, also managed by Sea Research Foundation in partnership with the National Geographic Societ
Dr. Coan has been an officer of Sea Research Foundation since 2001. He was appointed chief operating officer in 2004, launching an organizational turnaround. He became president and CEO in 2006 and has since raised more than $20 million in private and public funds to bring Mystic Aquarium to the forefront of American aquariums. His reorganization, refinancing and rebranding programs under the Sea Research umbrella have enabled the organization to advance its mission nationally and internationally.
Prior to joining Sea Research Foundation, Dr. Coan was the chief education officer of the JASON Foundation for Education, now known as The JASON Project. He has served as executive director of two educational organizations and held faculty appointments at Tufts University, Bentley College and Cambridge College. He is chairman of the Greater Mystic Visitors Bureau, a director of the Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Connecticut, a trustee of the Pine Point School, police commissioner in the town of Stonington, Conn., a trustee of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in Baltimore, Md., and a founding trustee of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association.
Dr. Coan earned his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and both a Masters in Management degree and a doctorate in social policy from the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis. He has served as a youth minister and mentor to at-risk youth for many years.