United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development
Ms. Janis Searles Jones

Ms. Janis Searles Jones

CEO, Ocean Conservancy

Areas of Expertise:

  • Environmental law
  • Arctic conservation and policy
  • Marine conservation


When Janis drove into Juneau, Alaska with all her worldly belongings in an old pickup truck in 1996, she knew she had come home. Her experience working with Native American Tribes complemented her new focus on legal issues that spanned state and federal management of public lands, waters and resources. The young environmental lawyer would grow to love–and defend–the people and places in the Arctic for the rest of her professional career.

Today, Janis continues to champion Ocean Conservancy’s work in the region against the growing threats of oil and gas development, increased shipping and climate change. As CEO of Ocean Conservancy, she has a deep understanding of our conservation programs and strategic direction. Janis brings passion, logic and commitment to our work on the water.

She is a respected expert in the marine conservation field and has authored multiple chapters on the sustainable use of ocean resources, focusing on ecosystem-based management for the oceans, Pacific fisheries, and other ocean and coastal law and policy topics. Prior to joining Ocean Conservancy, Janis was senior regional counsel and policy advisor for Oceana and the staff attorney for the Alaska office of Earthjustice.


Juris Doctorate, Lewis and Clark Law School
B.A History, Reed College

My Favorite Thing About the Ocean

Don’t make me choose! But if I must….the narwhal.

Recent Publications

Janis S. Jones, Andrew Hartsig & Becca R. Gisclair, Advancing a Network of Safety Measures in the Bering Strait Region: Now is the Time, 25 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 64 (2020).