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Alaska SeaLife Center hires new CEO

Courtesy of the Alaska SeaLife Center

The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward has hired Wei Ying Wong as its new president and CEO. According to a press release, Wong was hired after a nationwide search with support from the Foraker Group, a hiring agency that works with Alaska nonprofits. The center’s new CEO starts nearly six months after her predecessor, Tara Riemer, resigned.

Wong joined the center at the end of 2021 as its chief science and education officer, helping expand the center’s science and education programming. She said her commitment to the center’s mission has grown during her time there and wrote in a press release, “We can become a new driving force for positive global change.”

She also helped launch the Community Organized Restoration and Learning Network, a group of six organizations aimed at connecting science and cultural competency resources to communities impacted by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Other groups in the network include the Alaska Sea Grant, Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Chugach Regional Resources Commission and the Prince William Sound Science Center

Wong also brings leadership experience from roles at various zoos and research groups across the country, including research institute Washington Sea Grant, the Woodland Park Zoo in Washington state, and the Philadelphia Zoo.

Wong will dive into her new role on March 31.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at to send story ideas.
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