President Samantha Murray
Samantha Murray, of La Jolla, California, was appointed to the Commission in March 2019, and reappointed in March 2021. Samantha is the Executive Director of the Master of Advanced Studies Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, where she also teaches graduate courses, including Ocean Law and Policy. Samantha has nearly two decades of professional experience and has directed ocean and water programs at Ocean Conservancy, the Audubon Society and Oregon Environmental Council, in addition to founding a marine policy consulting business. She was appointed to and served on the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee (2014-2018), the West Coast Governors Alliance Ocean Data Portal Action Coordination Team (2012-2013) and various Marine Life Protection Act Initiative bodies (2007-2012). Samantha has served on the board at San Diego Coastkeeper, Upstream Public Health (Portland, OR) and Citizens for East Shore Parks (Albany, CA). Samantha holds a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School, where she was awarded a Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law. She is committed to antiracism, inclusion, and equitable impacts of public policy.
Samantha grew up in a small town in Minnesota on the Mississippi River. In her youth she fished from a modest boathouse built by her father, who also hunted for ducks, pheasants and deer. She continues to enjoy fishing as an adult, as well as any time spent outdoors or on the water.
Her term on the Commission expires January 15, 2027.
Vice President Erika Zavaleta
Erika Zavaleta, of Santa Cruz, California, was appointed to the Commission in March 2021, and reappointed in January 2022. Erika is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), where she helped found the Coastal Science and Policy graduate program and runs the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program and the Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-based Opportunities (CAMINO). Erika joined the faculty in 2003 and has since partnered on projects with scientists, farmers, hunters, ranchers, indigenous communities, conservation organizations, state and federal agencies and private foundations. Erika earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in biological sciences and a Master of Arts degree in anthropology from Stanford University. She won the 2007 Ecological Society of America (ESA) Sustainability Science Award for work on community responses to climate change and wildfire in Alaska’s boreal forests. She co-edited the book Ecosystems of California, which in 2016-17 won a California Book Award, and its partner Guide for Policymakers volume, which brought together hundreds of experts across the state in every aspect of ecology and stewardship. Erika has served on boards for the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Society for Conservation Biology and is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Ecological Society of America. Her favorite pastime is exploring the outdoors with family, friends and her students.
Her term on the Commission expires January 15, 2028.
Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin
Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, of McKinleyville, California, was appointed to the Commission on June 4, 2013, and reappointed in March 2021. Hostler-Carmesin has been chief executive officer at Cher Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria since 2010 and was director of transportation and land-use planning from 2007 to 2009. She was roads director at the Hoopa Tribal Roads Department from 2003 to 2007. Hostler-Carmesin served in multiple positions at the Redwood Empire Aggregates Inc. from 1990 to 2002, including payroll administrator and contract administrator.
Jacque was appointed to the National Ocean Council Governance Coordinating Committee by President Barack Obama in 2011 as one of three tribal representatives for the United States. She has been the primary California representative to the National Tribal Transportation Program since 2005 and vice chair since 2010. She has been a member of the CalTrans Native American Advisory Committee since 2006.
Term expiration: Her term on the Commission expires January 15, 2025.
Commissioner Eric Sklar
Eric Sklar, of St. Helena, California, was appointed to the Commission in June 2015, and reappointed in January 2017. A Napa Valley vineyard owner, entrepreneur and former public official, Eric Sklar and his family have been growing grapes in Napa Valley for nearly 40 years.
He is currently CEO of Fumé, a vertically integrated cannabis company he founded in 2017 located in Clearlake, California.
Eric was co-founder and Managing Partner (2005-2013) of Alpha Omega Winery in Rutherford, California. He was Chairman and CEO of Burrito Brothers, Inc, a restaurant chain he founded in 1989 based in Washington, DC and sold in 1999.
From 2003-2010 he served on the St. Helena City Council – the last two years as Vice-Mayor. He is also a retired volunteer for the St. Helena Fire Department. In 2010, he was elected to the Board of the Napa Valley Vintners where he served as Treasurer and Vice-Chair, and from 2009-2011 he served as chair of the Napa Valley Vintners’ Community and Industry Issues Committee.
Eric received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley in 1984, a Diploma in Business Studies at the London School of Economics in 1986, and a Master of Business Administration at Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 1997. Eric is a sailor, hunter and loves backpacking the trails of California.
His term on the Commission expires January 15, 2023.
There is a vacancy on the Commission for the term expiring January 15, 2024.