François Simard

François Simard

Deputy Director of the Global Marine and Polar Programme
International Union for Conservation of Nature
François Simard

Since 2009 François Simard is Deputy Director of the Global Marine and Polar Programme of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). He serves also as Senior Advisor for Fisheries. He is based in IUCN headquarters in Switzerland. After completing his master degree in marine ecology and aquaculture, he moved to Japan where he worked as a guest researcher at the Tokyo University of Fisheries. He lived in Japan for 8 years, working both at the University and with the French Embassy. He has travelled extensively around Japan and East Asia, studying aquaculture, small scale traditional fisheries and their management. After moving back to Europe in 1990, he worked with the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco as Deputy Director for 12 years. He joined IUCN in 2003 and until to 2009, he worked for IUCN’s regional Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation located in Malaga, Spain, as Marine Programme Coordinator.


His expertise is on ecosystem approach to aquaculture and fisheries, including small scale fisheries management, artificial reefs and restocking plans. But his current responsibilities bring him on diverse subjects such as Marine Protected Areas, Ocean governance and climate change. As programme manager, he is also in charge of a team of more than 20 staff and a budget of several millions euros.


Beyond his scientific expertise, he acquired robust capacities in project development, working group facilitation, project outputs dissemination, and organizing collaboration with stakeholders. He is leading or participating to a number of projects dealing with ocean conservation and maritime activities sustainable development.


Recent relevant participation to projects, initiatives and working groups

- Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas

- Member of IMPAC Steering Committee

- Chairman of the Ecosystem-based Aquaculture Group of IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management

- Member of the Board of EATIP (European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform)

- Member of the Steering Committee of EcoAqua (Research and Technology to enhance excellence in Aquaculture development under an Ecosystem approach)

- Member of the Advisory Committee of the Transatlantic MPA network project