John Francis recently retired as Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration at National Geographic Society. A marine biologist and National Geographic grantee, John began his career studying behavioral ecology of seals and sea lions on remote islands in North and South America. A film on his work led to his role as a producer of wildlife films, covering everything from chimps and tigers to whales and sharks. From that he took on the grant making side of National Geographic supporting explorers around the world and pushing their stories through diverse NG media. Outside of his National Geographic Society responsibilities, Francis served on boards and committees for the US National Park System, the Commission for Education and Communications of the IUCN, and the US National Commission for UNESCO. He now serves on Sustainable Travel International and the Congo Basin Institute boards and advises the NG/Lindblad Fund supporting marine projects visited shipboard travelers.