Stephen M. Coan, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephen M. Coan is president and chief executive officer of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which operates Mystic Aquarium and JASON Learning. Committed to protecting the ocean environment, Sea Research Foundation accomplishes this through public engagement in conservation, STEM education, and research programs related to the ocean environment.
Mystic Aquarium is the largest cultural attraction in Southeastern New England with annual attendance of 750,000. JASON Learning is a digital based STEM curriculum that annually reaches 3 million students throughout the world.
Dr. Coan has been an officer of Sea Research Foundation since 2001. He was appointed chief operating officer in 2004, and completed a radical restructuring of the organization’s financial platform, including reduction of $20 million in debt. He became president and CEO in 2006. Under his stewardship, Sea Research Foundation has enjoyed record setting fund raising, and took over management of JASON Learning from National Geographic Society in 2010. In 2014, Mystic Aquarium was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service at the White House in recognition of its unique array of community and national programs serving at-risk youth and people with special needs.
Prior to joining Sea Research Foundation, Dr. Coan was the chief education officer of the JASON Foundation for Education, now known as JASON Learning. He has served as executive director of two educational organizations and held faculty appointments at Tufts University, Bentley College and Cambridge College. He is a trustee of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Horizons in Windham, Conn., the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in Baltimore, Md., and a founding trustee of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association.
Dr. Coan earned his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and both a Masters in Management degree and a doctorate in social policy from the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis.