Johann Besserer

Founder and Executive Director

Why IOI:

Cause I started it.  See my story for how it all began…

My IOI role:

I am the President and the Executive Director of IOI.
In my function of President I co-preside IOI’s Board of Directors developing IOI’s operational base, providing strategic direction and having fiscal and financial oversight.
As Executive Director I was given the mandate to handle, manage and develop all aspects of our business operations, as well as advocating for IOI on a national and international level and representing IOI to all its partners, donors, clients and stakeholders. Concretely this translates in developing and overseeing IOI’s research, educational and outreach programs and finding and administering the respective funding for such operations.

Life prior to IOI:

Before I came to IOI my life was slightly eclectic. Being born and raised in land-locked Germany, I developed a passion for the ocean during an exchange year in high school to the Florida Keys.
Upon finishing high school and after my return to Germany I became a Paramedic for 3 years to avoid military service and to finance my college education. With a degree International Business Administration I worked at VW headquarters as a start-up consultant for spin offs from the corporation.
It took only two years that my passion for the ocean did not allow me to keep doing what I was doing (being far away from the sea) so I went to the University of Miami to get a graduate degree in Marine Policy. During my studies I went on a summer abroad adventure in the Galapagos Islands – and the rest is history…

Just me:

I am just a normal guy that likes to surf, eat and travel. I have all the very ups and downs that we all go through. Whereas some might call me adventurous in nature, all I ever wanted was to make a difference in this world. I believe this power is within each and every one of us. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try and live such dream.