Virtual Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference 2022

Honoring our Ancestors: Visions for Future Generations and the Salish Sea
April 26-28, 2022

Meet the Program Co-Chairs

Cecilia Gobin

Cecilia is a Conservation Policy Analyst at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. Her focus is on salmon recovery issues, how they intersect with treaty rights, and the meaningful use and exercise of treaty rights associated with that. She also works closely with the NWIFC fisheries management division to assist in some of the marine mammal work, specifically the Southern Resident killer whale and pinniped management issues. She participated on the Governor’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force.  Cecilia is a member of the Tulalip Tribes. 

Christianne Wilhelmson

Christianne has been the Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance (GSA) since 2010 after spending 6 years as the organization’s Clean Air and Water Program Coordinator. She is an Ontario transplant who came to BC in 1995 to pursue a MSc in ecology at UBC and, like so many, stayed on after graduation. Past experience includes time as a lab technician and freelance science writer. Christianne leads Georgia Strait Alliance’s government and media relations efforts, along with supporting GSA’s strategic campaigns and programs. She has a deep passion for social change and connecting with people across sectors to build a better future for our communities. In her time off, she enjoys cycling and yoga – all prerequisites to being a Vancouverite – along with cooking/baking, kayaking, gardening and sailing with her husband. Christianne is the former President of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Board of Directors and a Founding Board Director and Vice-President of The Elbow Theatre Society. She is a 2018 nominee for the YWCA Women of Distinction – Metro Vancouver (Environmental Sustainability). She is an aunt to 7 amazing kids and godmother to 3 more.

Julie Watson

Julie is the Killer Whale Policy Lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), where she’s worked in a variety of Puget Sound and salmon recovery roles since 2016. Julie received her PhD in Geography and MS in Water Resources Policy and Management from Oregon State University, and she has a dual BA in Political Science and Psychology from Pennsylvania State University. Julie’s background in natural resource policy and management focuses on conflict transformation, facilitation, and environmental justice. In October 2021, Julie was selected to be chair of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Coordination Board. She also serves on the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council, Environmental Justice (HEAL Act) Interagency Working Group, Social Sciences Advisory Committee, WDFW Climate Action Team, WDFW Diversity Advisory Committee, and Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center Board of Directors. In the before-times, Julie spent her free time on international travel, National Park road trips, snorkeling or scuba diving, karaoke, and pub trivia, but in the era of social distancing, she’s picked up playing virtual tabletop roleplaying games, tending her island on Animal Crossing, and naturescaping her yard. Her new life as a teleworking homebody pleases her two cats, Professor Moriarty and Buoy von Fluffmonster. 

Fran Wilshusen

Fran is the Director of the Habitat Services Division at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. She is actively engaged in work to protect and restore the landscapes and eco-systems critical to the recovery of our region’s salmon. She has a particular interest in the challenges and opportunities created with the interface of those processes with tribal people and governments.

She has 28 years of experience working with Indian tribes on treaty resource protection and natural resource management issues throughout the Pacific Northwest. Policy and program development skills combined with a love of the region, its places and people maintain her focus.

Fran lives in Olympia, WA with her husband, Kurt, and son, Sky.