Michael Voiland, Executive Director
Michael Voiland became North Carolina Sea Grant's executive director in July 2006 and has continued the tradition of the program being a standout leader among the national network of Sea Grant programs.
Shortly after taking the helm of North Carolina Sea Grant, Voiland was charged by the N.C. General Assembly to lead the 21-member Waterfront Access Study Committee (WASC) to examine the degree of loss and potential loss of diversity of uses along the coastal shoreline of North Carolina and how these losses impact access to the public trust waters of the state. WASC made recommendations to the General Assembly in April 2007, which resulted in the formation of a $20 million Waterfront Access Marine Industry (WAMI) fund to support waterfront access projects along North Carolina's coast.
Voiland began his extension career in 1976 as a regional extension specialist, and in 1985 was named Great Lakes program coordinator. From 1987 to 1994, he was associate director and extension leader for New York Sea Grant. During that time, he twice served as interim director of the program. In all of these positions, Voiland played a dual role working within New York Sea Grant and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
In 1994, Voiland began a six-year tenure in Cornell's Office of Government Affairs, first as a senior legislative associate, then two years as assistant director. In 2000, he moved to a dual role as assistant director for research and extension at the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station and also for Cornell Cooperative Extension. There he worked to ensure that research and outreach programs are effectively integrated.
Voiland received a bachelor's and master's degrees in geography from the State University of New York at Albany. He earned a doctorate in natural resource management from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University.
High-resolution photo (4"x6", 240 dpi, 385kb)