Killer whales: three orcas in a row at T

OUR TEAM

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Celeste Leroux
Founder and CEO
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Celeste founded Virgil Group in 2020 after 11 years in federal government advancing environmental policy in Washington, DC.  She has worked extensively with advocates, businesses, Congress, the U.S. and foreign governments to advance science-based policies that further responsible Arctic development, promote aquaculture and trade, protect natural resources and ecosystems and combat climate change.  At the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Celeste oversaw the Presidential Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud, and at NOAA she led development and implementation of the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program from 2016-2020. 

Austin Clack
Research Analyst
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Austin is a third year undergraduate student at UCLA, studying Geography and Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Geospatial Information Systems and Technology (GIS). He interned for Virgil in the Fall of 2020 as a Data Mapping Specialist focusing on data management and analysis related to seafood harvest and trade and the visualization of this data using spatial analysis and the construction of maps. Austin is continuing his work as a Research Analyst supporting engagement with international partners, funders, staff, and contractors. Austin’s interests are centered at the intersection of marine issues and management consulting as an opportunity to demonstrate the consequence of environmental change in a corporate setting. In his free time, Austin enjoys spearfishing and hiking in the Santa Monica mountains.

Rachel Myers
Policy Analyst
Focus: RFMO Dynamics

Rachel is a senior studying Government Affairs at The College of William and Mary and is interning as a Policy Analyst for Summer 2021. Rachel's internship will explore political dynamics and motivations within Regional Fishery Management Organizations, and track actions under the Biden Administration to combat climate change. Rachel has a strong interest in international security as it relates to climate change and resource management. In her free time, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, taking walks, or baking for her friends and family.

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Skye Lawrence
Senior Adviser

Skye has led strategic partnerships and fundraising at numerous organizations. She helps organizations leverage existing and create new networks to garner financial support and build supportive long-term ecosystems. She is the former Director of Enterprise Club and Development at the American Enterprise Institute and led Strategic Partnerships for the University College London's Department of Science, Technology and Public Policy.  At Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and Technology, she built strong cross-sector networks to support science and technology investments, conservation, outdoor education and agriculture.  She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University College of London and a B.A. in Government from Smith College. 

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Heather Brandon
Vice President
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For the past 20 years, Heather has worked on ocean and coastal conservation topics and has a masters in marine policy. She has experience at various levels of government – local, state, federal – and has worked session at three state legislatures (Oregon, Hawai’i, and Texas). Specializing in fishery topics, Heather led salmon conservation work in the Russian Far East for a large non-profit, provided international outreach on seafood trade for the federal government, directed a university extension program, and coordinated Alaska’s natural resources agencies on coastal issues. 

Wei Qiu
CTO
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For over 20 years, Qiu has provided his expertise in information technology and technological trends and advancements to various clients. He has delivered solutions through effective use and application of the latest and most effective technology.  Qiu has also worked extensively on business analysis, product design, technology R&D, software architecture, database design and application implementation. He has successfully developed a wide variety of complex and mission-critical software systems, including the U.S. interagency seafood trade data integration and analysis system, enterprise asset prioritization, allocation and scheduling system, various enterprise data consolidation and reporting systems, online event ticketing systems and more.

Michael Wheeler
Policy Analyst
Focus: Arctic Governance

Michael is a rising Senior at Georgetown University, studying Science, Technology, and
International Affairs with a minor in Government. For Summer 2021, he is interning as a Policy Analyst for the Arctic region. His primary focus will be environmental security policy and the role of boundary disputes and political dynamics in the region. Michael has work experience with the federal government in the past, and aims to be involved in the policy side of things in the future. He is also a member of the Swimming and Diving Team at Georgetown, and enjoys bike rides around Washington, DC in his spare time.

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Paul McManus
Senior Adviser

Paul is a startup and environmental expert who's worked with several early-stage companies on the go-to-market side from building water sustainability, to aquaculture to more traditional business to business software as a service. His data-driven approach to finding and retaining the highest fit customers helps make early-stage companies more focussed and scalable. He has worked closely with CEOs and General Managers to make strategic, customer-first decisions in 3 venture-backed companies. 

He has a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Utah State University and loves to scuba dive.