New leaders join Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation

Cordova Harbor on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith for The Cordova Times

Hannah Wilson and Julie Cisco have joined the staff of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, to serve as development director and executive administrator respectively.

Wilson was formerly a mariculture fellow with Alaska Sea Grant and NOAA Fisheries, where she helped develop the Alaska Aquaculture Permitting Portal. She also assisted in procuring funds for industry and research efforts and worked with mariculture stakeholders on projects supporting farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilson’s work with AFDF will include management of seafood sustainability certifications for salmon and cod, coordination and outreach with AFDF membership, and collaboration with the mariculture industry and partners to support continued sustainable growth of the industry.

Cisco has a background in both the harvesting and processing sides of the Alaska seafood industry throughout the state. She also has experience in grant and project management.

AFDF will also host two Alaska Sea Grant Fellows: science policy coordinator Ben Americus starting later this month, and mariculture development coordinator Robin McKnight beginning in August.

Americus, who is from Cordova, grew up gillnetting for salmon in Prince William Sound, and for the past five summers has worked on the Alaska hatchery-wild salmon interactions study. From 2017 through this year, he attended graduate school at Oregon State University, researching the genetics of salmon parasites and new fish health interventions.


McKnight, who is from Seward, most recently was in Iceland earning her master’s degree in coastal and marine management while finishing a thesis on women captains in maritime tourism.