Virdin’s areas of expertise include assisting developing country governments to reform and strengthen governance of their ocean resources and particularly their fisheries, in order to help reduce poverty and enhance sustainability. His work has focused most recently on fisheries governance reform in West Africa and Western Pacific tuna fisheries, as well as governance for the blue economy in the Caribbean, among others.
Prior to coming to Duke in early 2015, Virdin worked for more than 10 years at the World Bank, most recently as acting program manager for the Global Partnership for Oceans, a coalition of more than 150 governments, companies, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and multi-lateral agencies. He advised the Bank on oceans and fisheries governance and helped it increase its lending for sustainable oceans to more than $1 billion. His work led to development of programs that provided more than $125 million in funding for improved fisheries management in six West African nations and some $40 million for fisheries and ocean conservation in a number of Pacific Island nations.
Prior to his tenure at the World Bank, Virdin worked with the World Resources Institute, the World Conservation Network, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Virdin holds a doctorate in marine policy from the University of Delaware’s School of Marine Policy, a master’s degree in environmental studies from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wake Forest University.