Cristina Villanueva Aznar

Cristina Villanueva Aznar

Sr. Manager, Mexico Oceans Strategic Growth and Partnerships, Environmental Defense Fund


Cristina is an Oceanographer and MEM graduate advancing sustainable fisheries in Mexico with the Oceans Program of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). She has over 10 years of experience working on marine conservation in the Gulf of California region, both with nonprofit organizations and with the federal government.

In her 8-year track with EDF, Cristina has worked directly in fishing communities, and with state and federal government, scientists and other NGOs implementing fishing rights to foster sustainable fisheries. She currently plays a strategic role in ensuring that EDF has the necessary resources and strategy, as it scales nationwide in Mexico. She has helped EDF partner with the second largest small-scale fishers association in Mexico (over 30,000 fishers); has helped design and facilitate trainings on sustainable fisheries in Mexico and other countries in Latin America including Cuba, and has helped engage fishers in the policy-making process to ensure participation, transparency, and a balance between environmental, social and economic goals in fisheries management.

Follow Cristina on Twitter @CrisdeEDF.


"The Nicholas School had a significant impact in my career. I was well prepared to understand challenges in Mexican fisheries and help design solutions. In addition to having great professors, the Nicholas School gave me the opportunity to meet a group of people concerned with the environment and determined to make a positive change in this world. I believe attending the Nich School has been one of the most powerful investments of my time."