Our Team

Ocean Exchange Team

Jaap Donath

Assistant Executive Director for Programs

Jaap has close to 30 years of economic development experience, including over 25 years with the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the economic development partnership for Miami-Dade County, as Senior Vice President, Research & Strategic Planning.

In this role he has been involved in the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in South Florida, including BioFlorida Southeast Chapter leadership, Life Science South Florida Executive Committee and past member of the eMerge Americas Steering Committee. He also participated in tech tradeshows such as CeBIT (was the world’s largest IT tradeshow) in Germany and MEDICA (world’s largest medical device tradeshow) and BIO International Convention.

In addition, he was an Adjunct Professor at Barry University teaching “International Business” and “Business Consulting” in the MBA program and member of the Business School’s Strategic Planning Committee and taught “Research & Inquiry” in the MBA program at Johnson & Wales University. He also taught at Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and St. Thomas University.

Jaap Donath, a native of the Netherlands, received a Ph.D. in International Business and International Relations from the University of Miami. He received a M.A. in International Relations from the same institution and a B.A. in Education for History and Dutch Language at the Christelijke Hogeschool Windesheim in the Netherlands. He is fluent in English, Dutch, and German.

He has been a speaker at national and international economic development and business conferences. He has published internationally 26 articles, book reviews, and op-ed articles and lectured and presented papers at conferences in the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. In addition, he has been interviewed by national, regional and local media, including Time Magazine, Bloomberg News, Florida Trend, and the Miami Herald.

His recent community involvement included being a member of the 21st Century Schools Bond Advisory Committee (Miami-Dade County Public Schools) overseeing a multi-year, $1.2 billion capital improvement project and being a member of the Miami Dade College Hialeah President Campus Advisory Committee.

Contact Us

Ocean Exchange invites you to learn more about Awards Program, our ecosystem and success of our award winners and participants. Together, we can chart a powerful course to help ensure the future of our oceans and the Blue Economy.

“Ocean Exchange has a platform to enable people with information that they need to know about the ocean and then to showcase new technologies that are on the forefront of really helping the ocean and the planet.”

“The quality of the content and the people who are involved with Ocean Exchange is all high end.”

“Besides funding, Ocean Exchange provides access to a wide area network of incredibly talented people in organizations that really do just want to help people.”

“Ocean Exchange is really about helping the little guys grow and in so doing, helping the big guys be better ocean citizens.”

“Ocean Exchange seems to be much more focused on bringing to light under-capitalized, wonderful new technology ideas. And it’s all about two-way access to this new technology and to the people who can help with the experience to grow that technology.”

“Ocean Exchange is a force multiplier to enable sustainable innovation.”

“Ocean Exchange is a global, novel innovation forum that has a greater ability to attract a broader range of impactful stakeholders than any other event that’s out there.”

“Unquestionably, one of Ocean Exchange’s primary strengths is how it brings together people from different paths. That makes its event a delegator experience as well as experience for an innovator or awards nominee.”

“Ocean Exchange is entirely different from any of the other organizations that I’m involved in. It is about sustainable innovation. I think it’s also very different in the extremely broad range of stakeholders that it involves.”

“There’s nothing better than going to an event or engaging with people so you walk away and say, ‘Wow!’”