He is a seasoned public speaker who uses powerful storytelling and science-based environmental realities to educate and inspire audiences around the world. During the span of his conservation career, Casson has pursued illegal whalers through the icy waters of Antarctica, keynoted conferences for multinational banks, conducted record-setting beach cleanups to raise awareness of plastic waste, and spearheaded successful international campaigns to reform some of the world’s largest seafood companies. In honor of his conservation leadership, Casson has received the TIME Magazine “Hero of the Environment” award, a US Congressional Commendation, and the “Ocean Protection Hero” award from the well-respected environmental organization Save Our Shores. In June 2019, the California State Senate passed a resolution in recognition of his work.
From 2009 to 2014, Casson served as the chief seafood campaigner with Greenpeace USA, where he spearheaded the organization’s efforts to transform the global seafood sector. He is the author of two books on ocean conservation, including 2019’s Umijoo, the gold medal-winning children’s book which is now required reading in multiple schools around the world. He was also a principle architect of the Ocean Plastic Leadership Summit, the world’s first immersive, cross-sector symposium on marine debris.
Casson is a founder of the world’s first sustainable sushi restaurant, San Francisco’s Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar. Building on their success, Casson and his partners went on to open several more restaurants including San Francisco’s Shizen, Honolulu’s Tane, and Las Vegas’s Chikyu: fully plant-based sushi bars that have received a great deal of critical acclaim. Casson’s work to promote responsible dining is highlighted in numerous documentaries, such as Sushi: The Global Catch, The Last Ocean, and Of The Sea. He is also a primary character in multiple books on environmental issues, including best-selling author Peter Heller’s book The Whale Warriors, and Upstream by Langdon Cook.
Casson’s pedigree has rendered him a frequent commentator on ocean issues in many international media outlets, including CNN, TIME, Forbes, Asahi Shimbun, and the New York Times. He speaks extensively through a diverse array of panels, lectures, and presentations around the world, including keynoting the 2019 TD Summit Awards in Grand Cayman and delivering a TED talk at TEDxSF on a new paradigm for contemporary activism.
Born in Washington State, Casson speaks several languages and holds an MA in International Environmental Policy from the prestigious Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, which in May 2012 honored him with its Alumni Achievement Award. Prior to his graduate studies, Casson received a BA in Political Science from Hobart College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.