The Palau International Coral Reef Center’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, will leave the PICRC at the end of April 2023 after 21 years with the Center.

“I informed the Board of my decision last month that I will be leaving at the end of April,” said Dr. Golbuu in a phone interview with Island Times.

After 10 years as Chief Researcher and 11 years as Chief Operating Office for the Center, Dr. Golbuu said it was the “right time to step down and make space for a new person…to build on successes that we have had.”

“The decision is not politically motivated or any such thing as some may think.  I thought it was the right time to move on,” expressed Golbuu.

He added that he had accepted a position as Director, Coral Resilience under The Nature Conservancy covering Micronesia, Polynesia Program. 

Dr. Golbuu added there are many talented people in Palau and outside that can bring different strengths to the Center.  It will be up to the Board to choose, and he said it would be best to get as many applicants as possible so that the Board has a larger pool of people to choose from.

Under Dr. Golbuu’s leadership over the last 11 years, Palau International Coral Reef Center has published ground-breaking research on coral reefs in scientific journals.  Furthermore, it had grown local scientists in marine science, getting them published in credible scientific publications.

“The Center has established itself as a world-class research institution, locally and internationally.  Along the way, we have developed the skills and knowledge of many Palauans in marine research.  Many of them are now in leadership positions at the Center, leading research programs and projects,” said Dr. Golbuu in his letter to Senate President Hokkons Baules informing him of his decision to step down.

“Today, we can be proud of our Center, a world-renown scientific research institution that is owned and managed by Palauans,” added Golbuu.

Dr. Golbuu, a Palauan scientist, successfully articulated scientific research and data into information that informs and educates policymakers on conservation matters that required policies.  He said this is one of the mandates of the Center, and he expects it to continue.

“It is difficult not to have a certain attachment to the Center after being part of it for over two decades.  For this reason, I am sad to be no longer part of this amazing organization.  This being the case, however, I will be leaving the Center with the comfort of knowing that it is in a solid position, both financially and programmatically.  We have a team of dedicated and knowledgeable directors and staff that will be able to continue the work of the Center with the new CEO,” said Golbuu in his final statement to Senate President Baules.

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