Dean Lawrence - Trustee & Chair

Dean has an extensive 'hands-on' operational SAR background, extending over some 31 years involving Marine Search and Rescue, Rescue Vessel operations, SAR Communications and SAR Incident Management.

Dean has also been involved in various governance roles w

ithin the Coastguard organisation at all levels - Station, Regional and National.

He is a qualified Surf Lifesaver, regularly undertaking his beach patrols during the summer months, and is a qualified Instructor for the Surf Lifesaving Ribs.

Dean has recently complete the maximum three year term as President of the Royal New Zealand Coastguard, but has been co-opted back on to the Board for his experience and background.

He has also been appointed to the Board of Water Safety New Zealand, the national organisation that coordinates the overall water safety sector.

Married to Debbie and with two adult children, his recreational time is spent fishing, hunting and generally looking after their small farm.

Dean was re-elected IMRF Trustee and became IMRF Chairman Trustee at the QGM in Vancouver in June 2019. 

"I am looking forward to my second term on the IMRF Board. I found the first four years a positive and enlightening experience and very rewarding albeit there were a few challenges along the way. Helping to improve the global SAR capability and working with our members to achieve that is an important and significant contribution we can make to ensure the waters of the world are a safer place."

Location: New Zealand Coastguard - New Zealand

E-mail: [email protected]


Jorge Diena - Trustee

Jorge joined ADES, the volunteer maritime rescue association of Uruguay, in 1980 and, since 1996, has served as a volunteer coxswain at ADES's Montevideo station, with over 200 'shouts' to his credit.

From 2003 to 2010 he was the Vice-President of ADES, acting almost half of that time as President.

He is also the IMRF’s Regional Coordinator of South America where he participated in the organization of various MRO workshops and seminars.

An agricultural engineer by profession, he has managed a dairy farm from 1985 to 2019, and is now director and partner of a company engaged in environmental protection and domestic, industrial & hospital waste management.  

Jorge is fluent in Spanish, English, German, Portuguese and Italian.

He is happily married to Silvia, and they have two daughters and two grandchildren together.

Jorge was re-elected IMRF Trustee at the QGM in Vancouver in June 2019.

Location: Montevideo - Uruguay

Telephone: +598 996 89 100

E-mail: [email protected]


Mohammed Drissi - Trustee

Mohammed is a Master Mariner, maritime affairs Administrator and a sworn expert on Maritime Affairs.

He worked for SAR since 1999 and tasked to develop SAR services within the Kingdom of Morocco.

He is the head of SAR Bureau at Ocean Fisheries Ministry and Coordinator of the National technical SAR committee which include Civil and Military departments.

He is already the Regional Coordinator for Africa since 2010 and has been involved in many SAR projects within the North and West Africa SAR region with the cooperation of IMO and IMRF.

Mohammed was re-elected IMRF Trustee at the QGM in Vancouver in June 2019.

Location: Ocean Fisheries Ministry - Morocco

E-mail: [email protected]


Cia Sjöstedt - Trustee

Cia was born in 1965 and grew up in a yachting family, spending most of her summers sailing.

After completing her education, and working a variety of jobs, she started and co-owned a Communication & Advertisement Firm for 10 years before choosing to work for charity (Universeum, Science Center and the Swedish ”Majblomman”).

In 2012 Cia started work as Director of Communication for SSRS.

In 2014 she became deputy CEO and in 2017 she became CEO.

Cia was elected IMRF Trustee at the QGM in Vancouver in June 2019.

Location: SSRS - Sweden

E-mail: [email protected]


Nicolaus Stadeler - Trustee

Nicolaus has been with the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) since 2010.

As the Financial Director Nicolaus is in charge of fundraising, marketing, public relations and all matters of financial administration.

Before joining the DGzRS he spent several years working for charities and NGOs.

He also worked in various major financial companies in the areas of auditing, controlling and investor relations.

Nicolaus holds a degree in National Economics from the University of Bonn, Germany.

Nicolaus was elected IMRF Trustee at the QGM in Vancouver in June 2019.

"Although more than 70% of the earth is covered with water, I believe that people do not know enough about the risk of drowning. All Rescue Organisations worldwide share the same issue, which is preventing people from drowning and rescue lives at sea. As a Trustee, I would like to inform more people about our work to get them involve."

Location: DGzRS - Germany

E-mail: [email protected]


James Vaughan - Trustee

James has worked for the RNLI for over twenty years.

He initially worked at the RNLI in a variety of marketing, fundraising and communication roles but in 2008 he was appointed as Corporate Services Director and continued a career covering a broad portfolio with responsibilities including Estate Management, Governance, Business Planning and Continuous Improvement. 

In 2011 James became Fundraising and Communications Director and led a substantial restructure to ensure the ‘funding engine’ of the RNLI was fit for the future.

Following the organisation’s strategic review in 2014, James took on the task of developing the RNLI’s International strategy to start to investigate how the ‘hidden drowning epidemic’ (which accounts for 320,000 deaths each year) might be tackled.

Most of these deaths are in low and middle-income countries and affect both inland and coastal communities as they go about their daily lives.

For the last five years his team has been developing a collaborative approach to raise the issue of global drowning (including building support for the first ever UN resolution on drowning reduction) and developing simple but effective solutions to create capability in communities around the world (including a drowning reduction trial covering 400,000 people, in southern Bangladesh). 

James became a Trustee of the IMRF in 2014 and until recently has also been a Trustee of Shelterbox, a charity that delivers emergency shelter to communities affected by disaster.

In summary James brings over ten years of strategic management experience across a wide range of disciplines.

James was re-elected IMRF Trustee at the QGM in Vancouver in June 2019. 

"Personally, I’m really excited to be part of the Trustee team again for the next four years and play my role in supporting the wonderful IMRF team to connect SAR people and influence better global capacity and capability. Simply put, too many people still drown and I believe the IMRF has a key role in tackling this issue and therefore my hope for the next four years is that the IMRF can make a real impact on these objectives by mobilising the SAR community to share, learn and speak up the risk of drowning which is often neglected policy makers and funders around the world."

Location: RNLI - United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 1202 663154

E-mail: [email protected]


Zhang Rongjun - Trustee

Rongjun, holding the master degree of maritime law, began his professional career with China Rescue and Salvage Headquarter in 1988.

With over 30 years’ maritime SAR working experience, he has gathered rich experience in coordinating and organizing international and domestic maritime SAR operations.

He has been serving for Donghai Rescue Bureau of CRS as Deputy Director-General since 2011, prior to which he was Deputy-Director of the General Operational Office of the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center (China MRCC Headquarter).

His involvement in the work of IMRF started in 2001. He was appointed as General Manager of IMRF Asia Pacific Regional Centre in 2011.

In 2015, he was elected as the IMRF Trustee responsible for IMRF’s affairs in the Asia Pacific Region.

Rongjun was re-elected IMRF Trustee at the QGM in Vancouver in June 2019.

Location: APRC - China

Telephone: +86-21-55095107

E-mail: [email protected]