Jacob Tas - Chair & Trustee

Jacob Tas has been the Chief Executive Officer at The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) since summer 2019.

After school he served as a Royal Naval officer for his military service. He subsequently studied Econometrics in Amsterdam and started his career in commercial container shipping at Royal P&O Nedlloyd where his last Executive Management Team position was as Global Operations Director. Since Jacob left shipping, he has worked for 12 years at three large UK based charities (The Prince’s Trust, Action for Children and NACRO) until he moved to the Netherlands to take up his current position at the KNRM.

He has gained supervisory Board experience at a large Dutch pension fund, Warchild UK, large commercial entities, several School Boards and an Anglo-Dutch cultural exchange charity.

Jacob was elected Chair of the IMRF at WMRC 2023.

Location: The Netherlands

E-Mail[email protected]

Cia Sjöstedt - Vice Chair & Trustee

Cia joined the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS) in 2012 as Communications Director and became Executive Director in May 2017. She leads 40 employees and 2,500 volunteer sea rescuers.

She has a background in communication and has worked in various non-profit organizations before SSRS, such as Majblomman (a nonprofit organization with the mission to decrease the impact of child poverty in Sweden) and Universeum (the National Science Centre of Sweden and a powerful arena for learning and popular education in science, technology, and sustainable development).

Among other things, Cia is also a member of the Coast Guard's Advisory Council in Sweden and is a board member of Öckerö Maritime Centre. She has been an IMRF Trustee since June 2019.

Cia was elected IMRF Vice Chair at WMRC 2023.

Location: Sweden

E-mail: [email protected]

Nicolaus Stadeler - Trustee

Nicolaus Stadeler has been with DGzRS since 2010.  As Finance Director, he is responsible for fundraising, marketing, public relations and all matters relating to the financial administration of the organisation. Before joining DGzRS, Nico spent several years working for charities and NGOs. He has also worked in various major finance companies in the areas of audit, control and investor relations.  Nico has a degree in National Economics from the University of Bonn, Germany.

Nicolaus was elected IMRF Trustee at WMRC 2023.

Location: Germany

E-mail: [email protected]

Zhang Rongjun - Trustee

Rongjun holds a Masters Degree in maritime law and began his professional career with China Rescue and Salvage Headquarters in 1988.

With more than 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 Centre.

His involvement in the work of IMRF started in 2001. He has served as IMRF Trustee for two terms from 2015-2023. He was also the board member of the IMRF Asia Pacific Regional Centre, responsible for IMRF’s affairs in the Asia Pacific Region.

Rongjun was elected IMRF Trustee at WMRC 2023.

Location: China

E-mail: [email protected]

Alex Barrell - Trustee

Alex Barrell is currently the Commissioner and CEO of Marine Rescue NSW situated on the east coast of Australia. Alex graduated from the NSW Police Academy in 1994 following a career as a professional lifeguard in Australia and Jersey in the Channel Islands. Alex’s policing career spanned more than 24 years where he served as a general duties officer before specialising as a Police Diver and then a Water Police Master, holding senior roles within the NSW Police Marine Area Command including leading the States marine SAR responsibilities.

Upon leaving the NSW Police Force, Alex took up senior executive roles within government in NSW Maritime leading operational regulatory and compliance teams, and overseeing the State’s marine pollution response capabilities. In 2020 Alex took up the role of Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Capability at Marine Rescue NSW before being promoted to Commissioner in April 2023. Alex maintains commercial seafaring, SAR and Incident Controller qualifications, and is currently a member of various SAR, emergency management and maritime committees within NSW.

Alex is also a member of the Maritime Advisory Council of NSW, which represents the maritime sector in support of the State Government of the day.

Over the last 30 years Alex has participated in and led multiple maritime rescue and large scale emergency operations and is a passionate advocate for the professional and volunteer members of the SAR sector within Australia.

Alex was elected IMRF Trustee at WMRC 2023.

Location: Australia

E-mail: [email protected]

Clay Evans (ret) - Trustee

Clay’s background in maritime search and rescue goes back more than 30 years, having served with the Canadian Coast Guard in multiple capacities, including as a lifeboat coxswain for over 20 years, as well as offshore on larger patrolling SAR vessels. He has also served as a SAR Mission Coordinator at an RCC, a rigid hull and lifeboat operations trainer and Superintendent of Maritime SAR in charge of programme delivery for British Columbia and Western Canada.

Clay started as a volunteer inshore rescue boat crewman at age 17 with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Canada. He also worked extensively with volunteer non-profit lifesaving organisations in an administrative capacity, including helping to establish Canada’s first indigenous-run voluntary lifesaving organisation, the Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary (CN-CGA) in 2019.

Clay has a long connection to the IMRF, having attended his first of several ILF/IMRF conferences in Montevideo in 1995. He also has an in-depth understanding of the organisation’s roots, having written the reference book Rescue at Sea: An International History of Lifesaving, Coastal Rescue Craft and Organisations, published in 2003. Clay has a degree in history and political science from the University of Victoria, and a Master’s Degree in Maritime Law and Policy from the University of Wales (Cardiff University)

Clay was elected IMRF Trustee at WMRC 2023.

Location: Canada

E-mail: [email protected]

Captain Jori Nordström - Trustee

Jori Nordström is Chief Executive Officer at the Finnish Lifeboat Institution (FLBI) and has a wealth of experience in maritime SAR, having worked in various positions for the FLBI and public sector. Jori joined the FLBI in 2000 as Head of Training, having volunteered onboard a number of lifeboats and participating actively in different training courses for more than 13 years.

In 2006 he became Head of Operations and Deputy Director for the FLBI, which involved maintaining the safe and efficient operations of its more than 130 rescue vessels. During this tenure he also built the service’s Operations and Training Centre on Bågaskär Island that became operational in 2009. In 2014 he was elected as the IMRF Regional Coordinator for Europe. After a brief secondment to the Finnish Border Guard in 2014-2015, he returned to the FLBI, becoming temporary Chief Executive Officer in 2018 before taking on the role permanently in 2019.

Jori is a member of The National SAR Coordination Committee, as well as active member of Transport Safety Strategy 2022-2026 Monitoring Group, overseeing national water safety issues. Jori studied at the Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, Marine Technology and gained his Master Mariners degree 2002. Prior to this he had a short, but intensive merchant navy career onboard Ro-Pax vessels and product tankers operating in the Baltic and the North Sea, before stranding in the FLBI.

Jori was elected IMRF Trustee at WMRC 2023.

Location: Finland

E-mail: [email protected]

Anna Classon - Trustee

Anna Classon is the Head of Operational Policy, Standards and Performance and Head of Ireland (Region) for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

Anna has extensive experience in operational SAR, having been involved with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) for 25 years and she currently holds the role of Head of Region in Ireland, having overall responsibility for the running of the organisation on the
island of Ireland.

During her long career with the RNLI, Anna was Head of Operational Policy and prior to that role she had an extensive career in Fundraising and Communications, both at Strategic and Leadership level. She has broad experience in both working with and supporting the RNLI’s vast network of volunteers.

Anna was also a member of the board of The Charities Regulatory Authority of Ireland, an independent authority, established in 2014 by the Irish Government to regulate the charity sector.

Anna was co-opted to the Board of Trustees in June 2023.

Location: Ireland

E-mail: [email protected]

Captain Mohammed Drissi - Trustee

Captain Mohammed Drissi is a Master Mariner, maritime affairs administrator and a recognised expert on maritime matters. He has worked in maritime SAR since 1999 and since 2014 has been the Head of the Moroccan SAR Service, currently tasked to develop SAR services within the Kingdom of Morocco.

He is also Coordinator of the National Technical SAR Committee, which includes Civil and Military departments.  Since 2010, Captain Drissi has been the IMRF Regional Coordinator for Africa and has been involved in many SAR projects within the African continent, with the cooperation of the IMO and the IMRF.

In December 2018, Captain Drissi was appointed as Maritime Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the IMO.

Captain Drissi was co-opted to the Board of Trustees in June 2023.

Location: Morocco

E-mail: [email protected]