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August 12, 2022

Mystic Aquarium CEO Stephen Coan retires after 20 years

Contributed Stephen Coan

Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation Inc., the nonprofit that operates Mystic Aquarium, announced his retirement Thursday after 20 years with the organization.

Coan will serve as CEO emeritus and assist with the transition, including fundraising and strategic counsel, the organization said.

“Dr. Coan has made Mystic Aquarium a place where all people feel welcomed,” said George Milne, chairman of the Mystic Aquarium Board of Trustees. “Today we are known nationally and internationally as one of the world's best and most innovative aquariums.”

Coan led upgrades to the aquarium’s campus, including construction of the Immersion Building, Wiederhold Animal Care Building, and Milne Conservation and Ocean Science Building; renovation of the Ocean Conservation Center and installation of new exhibits. 

Gov. Ned Lamont said the aquarium is one of the state’s largest cultural destinations and credited its success to Coan’s leadership.

Coan became president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation in 2006. He joined the organization in 2001.

He will continue to serve as co-chairman of the Innovation Center in New London, and as chairman of the State of Connecticut Tourism Advisory Council. 

Katie Cubina, senior vice president of Sea Research’s mission programs, will serve as interim president and CEO, along with Koray Gurz, chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

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