Aquarium welcomes new members to Board of Trustees


BOSTON, MASS. (January 8, 2024) – The New England Aquarium is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Trustees.

The Board recently elected Nicole Obi and Brian Swett to its ranks. Obi is President and CEO of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, drawing on her decades of experience to drive economy equity and prosperity for Black-owned businesses in the Commonwealth. Swett is a nationally recognized leader in climate change and sustainability, currently serving as the Americas East Leader and a Principal in the Boston office of Arup, a global sustainable development consultancy.

Additionally, Nathaniel Deknatel, Eric Fisher, and John Shea will be joining the Aquarium’s Ambassador Council, serving as essential links to the community and supporting the New England Aquarium mission.

“Our new slate of Trustees and Ambassadors represent a breadth of experience that touches on so many of the New England Aquarium’s key priorities from advocacy to climate change, conservation to equity. We are thrilled to have their expertise as we work to fulfill our mission as a nonprofit research and conservation organization,” said Thomas R. Burton III, a Boston-based Mintz attorney and Chair of the Board of Trustees.

The new members will each serve a term of three years. A full list of the Aquarium’s board members can be found here.


Nicole Obi

Nicole Obi is the President & CEO of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) whose mission is to drive economic equity and prosperity for Massachusetts to achieve inclusive growth through advocacy, programming, and strategic partnerships that enable Black-owned businesses and Black communities to thrive. She joined BECMA in 2020 as the Vice President of Member Experience & Engagement. She previously spent 12 years at Fidelity Investments, most recently as the firm’s Vice President of Customer Strategy & Engagement. She was also CEO of her own strategic consulting firm, Enterprise Advisors, after co-founding two venture-backed startup firms. Obi earned master’s degrees from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the School of Architecture and Planning.

Brian Swett

Brian Swett is the Americas East Leader and a Principal in the Boston office at Arup, a global sustainable development consultancy. He is a nationally recognized leader in climate change and sustainability, with more than 20 years of experience working with municipal governments, private sector real estate developers, federal governments, and nonprofits. Joining Arup in 2015, Swett combines his advanced business, policy, and science background to lead effective policy and program development and management addressing the built and natural environments. He has been integral to numerous projects including Carbon Free Boston, the Massachusetts Decarbonization Roadmap, and the Lower Mystic Regional Critical Infrastructure Climate Risk Assessment. Swett earned his MBA and M.S. in sustainable systems at the University of Michigan and his B.A. at Brown University.


Nathaniel Deknatel

Nathaniel Deknatel is a school social worker in the Revere Public Schools district. He previously taught middle school in Dorchester. He grew up spending summers on Buzzards Bay, and his passion for marine science and the ocean came from time on the water with his father, a highly accomplished sailor. After college, Deknatel worked for seven summers with Sail Caribbean, leading a teen sailing program that engaged students in conservation projects, including turtle tagging and reef monitoring. He was also crew and educator with St. George’s School on their “semester at sea” vessel, Geronimo. Nathaniel is a graduate of the Brooks School and Occidental College. He received his Ed.M. and CAS in school social work from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Eric Fisher

Eric Fisher is Chief Meteorologist for CBS News Boston’s WBZ-TV News and anchors weather segments weeknights at 5, 6, and 11 p.m., as well as WBZ-TV News at 8 and 9 p.m. on myTV38 (WSBK-TV). He is also a frequent contributor to CBS News, often found reporting on breaking severe weather across the country on the “CBS Evening News.” Born and raised in New England, Fisher joined WBZ-TV News from The Weather Channel in Atlanta where he spent three years as a meteorologist. A supporter of science and learning, Fisher is a member of both the Mount Washington Observatory and the Blue Hill Observatory here in New England. He is a graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany with a B.S. in Atmospheric Science and a minor in Mathematics.

John Shea

John Shea has been the Chief Technology of Advent International Corporation since 2021, encompassing information security, technology infrastructure, computer operations, and business applications. Before Advent, Shea was a member of the Eaton Vance Management Committee that was involved in the $9.2B 2021 sale of Eaton Vance to Morgan, which is now part of Morgan Stanley Asset Management. For the prior 15 years, he was the Global Chief Information Officer and head of Investment Operations for Eaton Vance Corporation. He started his career as a Navy officer on nuclear submarines and retired as a captain in the United States Navy Reserve after having served 30 years. Shea holds a B.S. in marine engineering from Maine Maritime Academy and an MBA from Anna Maria College.


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