The Secretary-General

Michael W. Lodge is a British national. He received his LL.B from the University of East Anglia and has an MSc in marine policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a barrister of Gray’s Inn, London. Before his election as Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority in July 2016, he served as Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel. Other professional experiences include serving as Legal Counsel to the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (1991-1995), Legal Counsel to the ISA (1996-2003) and Counsellor to the Round Table on Sustainable Development, OECD (2004-2007). He has also held appointments as a Visiting Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford (2012-2013), an Associate Fellow of Chatham House, London (2007) and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Oceans (2011-2016).

With 28 years of experience as a public international lawyer, Michael Lodge has a strong background in the law of the sea and ten years of judicial experience in the UK and South Pacific. He spent many years living and working in the South Pacific and was one of the lead negotiators for the South Pacific Island States of the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. He has also worked as a consultant on fisheries, environmental and international law in Europe, Asia, Eastern Europe, the South Pacific and Africa.

With extensive knowledge of the United Nations and other international organizations, Michael Lodge has facilitated high-level multilateral and bilateral negotiations at the international and regional levels. His significant achievements include a pivotal role in the ISA from its inception in 1996 and helping to create and implement the first international regulatory regime for seabed mining. He also contributed to the future security of global fish stocks by leading the process of creating the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission from concept to its establishment as the largest regional fisheries management organization in the world, also serving as the interim executive director of the Commission. In addition, he was instrumental in advising the Pew Charitable Trusts on their support for the Global Ocean Commission. Finally, he acted as an adviser to the Commission on the international law of the sea and ocean policy.

Michael Lodge has published and lectured extensively on the international law of the sea, with over 25 published books and articles on the law of the sea, oceans policy and related issues.

International Gender Champion

In March 2020, ISA Secretary-General was recognized as one of the International Gender Champions, joining a global network of female and male leaders and decision-makers determined to break down gender barriers and make gender equality a working reality in their spheres of influence.

In addition to the Panel Parity Pledge, which calls on Gender Champions to challenge the possible lack of gender balance on panels they are invited to be a part of, the Secretary-General also made the following two pledges:

  • Ensure that the ISA Secretariat reaches gender parity, including at the most senior levels (P-5 and above), by the end of 2021.
  • Enhance the role of women in marine scientific research through focused capacity-building initiatives, such as the Contractor Training Programme, the Endowment Fund, internships and the implementation of ISA’s Voluntary Commitments to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.