Dave Ford


Dave is the founder of [OPLN] Ocean Plastics Leadership Network. The OPLN, made up of 130+ organizations, is an activist-to-industry network dedicated to solving the ocean plastics crisis.

In 2015, he began immersing corporate leaders into environmental world crises via climate change expeditions in Antarctica and human-wildlife conflict zones in Zimbabwe and Southern India. His introduction to the plastics crisis took place on an impromptu one-day waste tour in Delhi, India. He toured the Ghazipur landfill, a mountain of waste on the outskirts of town. The giant mound was smoking from fires deep underneath, and hundreds of people were wading through the trash, reclaiming plastic.

Eighteen months later, the Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit set sail and immersed 165 corporate and NGO leaders into the heart of the Atlantic Garbage Patch (500 miles off the coast of Bermuda). CEOs and activists had difficult conversations and gathered plastic in the middle of the ocean. The activist-to-industry, Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN) was born on this mission.

Dave’s work catalyzes environmental stakeholder engagement and education. He has spoken about his work via United Nations World Ocean Day, the National Geographic Circular Economy Forum, and across various sustainability and environmental events and platforms. He has contributed thought leadership articles to Scientific American and Greenbiz.

He founded the Global Plastics Treaty Dialogues activist-to-industry series with WWF and Greenpeace, an ongoing global virtual summit series engineered to build capacity and understanding around a Global Plastics Treaty. Participants include over four hundred organizations from 40 countries across the vast plastic stakeholder spectrum.

He is a proud University of Maryland grad, where he earned a BS at the Robert H. Smith Business school in Marketing.

Dave believes that widespread environmental education is the key to catalyzing rapid change towards a healthier planet. Dave has Baltimore roots, living with his wife and six-year-old daughter in the Hudson Valley, New York.