Lad is the Founding Executive Director of REEF and led the organization in that capacity for 16 years, helping to design and develop the organization’s widely recognized marine conservation programs. In 2005, he changed his position in the organization to focus on the lionfish invasion. A professional dive instructor and Coast Guard Captain, Lad has successfully bridged the gap between government, academia, and the public. His broad experience includes serving on numerous state, federal and international boards, panels and working groups, discovering and describing new species of fish, conducting research as an aquanaut in the Aquarius habitat and piloting deepwater submersibles. Lad has helped develop REEF’s marine life education and data collection programs and continues to lead numerous volunteer and research based projects each year. Recognized as a NOAA Environmental Hero and Scuba Diving Sea Hero, Lad’s focus as REEF’s Director of Special Projects is on addressing the lionfish invasion including development of research, outreach, training and control programs throughout the region. Lad has helped develop many of the lionfish programs and practices in place throughout the region and has co-authored numerous scientific publications and popular media including the best practices Invasive Lionfish a Guide to Control and Management, the Regional Strategy for the Control of Invasive Lionfish in the Wider Caribbean and The Lionfish Cookbook encouraging market development for lionfish as a food fish.