Professor Mary Doyle and Dr. Otis Brown served as founding Co-Directors of the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy and steered the Center when the undergraduate program was launched in 2005. They also laid the groundwork for the graduate program in Environmental Science and Policy, which enrolled its first Ph.D. students in 2010.

Professor Mary Doyle is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. She received a B.A. in 1965 from Radcliffe College and an LL.B. in 1968 from Columbia Law School. Following several years in private practice in New York City, she entered government service, serving as assistant general counsel for the New York State Special Commission on Attica (the McKay Commission), assistant executive director of the New York City Board of Corrections, and as associate general counsel for grants, contracts, and general administration. She was deputy general counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.
     Professor Doyle joined the faculty of the University of Arizona College of Law in 1974, where she served as Associate Dean for academic affairs from 1984 to 1986. She served as Dean of the University of Miami School of Law from 1986 through 1994 and was interim Dean in 1998-99. During the 1994- 95 academic years, she was Dean-in-Residence for the American Association of Law Schools. From fall 1999 until the beginning of 2001, she was on leave from UM Law to serve in the U.S. Department of the Interior. There she served as acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science and as chair of an intergovernmental panel, coordinating a massive 20-year $7.3 billion Everglades restoration program.

Dr. Otis Brown is the former Dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Emeritus Professor in the Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Rosenstiel School. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. degree in Physics, with a specialty in underwater optics, from the University of Miami; a Master of Science degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Miami; and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from North Carolina State University. He was appointed Associate Dean for Research of RSMAS in August 1989 and was Chairman of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from June, 1984, through December, 1989. Dr. Brown was appointed to the Graduate Faculty in 1984, and appointed as a CIMAS Member in 1987.
     Dr. Brown's specialties include radiative transfer in the ocean-atmosphere system for visible light; particulate scattering in sea water; satellite infrared observations of sea surface temperature in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans; kinematical studies of warm core rings based on infrared tracking; transient processes in western boundary currents; evolution of spring bloom on shelf/slope regions based on visible satellite data; participant in ONR Southern Ocean Studies and Kuroshio Extension Recirculation Programs, and the JGOFS Arabian Sea Expedition.