Angelo Villagomez is a senior fellow at American Progress, where he focuses on Indigenous-led conservation. Born in a village on an island in the western Pacific Ocean next to the Mariana Trench and trained in Western scientific methods, Villagomez is a conservation advocate who uses Indigenous knowledge and values and the scientific method to address modern threats including habitat loss, fishing, and climate colonialism.
Villagomez worked for 14 years at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he was an advocate for the designation and expansion of the national marine monuments in the Pacific islands and a policy expert on global shark conservation. During his tenure at Pew, he led efforts to secure an agreement at the International Union for Conservation of Nature committing governments to protect at least 30 percent of the ocean in fully to highly protected marine areas and contributed to The MPA Guide and the IUCN MPA Standards. He previously worked for the League of Conservation Voters, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance.
Villagomez holds bachelor’s degrees in biology from the University of Richmond and environmental policy from Rollins College. He is a mediocre ukulele player and enjoys scuba diving in warm tropical waters full of fish.