A National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Filmmaker and globally recognized advocate on water issues, Alexandra Cousteau continues the legacy of her renowned grandfather, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and her father, Philippe Cousteau, Sr.
She has mastered the remarkable storytelling tradition handed down to her and has the unique ability to inspire audiences on the weighty issues of policy, politics and action. Alexandra is dedicated to advocating the importance of conservation and sustainable management of water in order to preserve a healthy planet.
Alexandra is dedicated to advocating the importance of conservation and sustainable management of water in order to preserve a healthy planet. Her global initiatives seek to inspire and empower individuals to protect not only the ocean and its inhabitants, but also the human communities that rely on freshwater resources.
A credible voice for oceans, water and sustainability
In May 2018, Alexandra received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Clarkson University. In 2016, Alexandra received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Georgetown University, her alma mater.
She works closely with Oceana as a Senior Advisor to help propel their important work on oceans to an ever larger audience through expeditions, events and advocacy.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Their offices around the world work together to win strategic, directed campaigns that achieve measurable outcomes that will help make our oceans more bio diverse and abundant. Currently, Alexandra is working with Oceana to produce a documentary about the oceans.
She also sits on the Advisory Council for the Pacific Institute, a global water think tank that provides science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. Since 1987, the Institute has worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to disenfranchised communities to create and advance sustainable water policies and deliver meaningful solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.
The World Economic Forum named Alexandra one of its 2010 Young Global Leaders. This community of next-generation leaders acts as a driving force in shaping a sustainable future and includes notable figures such as Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, USA and Larry Page, Co-Founder and CEO of Google, USA.
In 2008, she was honored as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer—an elite group of eleven visionary young trailblazers from around the world who push the boundaries of discovery, adventure, and global problem solving.
Alexandra founded Blue Legacy International in 2008 with the mission of empowering people to reclaim and restore the world’s water, one community at a time. Alexandra has led Blue Legacy expeditions across 6 continents and produced over 100 award winning short films about water issues around the world, engaging record numbers of people to take action on water conservation issues at home.
Continuing a Legacy
Alexandra builds upon the more than 60 years of global name recognition to engage people who expect to hear credible environmental information from the third generation of this pioneering family of explorers.
For millions around the globe, “Cousteau” is synonymous with discovery and protection of our natural world. When Cousteau earned the first of his three Oscars for Le Monde du Silence in 1957, he paved the way for leveraging film and media to teach environmental stewardship. In the television series The Underwater World of Jacques Cousteau, Alexandra’s father Philippe and Captain Cousteau produced the most popular documentary series in broadcast history, setting a record at the time for Emmys and eventually showing in more than 100 nations, from the Soviet Union to Brazil and Japan. In addition to being widely credited for turning National Geographic into a global brand, the family still holds the publications record for cover stories.
Born into the family business, Alexandra joined her parents in Easter Island on her first expedition at just four months old. By the age of three, she had toured Africa, exploring Egypt, Tunisia, Uganda and Kenya in the arms of her father. And, like her father, she is one of the few who learned to dive with SCUBA from Captain Cousteau himself at the tender age of seven. It is against this backdrop that Alexandra weaves the romance of adventure and discovery into a modern call for action. Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Alexandra is rapidly building a significant global audience of her own. By coupling traditional media tours and film with social media platforms, she has helped NGO, governmental, and corporate-led water programs engage record audiences for action.
Awards and recognitions
- Honorary Doctorate of Science, Clarkson University
- Honorary Doctorate Humane Letters, Georgetown University
- International Eco Hero Award, Planet in Focus Film Festival
- Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence, Stroud Water Research Center
- Care2 Impact Award, Women in Green Forum
- Human Security Award, University of California Irvine
- Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum
- Legacy Award, South Carolina Aquarium
- Peace Building and Environmental Stewardship Award, Friends of the Arava Institute
- Emerging Explorer Class of 2008, National Geographic Society