Allison Colden, an Annapolis resident, received a doctorate in marine sciences from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in 2015. Before coming to CBF, she worked in the U.S House of Representatives as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and later as the senior manager of external affairs at Restore America's Estuaries. She spent six years as CBF's Maryland Senior Fisheries Scientist before being named Maryland Executive Director.
She is among the leading advocates for sustainable fisheries policies to protect important Chesapeake Bay species such as rockfish, oysters, and blue crabs. Allison has led advocacy efforts to pass state bills such as 2019 legislation that permanently protected Maryland's five large-scale oyster restoration sanctuaries. For the past two years, Colden has overseen CBF's Maryland oyster restoration program, which adds tens of millions of oysters to the Bay each year to sanctuary reefs. She also serves as Maryland's legislative representative to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and as an appointed member of Maryland's Oyster Advisory Commission, where she advances sustainability through regulation and cooperative fisheries management. Her work on fishery issues has given her a broad understanding of the water quality problems that affect the Bay as well as the need for clean water.