Elisabeth Mann Borgese:   1918 - 2002



On 24th April 1918, Elisabeth Mann Borgese, founder of the International Ocean Institute, was born in Munich, Germany, to Thomas Mann and Katia Pringsheim. She worked tirelessly to achieve her passions, where dreams could become policies and politics; where grand ideas could be tied down to practical activities and realities. She will always be remembered for her lifetime dedication to the protection of the ocean. She was an intellectual giant and a total human being with an outstanding simplicity.



“Elisabeth was a visionary, who expended enormous energy trying to convince politicians and academics around the world about the need  for new models of ocean governance” 

J. Guddal, F. Bailet, G. Kullenberg, WMO Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 1


“Her contribution to the cause of the common heritage of mankind has been fundamental and unique”. 

Hon Guido de Marco, President Emeritus of Malta


“Prof. Mann Borgese was a wonderful and a brilliant political scientist. She was one of the great environmental heroes, a true champion for the oceans”. 

Klaus Toepfer, former Executive Director of UNEP


“She managed to make a miracle of transforming perfect dreams into reality and gave us an example of how we all may try to put our ideas into life”. 

Valery Eremeev, President of the Oceanological Centre of Ukraine


“She has done her best, she has run the full distance and she has kept the torch alight in the Foundations of the Ocean – Pacem in Maribus”.

Noel Brown, President of the Friends of UN


“She was a treasure, and her life becomes part of the “common heritage” of mankind”.

D. Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation