Jill Zande - Executive Director

"I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go."
- Langston Hughes


Jill is the President/Executive Director of MATE Inspiration for Innovation and the Associate Director of the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center. Highlights of her 22 years with MATE include working with the Marine Technology Society (MTS) ROV Committee to establish the global student ROV competition and coordinating the development of MATE’s Underwater Robotics: Science, Design & Fabrication textbook. Both involved cultivating and maintaining partnerships with industry, professional societies, academic institutions, and STEM professionals.
Jill is an active member of the Marine Technology Society (MTS). She served on the MTS Board as the Vice President of Education and Research for 6 years. She currently serves as the Underwater Intervention (UI) Technical Program Committee Marine Education Track Chair and is a member of the MTS ROV and Education Committees.

Jill is a 2020 recipient of an MTS Fellows Award, one of the society’s most distinguished achievements.  In 2018, she was listed as one of the top ten “Ocean Influencers” by Marine Technology Reporter magazine.

Jill has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Penn State University and a Master’s degree in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University (LSU).  During her Master’s degree program at LSU, Jill participated in research cruises that investigated hydrocarbon seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico using the Johnson Sea-Link and Alvin submersibles, which gave her an appreciation of how underwater technologies can be used to support science and exploration.