The Leadership Team

Dr. Nevada Winrow headshot (1).png

Dr. C. Nevada Winrow

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Winrow, a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Educator, fell in love with the ocean the day she put on her first snorkel set and her introduction to SCUBA further increased her desire to be an underwater explorer.  Through her vision and drive, she has positioned BGDF to be a leader in empowering young girls, who are historically underserved and underrepresented in aquatic-based STEM fields, to explore opportunities they would not normally consider.


Dr. Ashanti Johnson

Chief of Science and Research  

Dr. Johnson, an American geochemist and chemical oceanographer, knew at a very early age from watching Jacques Cousteau that she wanted to be an ocean explorer. She is the first African American female chemical oceanographer and the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in oceanography from Texas A&M University.  Dr. Johnson brings a breadth of knowledge and experiences in research and promoting diversity in STEM. She leads our science and research engagement activities.


Dr. reggie smith

Chief Innovation Officer

Dr. Smith, a leader in distributive learning, was the first African American President and then Chairman of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and has been recognized for his distinguished service in supporting distance learning. He is truly a forward-thinking educational entrepreneur and a major player in BGDF's innovation engine.