Since the age of seven with newly invented SCUBA gear on his back, Jean-Michel has been exploring the ocean realm. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel spent much of his life with his family exploring the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone.
Jean-Michel pursued a degree in architecture, graduating from the Paris School of Architecture in 1964. He remains a member of the Ordre National des Architectes. Responding to his father’s call to ‘carry forward the flame of his faith’, Jean-Michel’s Ocean Futures Society was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit marine conservation and education organization. The organization is a ‘Voice for the Ocean’ by fostering a conservation ethic, conducting research, and developing marine education programs. Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned spokesman and diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media. He has produced over seventy films, and has been awarded an Emmy, the Peabody Award, the 7 d’Or - the French equivalent of the Emmy, and the Cable Ace Award.
Today, as President of Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel travels the globe, meeting with world leaders and policy makers, both at the grassroots level and the highest echelons of government and business, educating young people, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to help energize alliances for positive change. Through Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel continues to produce environmentally-oriented programs and television specials, public service announcements, multimedia programs for schools, web-based marine content, books, articles for magazines and newspaper columns, and public lectures, reaching millions of people all over the world.
Jean-Michel has also been recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Athens Environmental Foundation for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. On Earth Day 1997, Jean-Michel led the first undersea live, interactive, video chat on Microsoft Internet, from the coral reefs of Fiji, celebrating the International Year of the Reef. In April 1998, highlighting the International Year of the Ocean, Jean-Michel participated in a live downlink from the Space Shuttle Columbia to CNN New York.