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James P. Delgado

Marine Archaeologist & Deep-Sea Explorer

Whether in business or at sea, the making of a successful leader is key to staying afloat. Drawing from exploration history, underwater adventurer Dr. James (Jim) Delgado relates the lessons of ancient mariners to today’s CEOs. He is a scholar and a world-recognized interpreter whose work has reached hundreds of millions of viewers around the world, especially through his six seasons of work as host of a National Geographic International Television series.

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA


The Great Museum Beneath the Sea
Dr. Delgado can speak on some of the specific wrecks and projects he has worked on, or dived to, such as the buried ships of San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, the Titanic, the atomic bombed fleet of ships at Bikini Atoll, or the lost Mongol fleet of Kublai Khan, to name a few.

Adventures Into The Past: Making History Come Alive
This presentations include illustrated talks on his adventures and dives, historical essays on subjects he has researched, such as Titanic, USS Arizona and the Pearl Harbor attack, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, the quest for the Northwest Passage, or the California Gold Rush, to name a few.

Success In Business And At Sea: How Some Stay Afloat While Others Don’t
James talks about what makes a successful leader – be it in business or elsewhere. He draws examples from various explorers and their expeditions, and how some succeeded – and how some died.  Much like the ill-fated Franklin expedition: Businesses who are too tied to tradition, afraid to ask for advice or direction,  claim “it’s always worked for us this way,” and fail to see the road sign are destined to fail.

Lessons From History For Present Day Success

  • The examples you chose covered a broad spectrum of human history and, in spite of all that has been found to date, this underwater world is still largely unexplored territory. One wonders about what phenomenal findings await us. Your personal involvement in these "finds" really added to the impact of this presentation on our members.

    - Elder College
  • Your readiness in putting everyone at ease during your time spent with us generated a positive experience for all. Our sincere gratitude to you - you helped make the organizers' jobs so much easier & enjoyable by your accessibility and humor working with our participants. You certainly have a special gift for speaking!

    - Alberta Underwater Council
  • I would like to express how much your presentation at the recent luncheon was appreciated and enjoyed. Many members felt that it was the best lunch the association has ever hosted and believe that your contribution is what helped make it such a success.

    - Mexican Business Association of Canada

Summary Profile

Underwater adventurer James Delgado explores our maritime past for present-day lessons to help guide today’s business executives and educators. A riveting storyteller, his presentations are full of drama and humour, and have earned him accolades from audiences around the world. Internationally renowned for his work on shipwrecks such as the Titanic, Jim brings adventures alive with expert knowledge and a passionate, yet down-to-earth manner that quickly engages and captivates.

Jim has an innate ability to make history come alive while educating his audiences about many aspects of shipwrecks. The searching, finding and documentation of important archaeological evidence is critical for the history books, but it’s the lives that were forever interrupted or changed by these unfortunate events that Jim relays with poignancy and a deep respect for all those who have been lost at sea and their loves ones left behind.

Jim’s presentations include illustrated talks on his adventures and dives, historical essays on subjects he has researched, such as Titanic, USS Arizona and the Pearl Harbor attack, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, the quest for the Northwest Passage, or the California Gold Rush, to name a few.

His own field work has included some of history’s most famous wrecks, including USS Monitor, the lost fleet of Kublai Khan, a Civil War submarine, Explorer, USS Arizona, and the atomic-bombed fleet of warships at Bikini Atoll. Most recently he served as chief scientist for the first full mapping of the Titanic site, was a lead in the deep-sea excavation of a 200-year old wreck in the Gulf of Mexico and in the discovery of the wreck of the WWII Japanese super-submarine I-400.

Jim has extensive experience implementing projects around the world, often through public/private partnerships. He served as the founding director of the National Park Service’s maritime preservation program during a 13-year career with the NPS. Many of the U.S. Government’s standards for historic maritime resources were developed by him or under his direction during those years. He left the government to serve, for 15 years, as the Executive Director of the Vancouver (Canada) Maritime Museum, and concurrently as a TV host for Discovery, the History Channel, A&E and National Geographic.

After leaving the museum, he became President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of Nautical Archaeology, the world’s leading institute for the excavation and study of some of the world’s most significant shipwrecks for nearly five years before joining NOAA as Director of Maritime Heritage in NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.