Born on Christmas Day, 1961, Ghislaine was the ninth child of Robert Maxwell, a self-made businessman and leading publisher and loving mother, French-born Elisabeth Maxwell, née Meynard. Two days after her birth her eldest brother was in a catastrophic car accident and remained in a coma for the first 7 years of her life until he died. Ghislaine was brought up with her six surviving brothers and sisters - and was educated in Oxford, England.
She started work in the mail room of her father’s publishing company, Pergamon Press, graduating to the secretarial pool. As a young adult, she worked as a waitress, teacher of English to foreign students and as an assistant to a clothes designer before heading to university. G.M. was an avid lover of horses becoming a competitive show jumper.
Whilst a student at Oxford University, she founded the Oxford United Student Supporters Club for ardent fans of her father’s soccer club - Oxford United. On leaving Oxford, she founded the Kit-Kat Club and Maxwell's Corporate Gifts, a business that supplied long-term service awards for companies, and she went on to develop and create advertising opportunities in the supplement of The European.
In 1990, Ghislaine moved to the U.S. having been offered a small part in a movie filming in Los Angeles. Early in 1991, she moved to New York City to rejoin her father’s publishing group.
The next 20 years would see her develop a range of skills from becoming a helicopter pilot, a banker, an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and a submersible pilot. In addition, during this period, Ghislaine had success with a number of startup businesses.
In 2012, Ghislaine turned a lifelong passion for conservation and the oceans into a non-profit, The TerraMar Project, with the mission to create a "global ocean community" based on the idea of shared ownership and responsibility of the global ‘commons’—the high seas or international waters. She was invited to speak on oceanic conservation at events around the world, including several times at the United Nations.
Through TerraMar, Ghislaine created a robust awareness program and a thriving social network around the oceans. At its peak, TerraMar had hundreds of thousands of visitors to its website and many thousands of subscribers to its programs. Ghislaine’s personal efforts along with key corporate supporters and sponsors, were acknowledged when the U.N. made oceans conservation one of their 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2015-30.
In the late summer of 2019, when the case against Jeffrey Epstein was public, with enormous regret, Ghislaine decided to close TerraMar to protect supporters and corporate partners from the cancel culture and public opprobrium.
Today, she remains close to her family and friends. Like all detainees in these times of COVID, she is unable to receive their visits, but she is buoyed by their love and the knowledge of their support on the outside which is conveyed to her by their letters. Ghislaine is extremely grateful for the hundreds of beautiful and supportive letters from strangers some of whom write her on a daily basis. Her spirit is strong and she remains undaunted.
"The Daily Catch" The TerraMar Project's published newsletter.
In 2017 The United Nations hosted the first Oceans Conference in New York City to solidify a global approach for the management and conservation of the Oceans. TerraMar produced a 3 minute film of the conference.
Ghislaine with her siblings in June 2019 in London
Ghislaine Speaking at an event at the UN in 2014
The TerraMar Project, founded by Ghislaine in 2012 (and which ceased operations in 2019).
In 2013 Ghislaine spoke at a press conference at the UN. A meeting was convened with the aim of galvanizing the United Nations community into brainstorming on how to include oceans in the sustainable development goals. The TerraMar Project’s mission was simple: to create a global community of ‘Ocean Citizens’ - educated, inspired, and empowered to take on today’s ocean issues. The TerraMar was designed to provide every one of its ocean citizens with:
1. Free daily ocean news and educational resources.
2. Encouragement to carry out local actions such as citizen science projects, community cleanups, petitions and volunteering opportunities like TheTerraMar’s #NoMoreButts campaign to stop cigarette butts ending up on the ground.