Our Advisors and Team
Alexander Borges Rose, GIZ (German Cooperation for International Cooperation)
Arnd Alexander Borges Rose is a German/Brazilian innovator in the field of sustainable and economic development, international cooperation and marketing. Alexander studied communications, business administration and knowledge management (sustainable development/PES) in Brazil. Over the past 25 years, Alexander has served in diverse executive positions at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), at The Nature Conservancy (TNC Brazil, responsible for the campaign Plant-a-Billion), at the Economics and Global Affairs Department of the German Embassy in Brazil, and at the telecom giant Huawei where he was responsible for government relations, sustainability and CSR projects as well as corporate education programs. Alexander has work experience across South America, Central America and Germany. Since 2017, he has pioneered work on market access at GIZ (the German Corporation for International Cooperation) in Brazil with a specific focus on the bioeconomy, sustainable forest management, and private sector partnership.
Alexandre Alves, USAID Brazil
Alexandre (Alex) Alves is an specialist in Cross-Sector Partnerships and Collective Action Platforms. For the last two decades he has been in the forefront of developing partnerships with academia, private sector companies, civil society organizations, NGOs and governments. Currently, he is the Private Sector Engagement Specialist at USAID/Brazil. Before joining USAID, Mr. Alves worked as economic assistant for the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia. Prior to that, he was Assistant Dean in College of Business at Lewis University in Romeoville-Illinois. For the last 13 years, he is been involved on discussions and the design of creative solutions for the sustainable development of the Amazon and the conservation of its biodiversity. He has worked on the structuring and implementation of two innovative collective action platforms – Mais Unidos Group (www.maisunidos.org) and the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (www.ppa.org.br). Mr. Alves earned a contract major BA degree from Bethany College in Business Administration and Political Science and MBA from Lewis University. Alex is a writer of romance fiction and short stories.
Amanda Joy Ravenhill, Regenerosity
Amanda Joy Ravenhill is co-founder of Regenerosity, a philanthropic collaborative dedicated to accelerating the regenerative economy for people, planet and shared prosperity. Amanda is also the Executive Director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, a non-profit dedicated to catalyzing transformative solutions to complex global problems through design thinking education. She previously held the role of Executive Director of Project Drawdown, a comprehensive plan to reverse global warming. Amanda also serves as advisor to the Center for Carbon Removal and is a member of the steering committee for the Nexus Global Climate Change Working Group. Other positions she has held include lecturer at Presidio Graduate School, teaching the Principles of Sustainable Management course; co-founder of The Hero Hatchery, a climate activist fellowship program; Business Partnership Coordinator at 350.org; and Americorp Sustainable Communities and Education Fellow. Ravenhill is driven by her experience living and working internationally as well as her enthusiasm to integrate art and science. She lectures and speaks publicly on such wide-ranging topics as biochar, regenerative design, carbon drawdown strategies, mindfulness, and systems thinking. She is deeply inspired by the life of Buckminster Fuller and his goal to “make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage to anyone”. Specialties: climate change, sustainable business, biochar, graphic recording, biomimcry, impact investing, financing for SMEs in emerging markets, community organizing, GIS, meeting facilitation, design thinking, full-cost accounting, ecological economics, microfranchising, base of the pyramid, micro-gasification, cookstoves, and systems thinking.
Amanda Paulson, Bobolink Foundation
Amanda Paulson joined the staff of the Bobolink Foundation, a private foundation focused on conservation and biodiversity, in the spring of 2020, and has been focusing on work in the Amazon and grasslands conservation, among other projects. She also serves as a trustee of Bobolink. Before that, Amanda spent 20 years as a staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor, including six years as their Midwest Bureau Chief. In that time she reported on a wide range of issues: education, immigration, natural disasters, politics and elections, and the environment. For the last four years, she was the Monitor’s chief environmental writer, covering climate change, environmental policy, biodiversity, and science. She also serves on the boards of Rare, Thorne Nature Experience, and the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Amanda graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in comparative literature and environmental studies, and lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and two children. She spends as much time as possible outside, hiking, skiing, biking and camping, and also loves travel, photography, and reading.
Ana Carolina Avzaradel Szklo, Humanize Institute
Ana Carolina Avzaradel Szklo is the Sustainability Manager of humanize Institute, a Brazilian philanthropy focused on contributing to sustainable development and fostering income generation. She is responsible for the sustainability and impact business portfolios. Previously, she worked as the Technical Development Director of the Conselho Empresarial Brasileiro para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável (CEBDS) and as liaison to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a global network of environmentally minded corporate CEOs that convenes over 200 companies. Ana Carolina has 16 years of experience working on themes of sustainability across 10 countries and in diverse contexts ranging from climate negotiations within the UNFCCC and IPCC to project development and advocacy. She maintains a wide network of collaborators including leaders from the business, government, NGO, and academic sectors. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental and Energy Planning, is an economist and for the UNFCCC she serves as a member of the Roster of Experts as an energy expert and Lead Reviewer of national greenhouse gas inventories.
Amrita Vatsal, EFM
Amrita Vatsal is a Managing Director for EFM, a real asset investment manager that invests in natural climate solutions across the Americas. Amrita is a member of EFM’s management team. In this role, she shapes the company’s growth and impact investment strategies managing new product development, fund structuring and investor recruitment. Additionally, as a member of the investment committee, she contributes to property sourcing, transaction structuring, conservation finance, and carbon project development. Prior to EFM, Amrita was an Assistant Manager with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Singapore for 5 years and she subsequently cultivated a passion for financing the growth of environmental business while working for Piper Jaffray’s clean-tech banking group. Her love for forests began during a stint in Indonesia where she helped develop a carbon project on 200,000 hectares of pristine tropical peat forest. Amrita is a Fellow of the Erb Institute and graduated from the University of Michigan with an MBA and an MS in Natural Resources.
Caroline Kronley, Tinker Foundation
Caroline Kronley is the president of the Tinker Foundation, which funds civil society organizations in Latin America in the areas of governance, education, and natural resource management. Previously, she worked as the Managing Director for Strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation, leading development of new programmatic initiatives. Earlier in her career, she was a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners as well as Booz & Company where she served a broad range of clients on strategy and organizational performance. Caroline worked for a number of years in Mexico, where she oversaw strategic planning activities for a microfinance institution. In this role, she designed and led marketing, partnership, training, and program evaluation initiatives. Caroline graduated from Haverford College with a degree in History and a concentration in Latin American studies and holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Craig Cogut, Pegasus Capital
Craig Cogut has spent a career building successful investment businesses. Mr. Cogut founded Pegasus, a private equity fund, in 1995 and serves as its Chairman and CEO. Through Mr. Cogut’s leadership, Pegasus has focused on sectors influenced by global resource scarcity and the need to combat climate change, as well as on the growth in demands globally for human health and wellness, leading to Pegasus becoming the first U.S. private equity fund manager to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund. In 1990 Mr. Cogut co-founded and was one of the original partners at Apollo Advisors L.P., a position he held for six years preceding the creation of Pegasus. Mr. Cogut is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of HealthE, Inc. and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of PanTheryx. In addition, Mr. Cogut has been an active philanthropist in the fields of improving education, building civil society and championing environmental and health issues. Mr. Cogut currently serves as Chairman of the finance advisory board of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet, a non-profit focused on leveraging private finance for public good in order to achieve sustainable development goals. Mr. Cogut is an alumnus of Brown University and Harvard Law School.
Daniel R. Katz, Overbook Foundation
Daniel R. Katz is the Vice President of Environment Program at the Overbrook Foundation, a grantmaker focused on human rights and the environment. He directs environmental philanthropy in areas ranging from biodiversity conservation and sustainable consumption to movement building and innovation. He is the Board Chair and former president of the Rainforest Alliance, an organization he co-founded in 1986 at the age of 24. He is currently spearheading initiatives to build a stronger, more inclusive, and more equitable environmental movement in the United States. A former Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellow, Mr. Katz has served as a consultant, adviser, and board member for numerous organizations including People for the American Way, Grist.org, the Gibson Guitar Foundation, and the Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the editor of two volumes: Why Freedom Matters: The Spirit of the Declaration of Independence in Prose, Poetry and Song (Workman) and Tales from the Jungle: A Rainforest Reader (Crown). Mr. Katz is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities around the country on the topics of the social entrepreneurism, rainforest conservation, sustainability, and leadership. He received his MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University, where he also taught on sustainability and business. He is an ICF accredited executive coach and received his training at the Hudson Institute of Coaching in Santa Barbara, CA. Mr. Katz studied Chinese linguistics in Wuhan, the People’s Republic of China. He lives in New York City with his wife, Maggie, and their two children.
Daniel Nepstad, Earth Innovation Institute
Daniel Nepstad, President and Founder of Earth Innovation Institute, has worked in the Brazilian Amazon for more than 30 years, publishing mor than 160 papers and books on the ecological processes, frontier dynamics and public policies that are shaping the region. In 2010, he extended his work to Peru, Colombia and Indonesia. A world authority on REDD and low-emission rural development (LED-R), he was previously Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Research Center, Chief Program Officer of Environmental Conservation at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a Lecturer at Yale University. Dan co-founded the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) in 1995, Aliança da Terra in 2004, and was a founding board member of the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) in 2005 and INOBU (Indonesia) in 2015. He served on the REDD Offsets Working Group of California and is a member of the Science Committee of Acre State’s SISA program. He was a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment (WG2, Chapter 4). Dan holds a PhD in Forest Ecology from Yale University.
Daniel Sabará, Beraca SA
Daniel Sabará is the CEO of Beraca SA, a leading supplier of natural and organic-certified ingredients sourced sustainably from Amazon biodiversity. A forward thinking leader with extensive management experience, Daniel develops business models that serve fast changing markets and demands. He serves as a key presenter on sustainable development at leading ethical-sourcing roundtables and events. Through his work on new market strategies, Daniel adds value to international brands, preserves biodiversity, and increases income for local communities. By helping employees and customers develop meaningful connections to a brand’s core beliefs, Daniel helps to increase engagement, awareness, and retention. He also manages “Green Chemistry” efforts that innovate cosmetic products and enable traceable supply chains. By integrating work on nature and technology, Daniel helped to launch the first multifunctional insect repellant offering 24 hrs of hydration and 6 hrs of repellency. In 2015, Daniel co-founded the Beraca Institute to help bring new income to local Amazon communities and to teach corporations how to consistently source sustainable produce from them.
Denis Minev, Bemol SA
Denis Minev is CEO of Bemol, a top retailer in northern Brazil. He is also a Co-Founder and Member of the Board of Fundação Amazonas Sustentável, an NGO that promotes development and conservation in poor communities of the Brazilian Amazon. In 2012, he was nominated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Between 2007 and 2009, Minev served as State Secretary for Planning and Economic Development of Amazonas and was previously an analyst at Goldman Sachs. He holds a BA in Economics and an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Diego Saez-Gil, Pachama
Diego Saez-Gil is Co-founder & CEO of Pachama, a technology company that uses artificial intelligence and satellite data to verify and monitor carbon sequestration by forests, in order to drive more funding to their conservation and restoration. Prior to Pachama, Diego co-founded Bluesmart (acquired by TravelPro) and WeHostels (acquired by StudentUniverse). Diego was awarded MIT 35 Under 35 and was selected High Impact Entrepreneur by Endeavor.
Ethan Steinberg, Propagate Ventures
Ethan Steinberg is a startup growth expert, turned soil health geek, who is focused on turning ideas into reality. He has helped scale ventures domestically and internationally in industries such as the sharing economy, consumer packaged goods, and B Corp businesses. He is the CEO at Propagate Ventures, an agroforestry investments & project development platform focused on bridging the capital and operational needs for the integration of tree crops to farmland. At Propagate, Ethan leads business development, investor relations, marketing, and growth strategy. He holds a B.A. in Social Justice & Sustainability from Miami University, is a Board Member at the Association for Temperate Agroforestry, as well as an Advisory Board member at Purpose + Sport. He also manages Propagate.org, a curated news hub on the regenerative economy. Having been born on Earth day, he has been passionate about the environment for his entire life and enjoys living at the intersection of regeneration & technology.
Fernando Russo, Meraki Impact
Fernando Russo is Founder and GP of the Meraki Impact, an impact investing company managing the investments of a single family office toward a “100% Impact” portfolio focused on changing food systems and scaling regenerative agriculture. Fernando has over 15 years of experience in marketing and entrepreneurship, including 9 years running his own startup in Brazil from inception to exit. After selling his company in 2015, he joined the Executive MBA at INSEAD, starting his career as an impact investor in 2016 and founding Meraki. Today, Fernando also serves as a board member and business strategist for reNature, a company dedicated to mainstreaming regenerative agroforestry by designing and implementing model farms and schools.
Fiona Banister, Decarbonized.org
Fiona Banister is a multidisciplinary catalyst for human rights, social good, climate resilience and sustainable development worldwide. Her goal is to create positive impact and innovate change. With a global team of scientists, farmers, technologists, social impact investors, youth and family offices, she curates decarbonization impact investing climate summits and an ongoing panel series: Decarbonized.org. Aligned with an international network, her current focus is on cultivating core impact projects that help the environment and empower humans to invest and participate with the lens of the 17 UN SDG Goals. This includes collaboration on sustainable infrastructure for regenerative forest holdings (Arboreal), ocean technology, inclusive health technology, renewable energy, eco-green low-income housing, blockchain, fintech, IoT, organic food and micro-finance. Seeking equal access to for the “unbanked,” she is involved in a disruptive fintech banking system that uses biometric ID wallets for peer-to-peer payment technology: Ethernom.com and Extolab.com. Fiona is an impact investing strategist and a member of NEXUS and UN Climate groups. She is an alliance builder for conservation and sustainable projects. Via alliances with Decarbonized.org, she is aligned with vital environmental groups, scientists, educators and investors working on climate projects (Amazon Aid Foundation, Mehta Environmental Foundation, and Wild Bird Trust). Inspired by the vital human rights actions of the Indian environmental lawyer M. C. Mehta, she advocates for environmental education programs to cultivate the next generations of climate leaders and stewards. As a trained Waldorf teacher, parent, biodynamic gardener, herbalist and yogi, her alchemy is in respecting biomimicry and learning lessons from nature. Fiona believes that if you can see a problem, then you can collaborate to create the impact solution and plant an organic seed for the next generation to grow.
Francis von Hildebrand, Gaia Amazonas Foundation
Francis von Hildebrand is the Chief Executive Director of Gaia Amazonas Foundation, a Colombian NGO whose mission is to protect the Amazon, biocultural diversity, and socio-environmental resilience while actively partnering and collaborating with Indigenous Governments and communities. Francis is a professional in Development Studies and is an expert specialized in local development strategies, local governance, and inter-cultural environmental management with a strong emphasis on community-based research and participation. He has led Gaia Amazonas as its Director and CEO since 2012, and, previously worked for a decade in the organization as a researcher advancing development and conservation projects with indigenous communities in Colombia and in transfrontier projects. He currently leads an interdisciplinary team of more than 80 people, who work in the recognition and implementation of the Indigenous Territories and their government figures, all this, through the organization’s work areas: Indigenous Territories, Political Advocacy, Intercultural knowledge, Regional conservation strategies, Communications, and Geographic Information Systems.
Gustavo Pinheiro, Instituto Clima e Sociedade
Gustavo Pinheiro manages the carbon portfolio for Instituto Clima e Sociedade (ICS), a Brazilian philanthropy that promotes prosperity, justice and low-carbon economies. Previously, Gustavo co-founded Bratus Natural Capital in 2015, investing in start-ups with a social and environmental impact. He was director of government relations for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Brasília, working on policies for the environment, infrastructure and agriculture. He has supported indigenous peoples and organizations from the Brazilian Amazon at the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA). In addition, he managed ABN-AMRO Bank’s corporate digital channel operations until 2005. Gustavo was also a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Ministry of Culture and the São Paulo transportation department. He has a degree in public administration from the São Paulo Business School – Fundação Getúlio Vargas and specialized in economic conservation tools in a joint program at the University of Brasília (UNB) with the Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) and the International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB) and social change at the Harvard Kennedy School. As the coordinator of the low carbon economy portfolio, Gustavo supports the financing of projects that contribute to the acceleration of the decarbonization of the Brazilian economy.
Holt Thrasher, Synovia Capital
Holt Thrasher has more than 35 years of experience in investment banking, information technology, and consulting. He currently is Founder and CEO of Synovia Capital, an investment platform focused on sustainable land and water use technology. He recently served as Group CEO of Permian Global, focused on climate change mitigation through the effective management of large areas of tropical forests. Prior to Permian Global, he founded and served as Managing Partner of Mooreland Partners, an information technology sector focused investment bank (acquired by Stifel Financial Corp in 2019). Holt previously was a Partner at Broadview Holdings, a global merger and acquisition advisory and investment firm. Holt has been an active conservationist and nature enthusiast for more than 20 years. He currently serves as Trustee and Treasurer of the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, supporting the 640,000 square miles of national marine sanctuaries managed by NOAA and as a board member of Mongabay, the global environmental news organization. He also serves on the President’s Council of Ceres, a non-profit focused on investors and sustainability. Holt is Chairman Emeritus of the National Audubon Society. In 2001, he was a founding member and Chair of the Board of Audubon Connecticut. He joined Audubon’s National Board five years later and served as Chair from 2008 until 2014. Holt has a B.A. from Colby College and an M.B.A. from the International Institute of Management Development, Switzerland. He and his family live in Greenwich, CT.
Iago Hairon, Open Society Foundations
Iago Hairon is the Climate Justice Program Officer of the Open Society Foundations – Latin America. Originally from Bahia, Brazil, he is a social scientist and climate activist. Iago began to work on climate issues at age 13 through the Scouting movement of Brazil. He served as a global youth ambassador for Plant-for-the-Planet and had success as an organizer and social entrepreneur. As a leader of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, he was trained by Al Gore and other environmental experts. He has diverse experiences from international conferences and inter-governmental climate negotiations including those of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and more. As a Young-Changemaker-for-Democracy awardee of Ashoka and a graduate of the Federal University of Recôncavo Bahia, Iago currently serves as a board member and/or advisor to various groups including Engajamundo (a youth-led climate organization), Plant-for-the-Planet, and others.
Kelly Michel, Potencia Ventures
Kelly Michel catalyzes startups in emerging markets. She is CEO of Potencia Ventures, an impact investment fund focused on business models that improve the lives of lower income people. Kelly previously co-founded an impact business accelerator (Artemisia) and a venture capital firm (Vox Capital) in Brazil. With partners, she is currently building a portfolio of direct investments in education companies that tangibly improve learning outcomes for low-to-middle income students in Latin America.
Keith Agoada, Producers Market
Keith Agoada is CEO of Producers Market, a market linkage technology platform dedicated to empowering its producer members around the globe with access to innovative digitization, aggregation, and marketing tools. Keith has worked in the supply side of the agricultural industry for the past decade. He is the founder of the commercial urban agriculture firm, Sky Vegetables, which pioneered the integration of greenhouse hydroponic agriculture in urban environments. After being acquired of majority ownership, Keith consulted in the founding and initial development of leading organic agriculture real estate developer, Simply Natural. Prior to his work with Producers Market Keith spent the last four years in international procurement development roles for UNFI, Global Organics, Veg Fresh Farms and other leading organic brands in the United States. Keith speaks four languages: English, Spanish, Producer, and Buyer. He maintains on-the-ground relationships with leading growers, packers and processors globally and works every day to transform the industry to return more profits back to farmers. Keith’s passion for supporting producers is the initial inspiration behind the Producers Market platform. He envisions disrupting the $4 trillion agriculture value chain industry by creating a world that is fully organic and empowers farmers with better payments and end-consumers with more transparency to the source of production.
Jack Tordoff, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Jack Tordoff is the Managing Director of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, a funding mechanism created in 2000 to support civil society organizations in biodiversity hotspots of emerging economies. As the managing director of the CEPF, Jack is responsible for ensuring efficient and strategic grant-making. In addition to supervising CEPF’s team of grant directors, he has direct responsibility for CEPF’s portfolio in the Indo-Burma Hotspot. Jack joined CEPF in 2009, as a grant director for the Asia-Pacific region, having previously spent 10 years with BirdLife International. He also worked as a consultant on several World Bank-supported initiatives. Jack graduated from Oxford University and completed postgraduate studies at Cambridge University.
Juliana Strobel, Avina Foundation
Juliana Strobel is a Regional Manager for the Avina Foundation, a Latin American philanthropy that promotes sustainability through collaboration. She is responsible for climate resilience work in the Amazon region, building Brazilian social networks and implementing local-level sustainability programs. Juliana is an economist with over 10 years of experience working on social and environmental issues and 10 years in the private sector. She specializes in supporting group social dynamics and team collaboration processes among diverse stakeholders, including NGOs, companies and governments. Juliana has also worked for a German multinational company where she supported collective-action initiatives. Throughout her career, she has worked on strategic planning, team building, project management, and partnership coordination among diverse organizations. She is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English, and functional in German.
Lenny Martinez, Moringa Partnership
Lenny Martinez is an Impact Manager for Moringa Partnership. Previously, he worked as Head of Sustainability for 12Tree (2018-2021) and as Project Manager for Forest Finance (2014-2018). Over the past eight years, Martinez has worked on several forestry and agricultural projects in Central and South America. He led the 12Tree sustainability department and worked with the sales team to market cocoa beans to European and US chocolate makers. At Forest Finance, he was responsible for a cocoa farm in San Martin (Peru) and a small pilot almond farm in the South of France. In 2021, he joined Moringa Partnership to invest in factories that process organic and fair trade products such as cashew, mango/pineapple, palm oil, in the countries where the raw materials are produced. Moringa Partnership is financed by the Edmond de Rothschild Bank and other development finance institutions. Martinez graduated from Sciences Po in 2013, completing an MSc in international cooperation and economic development, with a specialization in agricultural and food policies in Southern countries. He also holds an MA in European Policies, Public Affairs, with a specialization in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Martinez has professional experience in both the public and private sectors and in several European countries. He worked for the European think tank Eating City, in France and Italy, the NGO Action Against Hunger in Spain, the German Environmental Foundation in Germany, and local Deputies in France. Martinez loves to learn about and work in agroecology and sustainable cocoa farming. In particular, he is interested in the sourcing of fair-trade and organic products, land governance/access to land tenure, support to family farming and agricultural practices aimed at regenerating soils, and diversifying agricultural crops – in the same plot of land.
Leonardo Letelier, SITAWI Finance for Good
Leonardo Letelier is the founder and CEO of SITAWI Finance for Good (www.sitawi.net), a nonprofit organization that develops financial solutions for the social sector in Brazil by pioneering social loans and donor advised funds. It is currently developing a product to support nonprofit mergers. Leonardo founded SITAWI in order to reduce economic inequities in Brazil by increasing the capital available to for- and non-profit social enterprises, and also by improving their capacity to manage their own financial resources. SITAWI develops financial solutions for the social sector by aiming to multiply the capital available to Brazilian social organizations and by supporting their expansion and improving projects. SITAWI currently provides two types of products: social enterprise loans at below-market rates packaged with strategic advice, and social funds management, a donor-advised fund service for philanthropists and large corporations. Since 2007, SITAWI has impacted the lives of nearly 20,000 people by supporting organizations that are focused on income generation, healthcare, education and other sectors. Leonardo was born in Chile and lived most of his life in Brazil. He has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of São Paulo and received his masters of business administration from Harvard Business School.
Leslie Durschinger, Terra Global Capital
Leveraging 20 years of experience and a proven track record in the financial services industry, Leslie Durschinger founded Terra Global Capital in 2006 to promote results-based approaches to sustainable agriculture and forestry management. Ms Durschinger is recognized as a pioneer and innovator in alignment of development values and financially viable approaches to sustainable landscape management. Terra is a global leader in climate smart agriculture and reduced deforestation program development, greenhouse gas quantification and community-based business model development, by providing technical expertise and investment capital to their global client base of governments, NGOs, and private companies in a collaborative and participatory manner. Under Durschinger’s leadership Terra has structured launched numerous commercially viable sustainable landscape management programs, designed new risk mitigation instruments, developed trust funds and private equity funds that drive investment capital to sustainable agricultural production and forest management. Prior to Terra, Ms. Durschinger held senior management positions in the areas of derivatives trading, investment management, algorithmic trading, risk management, and securities lending. She is on the Board of ACDI-VOCA, Co-chair of the International Emission Trading Associations Natural Capital Solutions Working Group and is a member of the Verra VCS Program Advisory Group, REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards Committee, and Verra – VCS JNR Expert Working Group. Ms. Durschinger and her family make small production olive oil on their farm in Mendocino County. Among her previous employers are JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Global Investors and Charles Schwab.
Luis Fernando Laranja, Kaeté Investimentos
Luis Fernando Laranja is co-founder and managing partner of Kaeté Investimentos, a Brazilian private equity fund focused on the Amazon rainforest. Laranja has 25 years of experience in business development and consulting for food and pharmaceutical industries. Within the Brazil program of the Climate Finance Lab, he developed the Socio-Climate Benefits Fund. The instrument provides investment and technical assistance to restore degraded lands in smallholder farms with agroforestry systems and, at the same time, developing and facilitating sales of their products. The concept is currently being used by the anchor company Caaporã. Laranja holds a postdoc degree from the University of Kentucky, a master in agronomy from the Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ/USP), a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechny at the University of São Paulo, and a graduate degree in Agribusiness Management from University of Lavras.
Lynne Twist, Pachamama Alliance
Lynne Twist, author, speaker, and consultant, has dedicated her life’s work to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. From working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the threatened rainforests of the Amazon, her on-the-ground work has brought her a deep understanding of the social tapestry of the world and the historical landscape of the times in which we live. She and her husband, Bill, are the co-founders of The Pachamama Alliance, working in the Ecuadorian Amazon with indigenous people to preserve the world’s tropical rainforests. A former longtime executive of The Hunger Project, she continues to be an advocate and spokesperson for ending world hunger and empowering women in cultures throughout the world. She is the founder and president of The Soul of Money Institute and author of the award-winning book, The Soul of Money.
Marc Palahi, European Forest Institute
Marc Palahí is a leading expert on forests and global change, with a new vision of the transformational role forests can play in fighting climate change and developing a circular bioeconomy. He has been Director of the European Forest Institute since 2015, driving its development as a pan-European science-policy platform, and working to connect knowledge to action at the interface of science, policy and business. Marc has a PhD in forestry and economics and his work, which has featured in Nature and other high-level scientific journals, focuses on the development of a sustainable circular bioeconomy that prospers in harmony with nature. Marc leads the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance established by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales under his Sustainable Markets Initiative.
Marcelo Salazar, Health in Harmony | Instituto Socioambiental
Marcelo Salazar is the executive coordinator of Health In Harmony in Brazil, an advisor for Forest Economy and member of the Council of Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), a Brazilian NGO focused on integrated solutions to social and environmental problems. Health in Harmony-Brazil, endeavours to strengthen indigenous and riverine communities in the Amazon Rainforest, reducing deforestation by improving the integrated healthcare solutions for these communities. Marcelo is a Brazilian industrial engineer (UFSCar) and author of book chapters, studies, and papers published in leading academic journals and newspapers. Marcelo has worked with traditional Amazon communities for over 20 years to support their sustainable development and protect their rights.
Marcia Soares, Fundo Vale
Marcia Soares manages partnerships for Fundo Vale, an investment and development fund created to generate positive social and environmental impact with a focus on the Amazon. The fund was created in 2010 by Vale S.A., a multinational Brazilian mining and logistics company. Previously, Marcia served as a freelance journalist for Senac Environmental Education Magazine and managed communications for Funbio, the Brazillian Fund for Biodiversity. Marcia is an environmental specialist and holds a master’s degree in Communicaton and Culture from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and an undergraduate degree from the Federal Fluminense University.
Marcio Sztutman, Partnerships for Forests
Marcio Sztutman is Palladium´s Partnerships for Forests Director in Latin America (2019-Present). MSc in Forestry Sciences, has extensive experience working with sustainable land use initiatives in Latin America including Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Specific expertise covers project and programme strategy design and implementation, sustainable supply chain management, indigenous communities, forest restoration, climate change mitigation in the rural sector, multi-stakeholder engagement and alignment. Have hold senior positions (manager and director) in large, international NGO (The Nature Conservancy) where successfully provided oversight of programmes on behalf of USAID, Ffem, BNDES, Moore Foundation, UNESCO, and numerous private engagements (Cargill, Bunge, ADM, Syngenta among others). Conducted consultancies with private clients and served as public officer in Amazonian department of Amapá, in Brazil. Participate as board member of the Finance Lab of Climate Policy Initiative and at the technical committee of JBS Fundo da Amazônia.
Marina Campos, Sall Family Foundation
Marina Campos is passionate about forests and their peoples. She has worked more than 25 years in protected areas, indigenous territories, and conservation finance initiatives in Latin American tropical forests, especially the Amazon. Currently with the Sall Family Foundation, she previously served as the founder and the Executive Director of Conexsus – US, which works on using blended finance instruments to boost the ecosystem of community-led enterprises with social and environmental impacts in Brazil. Before joining Conexsus, she has worked for almost a decade in the philanthropic sector with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Rainforest Foundation-US on issues related to protected areas, indigenous peoples, and conservation finance. Moreover, she has worked as a policy maker, professor, and scientist while living in the Amazon for 11 years. She is a believer that efforts to support the conservation of the Amazon must incorporate community-led enterprises as the basis of a more inclusive forest economy. She received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology from University of São Paulo and a Ph.D. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a joint degree with The New York Botanical Garden.
Marion Adeney, Moore Foundation
Marion Adeney serves as a Program Officer for the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. As part of the foundation’s Andes-Amazon Initiative, she focuses on conservation and monitoring of protected areas and indigenous lands in the Brazilian Amazon, as well as application of science and geospatial analysis to conservation. Marion is a conservation ecologist with a broad interdisciplinary background, committed to working at the intersection of environmental conservation, science and development, with a focus on the Amazon region. As a member of the foundation’s Andes-Amazon Initiative, Marion focuses on conservation and monitoring of protected areas and indigenous lands in the Brazilian Amazon, as well as application of science and geospatial analysis to conservation. Prior to joining the foundation, Marion was a science & technology fellow at the American Association for Advancement of Sciences and an environmental science adviser at the US Agency for International Development in Lima, Peru, and previously, in Washington DC. In Lima, Marion focused on better integrating science and the scientific community into programs and strategies for USAID’s Amazon conservation work in Peru, Brazil and Amazon-wide. She played an integral role in bringing spatial analysis to bear on the strategic design of USAID’s new regional and bilateral Amazon programs. In DC, Marion was part of the small initial staff building the programs of USAID’s GeoCenter and Office of Science and Technology, which would become the USAID Global Development Lab. Marion has a Ph.D. in conservation ecology from Duke University and a Master’s of Arts in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from Columbia University. Her research has focused on interactions of spatial disturbance patterns with ecosystem dynamics and human interventions in tropical forests and on Amazonian white sand ecosystems. Her B.A. is in American studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Matt Foster, Global Wildlife Conservation
Matt Foster is the Director of Wildlands Priorities for Global Wildlife Conservation, an NGO and philanthropy dedicated to conserving the diversity of life on Earth by safeguarding wildlands, protecting wildlife and supporting guardians. Matt provides strategic guidance to the Wildlands focal area in the protection of priority sites for saving threatened species and combating climate change. Matt works with GWC team members and partners to increase the portfolio of site conservation investments through identifying Key Biodiversity Areas and other sites of high conservation priority that merit additional attention, and then developing projects to conserve these sites. Additionally, Matt serves as one of the GWC representatives to the Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership committee and is a member of the KBA Technical Working Group.
Natalie Unterstell, Política por Inteiro
Natalie Unterstell is a Brazilian climate policy, risks, and finance expert on a mission to shape public policies for low carbon, resilient, and sustainable development. She has experience working on climate policy at the international, national, and subnational levels, with a particular focus on protecting the Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants. Natalie holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the Fundaçao Getulio Vargas in Brazil, as well as a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and expert accreditation in Climate Adaptation Finance from the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Germany. In addition to serving as a board member, advisor, or consultant to many international climate-focused efforts and organizations, she is the founder of multiple think tanks and policy advocacy groups focused on climate policy and gender equity in Brazilian politics. Before her time at Harvard she served as Head of Sustainable Development Programs for the Brazilian Presidency, Head of Climate Change and Forests at the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, and as a negotiator for the Brazilian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Nonette Royo, Tenure Facility
Nonette Royo is the Executive Dirctor of the Tenure Facility, an international funding mechanism established to advance recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ tenure rights. The Facility provides money and advice at the speed and scale required to secure tenure and sustainably manage millions of hectares at risk today. Nonette is a lawyer, activist, and author. In the last three decades, Nonette has pioneered various civil society initiatives in public interest law and environmental justice, influencing development assistance and philanthropy – grounding it, weaving and bridging paths with local groups, Indigenous Peoples, their supporters and leaders in Asia, Latin America and Africa. She is a legal practitioner, a learner, a co-traveler, walking her path from Mindanao Southern Philippines, to Indonesia, Melanesia, and Scandinavia
Philippa Lockwood, Clif Bar & Company
Philippa Lockwood serves as the Social Responsibility Program Manager for Clif Bar & Company. She has over a decade of experience with social development and community engagement initiatives, working for non-profit, for-profit, and government organizations in Africa, Asia, and the United States. Prior to her current role she lived in Brazil and worked with the Amazon Investor Coalition. Previously, she served as a Program Manager with the non-profit foundation of Traditional Medicinals, a B-Corporation, re-investing a portion of profits in strategic social projects within the supply chain spanning some 60 countries. Philippa lives in San Francisco with her husband Vitor and speaks English and Portuguese.
Renata Piazzon, Arapyaú Foundation
Renata Piazzon is the executive manager of Climate Change for the Arapyaú Foundation, a Brazilian philanthropy focused on sustainability and the Amazon, founded by Guilherme Leal, co-chairman of the Natura cosmetics company. Renata has more than 10 years of experience as an environmental lawyer. As a graduate of PUC-SP, Schumacher College and the Amani Institute, she has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law with a focus on sustainable finance. Renata is a member of the Climate Reality Project, the Advisory Council of the Akatu Institute, the Legal Group of Sistema B Brazil, and is a co-founder of two social innovation projects. Her other accolades include recognition by Chambers Latin America, Who’s Who Legal, and The Legal 500, as well as by the ABRAPS 2017 Prize for the best representation of UN SDG 9 in Brazil.
Richard Lackey, World Food Bank
Richard Lackey is the Chairman & CEO of the World Food Bank, which he founded in 2015 as a sustainable solution to hunger and food security issues across the globe. Richard is a career entrepreneur with 30 years of leadership experience in the trading and securities industry, having founded and led companies that were sold to Goldman Sachs and eTrade, serving as the managing director for five successful private funds, and authoring three books on technical analysis and market analysis.
Ruben Lubowski, Environmental Defense Fund
Ruben Lubowski is the Chief Natural Resource Economist of the Environmental Defense Fund, a leading environmental advocacy non-profit working to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. Ruben specializes in natural resource economics and climate policy. He oversees internal analytical efforts at the Fund and works with external researchers and policy practitioners to design and implement carbon markets and other strategies to address global climate change. He is widely recognized for his expertise in analyzing and modeling land-use changes and policy approaches for reducing emissions through forestry, agriculture, and bioenergy activities. Ruben has testified before the U.S. Senate and developed analyses for decision-makers around the world. He has presented in academic and policy settings and published in books, government reports, and professional journals.
Ryan Black, Sambazon
Ryan Black co-founded Sambazon in 2000, built its initial infrastructure in Brazil and the U.S., and continues to drive the strategic development of the company as CEO. Today, Ryan leads a new generation of social entrepreneurs who successfully use business to create positive economic change. A global leader in Triple Bottom Line (people, planet, prosperity) business practices, he travels globally, educating and mentoring ecological, community-minded next generation entrepreneurs. Ryan played professional football in both the NFL and European Football Leagues and graduated with a BA in Finance from University of Colorado, Boulder.
Tammy Newmark, EcoEnterprises Fund
Tammy Newmark is the CEO of the EcoEnterprises Fund, an investment manager that, since 1998, has successfully deployed capital to 30 companies across Latin America, generating fair and sustainable livelihoods for local communities and preserving nature. A leader in impact investing, Newmark has over thirty years of experience in the field. She launched EcoEnterprises Partners II, LP in 2012 under EcoEnterprises Capital Management, LLC in which she is a partner. She served as President of Fondo EcoEmpresas, S.A., EcoEnterprises Fund’s first fund under management, for The Nature Conservancy from 1998 to 2010. Newmark directed Technoserve, Inc.’s environmental business advisory services in Latin America and Africa. Prior to that, she was a founding officer of Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund, the first venture fund that specialized in renewable energy, clean technology, and green investments in emerging markets. She established investment groups: Yayasan Bina Usaha Lingkungan and Preferred Energy Investments in Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively. She has also worked for the International Finance Corporation and JPMorgan Chase. Newmark is co-author of Portfolio for the Planet: Lessons from 10 years of impact investing, (Earthscan/Routledge Press, 2011). Newmark has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Teddy Teece, The Legacy Academy
Teddy Teece is an intergenerational and adventure coach who works with nature to facilitate growth, inner process, and embodied awareness in business families and their rising NextGen leaders. He has founded three companies – one in his second home of New Zealand and the others in New York and California – in travel tech, legal finance, and family business consulting respectively. Based in Boulder, CO, one of his recent adventures involved converting a cargo van into a home for him and his dog, Patch. He is now settled into a mountain home and intends to bring clients from around the globe to a local eco-village for transformational, nature-connected work. He holds a B.A from Yale University and is tracking towards a PhD in Psychology & Law. Teddy also serves as the Founder of the The Legacy Academy.
Tyler Gage, Aliados Foundation
From leading a start-up through acquisition to serving on the Board of Directors of a publicly traded company, Tyler uses his diverse experience to help organizations get results in unexpected, challenging environments. After graduating from Brown University, Tyler turned down a Fulbright grant so that he could start RUNA, a social enterprise that makes clean energy drinks with guayusa. A rare Amazonian leaf, guayusa is grown in sustainable forest gardens and improves livelihoods for thousands of indigenous farming families in Ecuador. With the help of investors like Channing Tatum and Leonardo DiCaprio, Runa has become a thriving, multimillion-dollar company and was acquired by VitaCoco in June of 2018. Tyler was named a Forbes “30 Under 30 Entrepreneur” and winner of both the Big Apple Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Specialty Food Association’s Citizen Leader of the Year Award. CBS This Morning, ABC Nightline, National Geographic and Richard Branson’s book “Screw Business As Usual” have all featured Tyler for his unique and powerful approach to building businesses and creating social good. In his book “Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business & Life,” Tyler demonstrates how we can dig deeper to bring greater meaning and purpose to our personal and professional pursuits. In 2018 Tyler joined Terrafertil, a leading Latin American natural foods company, and facilitated multiple M&A transactions including the sale of the company to Nestle in 2019. Tyler now advises, invests in and supports other start-ups and socially responsible businesses, and also serves on the Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship at Brown University and as the Chairman of the Aliados Foundation. He lives in Bellingham, Washington.
Walter Link, NOW Partners
Walter Link is Co-Founder and CEO of NOW Partners, a global partnership of 100 business leaders, senior advisors and diverse experts united to accelerate the economic evolution of multinationals, large family companies and systems institutions. Walter is also the former co-owner of a Euro-Asian industrial group. He co-founded and led some of the first sustainable business networks in Europe and the Americas, and serves as an advisor and coach to senior leaders in business and other sectors. Walter is passionately committed to co-creating a regenerative economy within a regenerative civilization.
Walter Vergara, Initiative 20×20
Walter Vergara is a forests and climate specialist focused on the Global Restoration Initiative in Latin America. He leads Initiative 20×20, a country-led effort to bring 20 million hectares of land in Latin America and the Caribbean into restoration by 2020. Prior to joining WRI, Walter was the Chief of the Climate Change Division at the Inter American Development Bank in DC and prior to that he was the leader of the Climate Global Expert Group (GET) at the World Bank. He retired from both institutions. Walter has written extensively on climate issues in the region, including 14 books and many articles in peer-reviewed journals. Walter has a M. Sc. Degree from Cornell University and a Chemical Engineering degree from Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Danielle Rappaport, Chief Research & Innovation Officer and Co-Founder
Dr. Danielle Rappaport is an Earth system scientist and forester with 12+ years of experience driving innovation to reverse deforestation and extinction. As a former NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow, Danielle led the first comprehensive assessment of carbon emissions following Amazon forest degradation to support routine greenhouse gas accounting for carbon markets (e.g., REDD+). Danielle is a pioneer of biodiversity remote sensing and has developed novel solutions for measuring human impacts on Amazon forest wildlife using autonomous sound sensors. While serving as a research fellow at the University of São Paulo, Danielle developed a satellite-based decision-support framework to prioritize restoration investments in Brazil’s Atlantic forest. Danielle has worked to advance conservation agendas with the IUCN, the American Forest Foundation, National Geographic Society, and the World Resources Institute. Danielle holds a Master of Forestry from Yale University and a PhD in Geographical Sciences from the University of Maryland.
Jonah Wittkamper, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Jonah Wittkamper is Co-Founder and President of NEXUS, the Amazon Investor Coalition (AIC), the Global Governance Philanthropy Network (GGPN) and the Healthy Democracy Coalition (HDC). NEXUS is a global movement of over 6000 young people from 70 countries dedicated to bridging communities of wealth and impact. The AIC advances forest friendly economic development of the Amazon region of South America. The GGPN unites funders to collaborate on trans-national issues while the HDC connects funders to collaborate on US policy. The various networks involve people from many of the world’s most philanthropic families. Previously, Jonah served as the US Director of Search for Common Ground and was part of Distributive Networks Inc., where he helped to build the text messaging technology used by the 2008 Obama campaign. In 2000, Jonah co-founded the Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) to strengthen youth participation in global decision-making. As the organization grew it merged with TakingITGlobal to form the largest site on the internet dedicated to empowering young leaders, receiving two million hits per day. Earlier in his career, Jonah led an award winning student computing organization, founded two internet startups, and created a corporate social responsibility initiative in one of the world’s largest corporations. He has served as a Co-Founder, board member, or advisor to a number of organizations including Pioneers of Change, the ManyOne Foundation, the L. A. Jonas Foundation, the Millennial Action Project, the Shift Foundation, WISE (Wealthy Individuals – Social Entrepreneurs), and many others. He is an alumnus of Williams College and Camp Rising Sun.
Matt Portman, Director of Investment and Co-Founder
Matt Portman is an impact investor and philanthropist with 10 + years of experience supporting indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon. Most recently he helped kickstart a non-profit called the Javari Project headed by Céline Cousteau. An initiative focused on preserving Brazil’s second largest reserve and home to the world’s largest population of uncontacted peoples. In parallel, since 2018 he’s been investing in start-ups that are SDG aligned. Focusing primarily on climate protection tech, his portfolio companies include Dendra Systems, Coral Vita, Earthbanc and Treecard.
Naiana Miranda, Director of Membership
Naiana Miranda is an impact investor, social entrepreneur and leadership development consultant who was born in a small Brazilian Amazon town. She is a strong advocate for inclusion, investing in diverse founders and educating them on conscious capital. Coming from a family of serial entrepreneurs who did not have this exposure she knows the importance of it. Her family’s business journey began with humble beginnings in Brazil to having a US based global language services company specializing in healthcare. Naiana has previously facilitated leadership training programs for Fortune 500 executives at corporations such as Facebook, Maersk, and LinkedIn. She leverages this experience to help AIC bring people together through a journey of understanding themselves, their offerings as potential leaders, and how they can correspondingly help the Amazon.
Sarah Ingersoll, Chief Operation Officer and Co-Founder
Sarah Ingersoll is a social entrepreneur who leverages media, technology, partnerships, and money for good. She is Director of Partnerships ValuesAdvisor, a platform to connect High Net Worth investors with values-aligned impact expertise, and consultant to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of 1,200 organizations, businesses, artists, and thought leaders in 75 countries working toward a world free of plastic pollution. Prior to that, she managed operations for National Geographic’s innovation lab and global partnerships, and directed a partnership with Microsoft AI for Earth. Previously, Sarah directed innovation strategy and marketing for MedStar Health. She ran Text4baby with Johnson & Johnson, the Wireless Association, and White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, inspiring 650k mothers to use the health innovation. She also consulted with the Democracy Alliance, a network of 80+ HNW donors, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and directed social impact campaigns for films and an international climate change art contest. Sarah has a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University; and lives in Washington, DC where she spends as much time as possible in Rock Creek Park.
Sophia Wood, Ecotourism & Ventures
Sophia Wood is an ecotourism enthusiast and practitioner. She manages South American operations for Operation Wallacea, a conservation research organization, where she also runs an initiative to develop wildlife tourism to support community conservation. Sophia splits her time between Mexico, Ecuador, and Chile, where, as Venture Partner, she advises Magma Partners, a seed-stage venture capital firm. Sophia worked with Operation Wallacea in Fiji in 2017 and today leads their Ecuador expeditions in the Amazon Rainforest as Country Manager. She is passionate about involving local and indigenous people as stakeholders in international conservation efforts, which drives her work in Ecuador.
Wesley Wittkamper, Media Partnerships
Wesley Wittkamper began his career in Hollywood as a screenwriter and later as a director. He wrote and directed the social impact feature film “Making Change” which stars Steve Guttenberg, Ed Begley Jr, and Cam Gigandet. Wesley worked for the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television where he consulted graduate students on their thesis projects. Wesley is also passionate about building communities. He cut his teeth in the 500 acre community of Koinonia which is known for being the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity. As a 21st century social engineer he currently turns online activism into off line communities believing that a rural setting in nature allows for more meaningful relationships and purposeful existence. He specializes in closed looped systems of renewable energy, water purification and permaculture. Wesley serves as an advisor to NEXUS, a network of investors and entrepreneurs dedicated to bridging communities of wealth and impact. Wesley graduated from Bowdoin College with a bachelor of science.