Team

Danielle Rappaport, Chief Scientist & 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.



Deb Mazzaferro, Corporate Engagement
Deb Mazzaferro (aka Coach Maz) has been a global go-to sales and marketing strategist in the specialty food industry since 2001. She has consulted with over 200 companies on all facets of building and sustaining highly profitable and beautifully packaged specialty food products. Deb guides companies to establish a results-oriented sales process that meets or exceeds all industry standards, protocols and best practices. She has worked for companies focused on extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegars from California, luxury confections and chocolates from Europe, specialty teas from India, and more. Deb has been a featured speaker at many major specialty food events including the Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Food Shows, The Vermont Specialty Food Association, The Virginia Department of Agriculture Specialty Food Summit and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise conferences. Her latest book, “Have the Most Successful Trade Show Ever” is an industry bible for growing a company’s specialty food business. Deb graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology College of Business. For fun she plays the links with a 24 handicap, is a Sommelier and an accomplished cook.



Fernando Allegretti, Director of Catalytic Philanthropy
Fernando Allegretti is an impact entrepreneur and sustainability expert with more than 30 years of professional experience, much of it in the Brazilian Amazon region. He implements strategies that bridge climate change, community development and natural resources management. He was a senior member of the sustainability team at Natura & Co, which currently includes Natura Cosméticos, Aesop, The Body Shop and Avon. He has managed projects for the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, and Friends of the Earth, among others. He is co-founder and director of the Institute of Amazonian Studies, an nonprofit established in 1986 for the implementation of Extractive Reserves, natural conservation areas designed for sustainable use that protect 5% of the Brazilian Amazon Region and benefit about 400,000 people. He holds a BS in Agronomy and a Master’s degree in Forest Sciences from Yale University’s School of the Environment where he was a fellow of the World Bank and the Inter-American Foundation.



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.



Mariana Paulino Lima, Senior Program Manager of Deal Flow
Mariana Paulino Lima is an agriculture engineer with a Masters degree in Sustainability from Fundação Getulio Vargas, a Brazilian higher education institution and think tank with a mission to stimulate Brazil’s socioeconomic development. She has 10 years of experience in financial markets, social impact entrepreneurship, and nature-based solutions for climate change. Most recently, she managed projects focused on the Brazilian Amazon working for Partnerships for Forests, a UK- government program implemented by Palladium. She was involved in several projects focused on biodiversity and non-timber forest products, working with potential investors and developing business plans and operations for the businesses. Previous experience includes work with local and indigenous communities in the Amazon. She speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish.



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.



Pedro Nogueira, Impact Program Manager
Pedro Nogueira is a biologist with a master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice from Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) and an MBA in Social Business Management from Ecological Research Institute (IPÊ) and University of Sao Paolo (USP). Pedro has 10 years of experience in sustainable zero deforestation and conversion of agricultural supply chains, restoration of degraded areas, agroforestry systems, GHG emissions and payment for environmental schemes. Previously in his career he worked at Sustainable Amazon Cattle Ranching (Pecsa), managing its ESG commitments, and at the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) where he was part of the team that designed and implemented one of the most mature PES initiatives in the region, the Conserv Project. Pedro also runs his own social business/startup called Cumbaru, which is focused on restoration of degraded pastures through agroforestry systems in the Brazilian Amazon. Previous experience includes work with small, medium, and large size farmers, as well as traditional communities. Pedro speaks Portuguese and English.


Ricardo Politi, Director of Global Network Mobilization
Featured on Forbes 30 Under 30, Ricardo Politi Co-Founded B-certified Kria/Broota, the first and leading Equity-based Crowdfunding platform in Brazil, as well as its underlying technology spin-off Basement (ACQUIRED). Politi is also a Founding Partner at Aya Initiative (an innovative Green Economy Solutions Platform and physical Hub) and a Founding General Partner at Mindset Ventures (a Brazil-based Venture Capital fund with a pioneer cross-border investment approach – US and Israel). He has a BA in Business Administration at Insper, as well as attended Executive Programs at Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and London Business School. Politi currently acts as a Board Member at nonprofits Instituto Gerando Falcões and Alma de Batera, he is an Impact Champion and a former member of the Board at YPO Next Generation (Young Presidents’ Organization), as well as a former member of the Steering Committee at Nexus Global Youth Summit in Brazil and a Founding member of the Management Committee at LIDE’s youth network. Additionally, he has been fostering the Brazilian entrepreneurial ecosystem as Co-Founder and Board Member at Insper Angels, Mentor in many Startup Accelerators, Member in Public Policymaking and Advocacy Committees, Guest Lecturer at Insper, Co-Author of “Young Entrepreneurs” Book and Host at “Meu Start” TV Show on national television.



Sarah Ingersoll, Chief Operating & Marketing 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 is a Trustee of World Learning. She 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.