Our technical team
Dr Ruth Nussbaum
Co-founder and Director
Ruth has been working with responsible production and sourcing of natural resources for more than two decades. Her experience includes advising industry, governments and NGOs on practical implementation of responsible practices, developing international and national policies, standards and safeguards, running a global forest certification programme and writing a range of guides and books. She has worked in more than 40 countries and has vast experience of developing, interpreting and implementing policies and processes for delivering sustainable management and natural resources.
Co-founder and Director
Neil has spent the last 18 years working with environmental certification and responsible management of natural resources. He has extensive experience of delivering practical solutions to sustainability requirements. Neil specialises in audit and certification, supply chain control and best management practices in a wide range of tropical and temperate settings. His experience includes management of the largest global forest certification programme, and a leading role in the development of sustainable palm oil.
Africa Regional Director
Abraham has more than 18 years’ experience working on natural resource management, specialising in sustainable forest management, certification and forest policy. His experience involves managing community forestry projects, developing and implementing forest certification programmes and providing support to sustainability standard setting and policy implementation. As the Forest Programme Leader at the WWF West Africa Forest Office, he coordinated several forestry projects and provided technical support to the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)/Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process. He has also provided training and technical support to companies on forest certification for the Global Forest and Trade Network.
Abraham has led several HCV and baseline assessments for forestry, rubber, coffee and palm oil operations. These include new plantation developments in several countries in Africa including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. Abraham is an RSPO approved team leader for HVC assessment.
Southeast Asia Regional Director
Surin has more than 14 years’ experience in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation, with a particular interest in protected area planning and management, forest landscape management and plant conservation. He has been involved in initiatives related to HCV development and palm oil certification.
Surin is based in the Southeast Asia Office in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from English, Surin is proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia. He has an MSc in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants from the University of Edinburgh and is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas.
Isabella Freire Vitali
Brazil Country Director
Isabella has a wide range of experience in corporate engagement, policy analysis, project design and management, strategic planning, responsible sourcing of agricultural commodities, standard development and process facilitation. Her experiences also include sustainability issues in different sectors in Brazil and Latin America, negotiation and establishment of cross sector partnerships.
Isabella currently is Brazil Manager at Proforest. Previously she led WWF UK’s Livestock and Soy Programme, engaging with companies in the supply chain to reduce the impacts of these sectors on natural habitats. She also worked with Conservation International in Brazil, focusing on corporate engagement.
Isabella holds an MPhil in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge and a BA in International Relations from the University of Brasilia. She speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian.
Latin America Regional Manager
Daniel is a Peruvian forester with fifteen years of international experience in forest-based solutions, market linkages and landscape approaches to sustainable development. He has a strong track record of managing international multidisciplinary teams, effective donor engagement and resource mobilisation. He has worked for WWF and the Forest Stewardship Council in Mexico, Germany, Panama, USA and Peru. Daniel is also a peer reviewer for the High Conservation Value Resource Network (HCV RN) Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS).
Daniel is based in Colombia and speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese. After his degree in forestry sciences, he received an MBA from the Universidad del Pacífico in Peru and specialised in GIS at CATIE (Costa Rica) and ESRI (USA), and on ISO auditing in Mexico and USA.
David is based in Proforest’s international office in Oxford, UK. David is a conservation and natural resources management specialist and leads on Proforest’s work on High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments, High Carbon Stock (HCS) studies, certification audits and other aspects of sustainable and responsible production, largely in the forestry and agro-industry sectors.
He is a social scientist by training with a bachelor’s degree in Human Geography (Reading) and a master’s in Natural Resource Management (Edinburgh).
David has worked in Africa on natural resource management issues for the past 15+ years, for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), predominantly in Central Africa and East Africa.
Prior to joining Proforest in 2013 he was Director of Conservation at WWF Cameroon where he managed a series of protected area, wildlife law enforcement and community based conservation projects, as well as policy engagement around forestry, agro-industry, mining, REDD+ and indigenous people.
Richard has more than 14 years’ experience working in international organisations that apply science to support sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. He has managed, led and assessed international programmes, and worked on capacity development, governance and advocacy. Richard enjoys working with a wide range of stakeholders and people with diverse expertise and backgrounds.
Richard provides oversight and strategic development for Proforest’s non-profit programmes that support sustainable commodity production through the management of High Conservation Values, smallholder access to supply chains, training and standards.
Afua Serwah Akoto Prempeh
Afua has a background in natural resources management, rural revitalization and environmental policy. She has experience in the conduct of strategic environmental assessments, environmental education and environmental audits. Afua has worked with public institutions and rural communities.
Afua is based in our Africa Office. She holds an MSc in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Gloucestershire, UK, a BSc in Natural Resources Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana and a Certificate in Policies, Strategies and Support Systems for Rural Revitalization from the Weitz Centre for Development Studies in Israel.
Assistant Project Manager
Aristotle has a background in sustainability processes for natural resources management. He holds a BSc in Forest Resources Technology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, as well as an MSc in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation for Natural Resources Management from the University of Twente in the Netherlands. His MSc research focused on using a GIS-based approach for the assessment of ecological quality in cocoa landscapes.
He has four years' experience providing structured training and technical support to forest-based industries and stakeholders on trade regulations and sustainable management. He has developed procedures and policies for wood processing companies in Ghana, leading to successful FSC Controlled Wood and Chain of Custody certification. He speaks English, French and Akan.
Anders has been involved with certification for almost 20 years, much of it as a WWF Officer, and most recently as a WWF International Senior Advisor. He has participated in numerous national and international FSC processes and working groups, helped to develop the HCV concept, and coordinated the FSC Plantations Review. Anders also developed the WWF Paper Scorecard, assisted in public procurement of wood products, and supported national implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive. He has been a member of the RSPO Biodiversity and HCV Working Group since 2011.Anders has helped establish the HCV Resource Network and was part of a team that facilitated the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) standard-setting process. He has a PhD in conservation biology (Uppsala) and a degree in chemistry and botany (Stockholm).
Senior Project Manager
Andry has over 15 years’ experience in international forestry practice. This includes forest management and chain of custody certification, forest governance and economics, supply chain management, procurement policies and practices, and legality and enforcement in the forest sector. She has worked extensively with the public and private sectors in roles that range from strategy development to practical fieldwork in the UK, Madagascar and France. Prior to joining Proforest, she worked in production and quality manager roles for a number of timber companies in Europe.
Andry works on projects in the forest and agricultural commodities sectors. She is widely involved in supply chain management projects. This involves providing services for responsible sourcing in forest product supply chains; ensuring full traceability to legal and sustainable sources across different countries; implementing due diligence systems to meet international forest product trade regulations, and risk assessment and mitigation.
Andry is Malagasy and speaks fluent English, French and Malagasy.
Annelise Guedes Lemes
Annelise is currently a Project Analyst at Proforest Brazil. Previously, she worked at the IUCN’s Brazil Country Office, as a Project and Finance Assistant, where she assisted forest and landscape restoration projects and was the focal point on gender in forest and landscape restoration. Among her responsibilities, she oversaw the project’s finances and expenditure and successfully organized two events, one of which focused on gender in forest and landscape restoration.
Annelise holds an MSc in Natural Resources and Environment, with a concentration on sustainable systems and corporate social responsibility, from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. She speaks Portuguese and English fluently and has working proficiency in French and Spanish.
Armand’s background encompasses: agronomy; natural resources management (especially ecology, forestry and agroforestry); species distribution modelling under climate change scenarios; long-term ecosystem monitoring; and social network analysis. He has worked as consultant for the Institut National de la Statistique et de l'Analyse Economique (INSAE) on the dynamic of cash crop chains (cashew, sugar cane, pineapple and tobacco) in Benin. Additionally, he has more than 5 years of experience teaching undergraduate students in many private and public universities in Benin.
Armand holds a PhD in Natural Resources Management and spent about 2 years as post doctor at the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) working for the United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) under the Chinese Academy of Science’s International Young Scientist Programme. His scientific publications include the ecology, dynamic, productivity and tree growth modelling of natural and man-made forests, ethnobotany, biodiversity and ecosystem monitoring network with a special focus on Africa. Armand is fluent in French and English, and has basic communication skill in Chinese. He is currently a Project Manager in the Proforest Africa regional office.
Senior Project Manager
Bella has more than 15 years’ experience in the environmental field. She has worked for various NGOs, government agencies and consulting companies in the areas of sustainability, climate change, renewable energy management and sustainable palm oil initiatives in Central America. Before joining Proforest, Bella worked with SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) on projects focusing on adoption of best management practices (BMP) for different commodities such as coffee, palm oil, and livestock.
Bella is based in Honduras and speaks English and Spanish. She has a BA in Animal Science, a BA in Environmental Engineering and a Masters degree in Local Development.
Programme Director, International Programmes
Bilge has substantial knowledge of agricultural commodity, biofuel and forestry standards (e.g. RSPO, FSC, RSB, RA/SAN) and worked with the standard-setting organisation Ecotourism Australia. She spent four years carrying out research at the Centre for Tourism in Islands and Coastal Areas, University of Kent (CENTICA) and six years leading multicountry research at an international consultancy. She has extensive experience in international development, including earthquake relief in Turkey, education projects in Senegal, study semesters in Togo and Mexico, and fieldwork in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
At Proforest, Bilge is the Programme Director for our International Programmes, which encompasses our International Training and our Support to Sustainability Initiatives programmes. Her technical work centres on the development and delivery of training, facilitation of multistakeholder processes and direct support on sustainable production to agricultural commodity companies. Bilge speaks English, French, Spanish and German, and holds a BA in Politics and an MRes in Environment and Development from Lancaster University.
Senior Project Manager
Please note, Ellen is currently on maternity leave.
Ellen has more than 10 years’ experience in the environment sector, including six years living and working in rural Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and Tanzania. Her professional experience includes biodiversity conservation, forest governance, sustainable production and participatory land use planning. At Proforest, Ellen’s work focuses on the use of the High Conservation Value approach, social and environmental impact assessment and sustainable production.
Ellen speaks English, French and Swahili, and holds Master’s degrees in Environmental Management and Anthropology from Yale University and University College London.
Eli has a background in natural resources management, forestry and the environment. He has worked on a diverse range of projects for organisations including UNDP, GIZ, ITTO and FSC, and has extensive experience working with the public sector, private sector, civil society organisations, research institutions and communities.
Eli is a certified FSC and RSPO lead auditor and has been involved in a number of second and third party audits in the forestry and agriculture sectors. He has hands-on experience with issues such as climate change, ecosystem services management and participatory resources management, as well as knowledge and experience with international best practice in sustainability. He holds Masters degrees in Forestry and Environmental Science (Bangor University, UK; University of Padua, Italy) and a BSc in Natural Resources Management (KNUST, Ghana).
Eli is based in our Africa Office where he leads Social Impact Assessments and stakeholder engagement, and provides technical support to palm oil and forestry enterprises to help them meet certification requirements.
Deputy Director – Responsible Sourcing
Erin has worked in a range of environmental fields, including ecological assessment, environmental aspects of chemical risk assessment and environmental exposure assessment.
Her work at Proforest focuses on agricultural commodities and she has significant experience working with clients on supply chain management and mapping. She is the Proforest lead on biofuels and also works on the sustainable production and responsible sourcing of a range of agricultural commodities, including palm oil, sugarcane, rubber and soya. This involves interacting with sustainability initiatives, NGOs and the private sector. Erin has worked on the development of production and chain of custody certification standards for a range of agricultural commodities, including ensuring compliance with EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) sustainability criteria.
Erin has a BSc (Hons) in Geography and Biology and an MSc in Conservation Ecology.
Assistant Project Manager
Fia has conducted research on natural resource use in Zanzibar and worked on agroforestry-projects and sustainable farm enterprise development in Rwanda and Uganda. She holds a MSc in natural resource management and a BSc in Ecology from Stockholm University and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She joined the SHARP Partnership last year working on fundraising and communications. Fia has now joined the Proforest team taking on the role of Assistant Project Manager working on various projects, predominantly on responsible sourcing of palm oil. Fia speaks English and Swedish (mother tongue).
Assistant Project Manager
Helena Tetteh passionate about the environment and holds a BSC Natural Resources Management and an MPhil Environmental Science from the University of Ghana. During her studies she specialized in solid waste management and her first paper on the potential health hazard associated with waste scavenging in Ghana was published in a prestigious environmental journal.
Her professional experience includes an environmental management role at the Environmental Protection Agency, which included environmental impact assessment and compliance, environmental audit and assessment, legal compliance, environmental education, and environmental quality management with particular emphasis in effluent quality analysis.
She lives in Ghana and speaks English.
Jane is a sustainable agricultural and forest production specialist, with strong experience in stakeholder communications, development and evaluation of projects, and facilitation of teams and processes. She has collaborated with government agencies, public and private companies, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and representative bodies. Jane has also had a wide experience in different levels, from strategic planning to field activities and from directors to smallholder farmers.
Jane is based in the Latin America Office in Brasilia and speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish. She holds an MSc in Soil Science from the University of São Paulo, and a degree in Ecology from the Universidade Estadual de São Paulo. Prior to joining Proforest, Jan served as a consultant for sustainable supply chains, strategic planning, sustainability certification schemes, and Payment for Ecosystem Services.
Jayashree has over 10 years’ experience in environmental, social and humanitarian initiatives and specialises in forest certification, sustainable livelihood programmes for the poor in the Asia Pacific region and food security issues. She has implemented projects in a broad range of countries in Southeast Asia. Before joining Proforest, Jaya worked with WWF-Malaysia and Forest Sustainability (Malaysia) where she coordinated the development of FSC National Standards for Malaysia. She has considerable experience in facilitating multistakeholder processes.
Jaya is based in Proforest’s Southeast Asia Office in Kuala Lumpur and speaks English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and Tamil. She has an MSc in Postharvest Physiology and a BSc in Bioindustry from Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Jonathan has a blend of experience in tropical forest ecology, conservation of biodiversity, and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. Before joining Proforest he spent three and a half years at Earthwatch Institute working with corporate partners on their agricultural operations and supply chains, and managing research projects in Brazil and India. His prior experience includes three years in Ecuador and Peru as a field biologist and environmental consultant. There, his projects included exploring the political viability of biodiversity offsets in Ecuador, the development of waste recycling systems with rural communities, and biological monitoring in the Amazon.
Jonathan has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology and an MSc in Environmental Social Science. He speaks Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese. At Proforest he works primarily on responsible sourcing of agricultural commodities.
Senior Project Manager
Joyce specialises in the responsible sourcing of timber and paper products for public and private sectors. She has worked with governments and retailers on reviewing their policies as well as developing guidance and toolkits for implementation. More recently, she has provided advice to companies on how to meet the EU Timber Regulation.
Joyce has also been involved in several projects related to Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT). She carried out a scoping study of FLEGT in Vietnam to identify and analyse potential options for cooperation. She also completed a project with the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) on timber legality verification schemes. She worked extensively on assessing standards for forestry (e.g. FSC, PEFC) and agricultural commodities (e.g. RSPO and SAN). Her activities include the development and delivery of training courses, desk review of sustainability standards, policy development and revision, supply chain mapping, and assessment of chain of custody requirements.
Joyce joined Proforest in 2004 after finishing her MSc with distinction in Forest Ecology and Management from University of Edinburgh. Previously, she worked for the Forest and Trade Network in WWF Hong Kong generating the demand for certified forest products. Joyce speaks fluent English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and has basic knowledge of French.
Langlang Tata Buana
Langlang Tata Buana has expertise in providing auditing and consulting services (including training) for organizations wishing to pursue certification on sustainability standards such as FSC, RSPO, CCBA, and GRI. Prior to joining Proforest, he managed auditing services which required him to travel extensively in the Asia Pacific region including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. He has led assembly team of experts on several High Conservation Value Assessment projects in Indonesia. He also has skills in natural resource management, certification, silviculture, soil science, climate change, chain of custody, legality verification, and carbon.
Lili has over 10 years of international experience in environmental policy and economics, project management and capacity development on REDD+, climate adaptation, sustainable land use management, ecosystem services and sustainable consumption and production. She has worked for international NGOs, bilateral aid agencies, government institutions, development consultancies and multilateral organizations.
As part of her work for WWF-Mexico, Lili supported the Mexican government on its REDD+ national strategy, through a multi-stakeholder approach. At UNEP-ROLAC, she assisted small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt corporate social responsibility practices under the UN Global Compact Initiative. She has provided technical assistance through international development projects in Argentina, Colombia, India, Mexico, Panamá and Vanuatu.
Lili is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese, and holds Master’s degrees in Environmental Management from Yale University and in Business Administration from Los Andes University.
Senior Project Manager
Marcelo has more than ten years’ experience in the socio-environmental field. Previously he worked for Pöyry Silviconsult, where, among other areas, he supported companies seeking FSC certification. He subsequently joined the LIFE Institute to help develop the LIFE Certification System for business and biodiversity. This included the development of its standards, the definition of its policies and procedures, the coordination of field tests and the training of auditors.
Marcelo is based in the Latin America Office and speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish. Marcelo has a BA in Forestry Engineering and a Masters degree in Forestry Sciences, as well as a postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management.
Principal Project Manager
Michael is based in our Africa Regional Office where he co-leads on our Africa legality and responsible commodity supply chains programme, as well as in HCV/HCS assessment. His broad interests cover environmental systems analysis and management, protected areas management, remote sensing/GIS, project planning/implementation, law enforcement, team-building, community participation, land use planning, and institutional capacity-building. He also has a keen interest in species (primates and bats) and habitat conservation, with a long-term focus on landscape restoration.
Michael specializes in conservation and natural resources management, with over 21 years of extensive experience in several countries in West Africa, including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia Togo and Burkina Faso. After obtaining a BSc in Natural Resources Management (KNUST, Ghana) in 1994, he held various technical and senior management positions over the next 12 years with the Ghana Wildlife Department (Forestry Commission), including running a zoo, national park, the national bio-monitoring unit, and monitoring and evaluation.
Michael joined the Liberia Country Office of Fauna & Flora International in 2006 as Chief Technical Advisor in the country’s post-conflict Protected Areas management and in HCV and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for oil palm development.
Since 2012, he has been a PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and University of Konstanz (Germany), researching on the role of fruit bats in forest regeneration in Afro-tropical landscapes. He also has an MSc in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (Twente, The Netherlands).
Mike has a background in applied tropical forest ecology and conservation biology, and has carried out extensive fieldwork in forest and oil palm environments in Latin America and Malaysian Borneo. His experience covers biodiversity monitoring, landscape conservation and sustainable agricultural and forestry policy, with a particular focus on the palm oil sector and the HCV approach. Mike has also worked on REDD+ and community-based monitoring of ecosystem services.
Mike has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Tropical Forest Ecology from the University of York.
Mohamad Rizal Bin Mohamad
Assistant Field Coordinator
Rizal is currently the Assistant Field Coordinator at Proforest Southeast Asia’s Field Office in Benut, Johor, Malaysia. He did his internship at Felda Sg. Sibol, Felda Technoplant Pengeli Timur Kulaijaya Johor, Espek Plantation Sdn Bhd, Lembaga Kemajuan Johor Tenggara (KEJORA) and Unit Pengurusan Ladang UiTM Jengka Pahang.
Rizal holds a BSc in Plantation and Agrotechnology and ac Diploma in Planting Industry Management from University Teknologi Mara (UiTM). During his studies he specialized in plantation and agriculture management. He speaks English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Senior Project Manager
Mooi-See is a trained forester specialising in tropical forests management, wildlife management and forest policy. She has worked in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Europe for more than 10 years. Her experience includes forest management and supply chain (CoC) auditing and support, policy advocacy, standard development, legality verification, HCV and community forestry analysis. She has worked for both NGOs and consultancies in implementing forestry standards such as FSC and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)/Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).
Mooi-See is based in the Southeast Asia Office in Kuala Lumpur, working in the forestry and agricultural commodities sectors. She is Malaysian and speaks fluent English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Cantonese and Bahasa Indonesia.
Senior Project Manager
Nadia brings a range of experience in coordination, capacity development, organisational development, technical assistance, research design and project management. Her specialist technical knowledge includes social development and food security. She has experience working with multilateral and bilateral agencies focusing on poverty alleviation programmes. She has previously focused on the facilitation of high-level policy development and programme implementation in African, Asian and Latin American countries. Nadia holds a PhD in Urban Development from Oxford Brookes University, UK focusing on the community inclusion in conservation and management of a historic town. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese (mother tongue).
Nana Darko Cobbina
Director of Africa Regional Programmes
Nana has eight years’ experience in the natural resources management sector, and currently coordinates our programme work in Africa. He previously worked with Care International, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth, leading a number of forestry projects.
An FSC, RSPO and HCV Lead Assessor, he has carried out forest management, chain of custody and HCV assessments in several countries in the region and coordinates the provision of technical support to forestry and oil palm companies seeking to achieve and maintain RSPO and FSC certification. Nana has broad experience in forest governance processes as well as in coordinating practical capacity support to natural resource management practitioners including government, company and civil society actors through the Africa Practitioners’ Network.
Oliver has a background in economics and has worked on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, sustainability strategy and sustainability reporting. He spent five years working in a large palm oil company prior to joining Proforest. He developed his expertise in CDM project monitoring and issuance, carbon emissions tracking, land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and strategic planning related to sustainability and carbon. He is trained in Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting standards and wrote a comprehensive sustainability report based on GRI 4.0 standards. He has also participated in RSPO Working Groups, and contributed to the development of carbon monitoring tools related to the palm oil industry. Oliver has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Universiti Putra Malaysia. He is fluent in English and Malay.
Senior Project Manager
Paulina's professional experience encompasses the energy, telecommunications and biofuels sectors, in Brazil, Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Dominican Republic. She has worked for several NGOs and the Mexican government, where she helped create and implement a biofuels R&D network in ten countries.
Before joining Proforest she helped develop an index to promote a more sustainable approach to land investments and coordinated an Action Lab with Latin American leaders to come up with measures to promote urban resilience to climate change risks.
When the HCV Resource Network Secretariat was hosted by Proforest, Paulina developed the Network's membership scheme. She also helped to design and launch the HCV Assessor Licensing Scheme, among other activities. Although Proforest no longer hosts the Secretariat, Paulina will be seconded to HCV Network Ltd until October 2016 to provide continuity during the transitional phase.
Paulina is based in Mexico She speaks English and Spanish, and holds an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University, and a BA in International Relations.
Deputy Director – Responsible Sourcing
Pavithra has a background in economics, biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of agricultural commodities. She has worked in a wide range of environmental and social fields across Latin America, Africa and Asia in the areas of biodiversity and conservation, labour, smallholder development, sustainable production and responsible sourcing of agriculture commodities.
Pav is also the Proforest focal point on palm oil.
She coordinates and leads on several projects globally, related to both sustainable production and responsible sourcing of palm oil. In addition to this, she coordinates the work of CORE (a consortium consisting of Proforest, Daemeter Consulting and Rainforest Alliance) and is responsible for ensuring alignment across site verification activities at Proforest.
Her extensive experience includes providing close support to companies to meet the requirements of a range of sustainability standards that include RSPO, FSC, Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, supporting companies with the implementation of their responsible palm oil sourcing commitments, development of tools for undertaking site assessments (eg. labour) and actively supporting sustainability initiatives, including RSPO, for which she facilitates meetings and working groups.
Pav has an MSc from Oxford University and also holds a BA from the University of Virginia in Economics and Environmental Sciences. She speaks English, Bahasa Indonesia and French.
Senior Project Manager
Pedro has a wide experience advising some of the biggest Latin American private companies on their climate change and sustainability strategies. Prior to joining Proforest, he worked as climate change and sustainability manager at ICF International, a global consulting and technology firm, leading a range of projects developed by multidisciplinary and international teams.
Pedro has worked in a varied spectrum of sectors, including energy, agriculture, forestry, biofuels, pulp and paper, mining, steel, oil and gas, chemical, transportation, financial, telecommunication, waste management and cement. His work experience encompasses projects developed in Brazil, the US, the UK, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Mexico.
He holds an MSc in Energy Planning with emphasis on Environmental Planning from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a B.Sc. degree in Agricultural Engineering from the São Paulo State University. Pedro is based in Brazil and speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Mohd Ruzed Embong
Ruzed has a background in park recreation management, natural resource management and biodiversity conservation, with a particular interest in protected area planning and management, wildlife conservation, and sustainable community-based development.
Before joining Proforest, he spent four years teaching in one of Malaysia’s public universities, as well as carrying out consultancy-based projects related to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) studies. He has extensive field experience working in the Malaysian forest; and has conducted public consultations with multi-stakeholders, particularly with the indigenous people (Bateq and Semai tribe) in the Peninsular.
Ruzed is based at Proforest Southeast Asia’s Field Office in Benut, Johor, Malaysia. Apart from English, Ruzed is proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia. Ruzed has a Master Degree in Built Environment and BSc in Park Recreation Management as well as a Diploma in Plantation Industries Management.
Sebastiaan de Smedt
Senior Project Manager
Sebastiaan is based in Proforest’s UK office and focuses on High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments. Sebastiaan has extensive experience in sustainable forestry and natural resources management in an international context. Before joining Proforest, Sebastiaan held several field- and office-based management positions in the private forestry sector.
Sebastiaan holds a PhD degree in Forestry and Natural Resources Management and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Dutch (mother tongue).
Tony has a background in forestry, with diverse experience spanning 25 years in rural livelihoods, small business development and social mobilisation. He has worked for international NGOs, bilateral aid agencies and host government institutions across Africa, South Asia and small island territories. Operating at the interface of socioeconomic development and sustainable natural resource management, he has led the delivery of programmes to develop local forest enterprise, decentralised governance of forest resources, sustainable farming and agroforestry systems, better management of watersheds and conservation of fragile ecosystems.
Senior Project Manager
Veronique has a background in climate change and worked for 10 years on the Kyoto flexible mechanisms for EcoSecurities. She established and was Director of their Dutch and Malaysian offices. Subsequently she worked for WWF in Gabon on REDD+ in the Congo Basin and public–private partnerships in Gabon. She was responsible for setting up the palm oil programme for WWF Gabon.
Veronique is fluent in Dutch, English and French, and holds a Masters in Law and Environmental Studies.
Our support team
Hannelie has a background in financial accounting and has experience across various sectors, including charitable, NHS, treasury management and manufacturing.
She is a qualified accountant and a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Cristina Mateos Arribas
Senior Finance Manager – Programmes
Cristina has extensive experience in finance management, business development and internal audit in both non-profit and commercial organisations. Before joining Proforest, Cristina worked at Oxfam GB in Oxford, and previously as Head of Finance and Operations for the NGO FSG and LA Fitness in Spain. Cristina has a great understanding of the finance planning and reporting cycles in complex, international organisations and non-profit operations involving multiple countries, donors and currencies.
Cristina is originally from Spain, and joined Proforest in 2014.. She speaks Spanish and English. She has an advanced degree in Economics and Business Administration and a Masters degree in Tax Consultancy.
Prior to joining Proforest, Henning worked in market leading global organisations involved in climate change policy, carbon finance, corporate sustainability and supply chain risk management. His expertise spans business process analysis, system implementation, organisational change management and human resource development. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and International Management.
Janka has a wide array of diverse duties, ensuring the office runs efficiently. She manages Proforest's administrative activities, and supports technical office staff and Communications team. Janka speaks Slovak, as well as fluent English and Czech. She has a degree in Marketing Management.
Senior Finance Assistant
Before joining Proforest in 2015, Javier worked at the University of Oxford and for an asset management firm in Spain. He is originally from Spain and speaks Spanish and English. Javier has a degree in law, a masters in corporate finance and law and holds the Investment Management Certification. He is currently studying for an accounting qualification.
Junia has a background in leisure management but at Proforest her role is to help run the office, as well as ensure all the project managers get to the right place, on time. She is also responsible for reducing the carbon footprint of Proforest’s International Office as much as possible.
Junia is Brazilian and speaks fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Senior Finance Assistant
Prior to joining Proforest, Ken worked in the Accounts Payable Department of Amey PLC. He also worked with KBM Chartered Certified Accountants.
Originally from Ghana, Ken has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ghana, where he read Sociology and Economics. He is currently completing his studies to become a Chartered Certified Accountant. Ken speaks English, Twi and Ga.
Kwame Boakye Agyeman
Office Administrator, Africa Office
Kwame’s role is to provide administrative support to the regional technical staff and manage Proforest’s administration in Ghana. He has several years’ experience in administration and management, including event organisation and management.
Kwame holds a Diploma in Administrative Management and a Diploma in Marketing and is fluent in Spanish.
Please note, Le is currently on maternity leave.
Le has a background in operations and finance management within the climate change and sustainability sectors, including 12 years at EcoSecurities where she held the position of Head of China Operations. She holds an MSc with Distinction in International Management and is ACCA qualified. Le is Chinese and speaks Mandarin and English.
Libby manages the communications team, which supports the whole organisation, including the regional offices, from its base in Oxford. She is also responsible for developing and delivering the Proforest Group's communications strategy. Prior to joining Proforest she spent nearly five years at Oxfam, where she focused on digital engagement with policy and research audiences and helped to create the Oxfam Policy & Practice website and blog.
Finance and Operations Manager
Mawuse has extensive experience in financial management, human resources, operations and external audit. Prior to joining Proforest, she was the Business Services Manager of Oxfam in Ghana. She also worked with Vodafone Ghana and PricewaterhouseCoopers in the United Kingdom and in Ghana.
Mawuse is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana. She holds an MBA Finance from the University of Manchester, UK and a BSc Administration degree from the University of Ghana.
Prior to joining Proforest, Maisie studied accountancy at Abingdon and Witney college. She completed her fast track AAT level 2 in accounting in 2014 and is now studying an AAT level 3 diploma in Accountancy and Business.
Senior Finance Assistant
Nick is part of the UK Finance Team. Before joining Proforest he worked in Accounts Payable for an Oxford-based logistics company. Prior to this he worked in Accounts Receivable for a global supply management company, also based in Oxford.
Nick studied marketing at the National University of Science and Technology aka NUST in Zimbabwe. While in Zimbabwe he worked in sales and marketing and also as a school teacher. He moved to the UK fourteen years ago to pursue a masters degree in IT. Nick is currently studying towards an ACCA. He speaks English and two native Zimbabwean languages, Shona and Ndebele.
Office Manager, Kuala Lumpur Office
Over the last 24 years, Nisha has gained extensive experience across a range of sectors including oil and gas, telecommunications and financial banking sector. Her role with Proforest Malaysia, involves executing daily administrative, finance, IT and HR support for technical staff.
Nisha has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Olympia College, Malaysia. She is a Malaysian and is fluent in English and Malay.
Rhiannon has a Masters degree in Environmentalism and Society from Oxford Brookes University and a BA in Anthropology and has researched the history of the recent land crisis in Zimbabwe and its impact on the culture and traditions of the Shona people. She also has a background in teaching English as a foreign language and editing, most recently for UNEP.
Rhiannon has lived and worked in a number of countries including Spain, Turkey, USA and Zimbabwe. She is based in the Oxford office.
As part of the Proforest communications team, Sally is responsible for designing publications and promotional materials for international audiences, as well as creating animations, illustrations, diagrams, infographics and maps. She has a degree in illustration from the Cambridge School of Art. Prior to joining Proforest she spent a year working in Germany. She speaks German and English.
Sam joined the Proforest Finance team in 2013 after completing AAT level 4 at Kaplan Financial.
Sam has previous finance experience working in the construction sector. He is currently studying towards becoming a Certified Management Accountant
Sophie specialises in communication about the environment, development and the responsible use of natural resources. She previously worked as a science writer for Green Ink Ltd, and at UNEP-WCMC with a focus on project development and communications. She has a background in forest management, and worked for DFID in Honduras and Guyana, and for Proforest in its earliest days. Sophie has a BA in Zoology, and an MSc in Forestry from the University of Oxford. She speaks English and Spanish.
Office Administrator, Latin America Office
Valda’s principal role is further developing the Latin America Office and providing administrative support. She has 25 years’ experience in several different administrative roles with NGOs and government. She worked at TNC for four years, where her biggest challenge was finding a new office and organising the smooth relocation of 25 employees.
She is finalising her qualification to become a chartered certified accountant.