Global secretariat

Secretariat overview

Meet FOLU’s global secretariat which coordinates the delivery of our strategic objectives and vision. This vibrant group of individuals helps align the coalition’s research and policy efforts, engagement and communication activities, operations plus much more – globally and in country. 

Aldric Balisacan

Grants & Finance Specialist

Aldric Balisacan

Grants & Finance Specialist

North America

Alessandro Passaro

Associate, Knowledge Generation

Alessandro Passaro

Associate, Knowledge Generation

Europe

Alessandro is an Associate in the Knowledge Generation team at the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) and SYSTEMIQ. His focus is on research and development of solutions to transform global food and land use systems to work better for people, nature and climate. Prior to joining SYSTEMIQ, Alessandro worked in several roles and industries around the world: he worked in South Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa as an air transport development consultant; in supply chain and logistics transformation projects in the Nordic countries; and as a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software implementation consultant for clients in Europe. Alessandro holds a M.Sc. in International Management from Bocconi University and NHH Norwegian School of Economics, and a master’s in environmental management from the University of Padova. He also holds a PhD in Economics of Local Systems from the University of Trento, with a research dissertation focusing on the role of governance in the transformation of agri-food systems at territorial level towards agroecology.

Aline Mosnier

FABLE Consortium Scientific Co-Director

Aline Mosnier

FABLE Consortium Scientific Co-Director

Europe

Cecil Haverkamp

Co-Director SDSN Food & Land Team, Director of the FELD Action Tracker 

Cecil Haverkamp

Co-Director SDSN Food & Land Team, Director of the FELD Action Tracker 

Europe

Claudia Martinez

Country Director, FOLU Colombia and Co-Chair of FOLU’s Country Platforms

Claudia Martinez

Country Director, FOLU Colombia and Co-Chair of FOLU’s Country Platforms

Latin America

Claudia Martinez is the Director of E3- Ecology, Economics and Ethics as well as FOLU Colombia. She supports programs and actions to foster sustainable development, economies and financial schemes. Claudia is also a member of the independent advisory Panel of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) where she has supported to assess the projects presented to the fund since its inception. She was Director of the Office of Sustainable Development and later Vice President for Social and Environmental Development at the Latin American Development Bank (CAF) managing the portfolio of environmental and social projects as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As Deputy Minister of Environment of Colombia, she coordinated the Environmental system of the country including 33 regional environmental corporations and five research institutions. She worked for the Latin American Bureau of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York, managing the portfolio of environmental projects.

Claudia studied Business Administration at Los Andes University in Bogotá and holds Master Degrees in development economics and Environmental Studies from Yale University.  She is co-founder of Sistema B, the B Corporation movement in Colombia. She is currently in the board of directors of “Agrosavia” the research institution for agriculture in Colombia, as well as Sistema B Colombia. Claudia has been a member of several boards including CIFOR, CATIE and Green Fund

Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio

International Engagement Associate

Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio

International Engagement Associate

Europe

Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio is an International Engagement Associate with FOLU and a Senior Adaptation and Resilience Advisor with the Climate Resilience Practice at WRI.

Previously she was the Action Track Co-Manager for the Global Commission on Adaptation and Regional Programme Manager for Action on Climate Today, a £23 million UK AID supported climate change programme that mainstreamed resilience into planning and budgeting at the national and sub-national level in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. She managed an implementation team of approximately 40 people across the programme locations.

Cristina was a Senior Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York from 2007-2015, where she developed and managed initiatives regarding building resilience to climate change, water management, small scale fisheries, and preservation of ecosystems and the services they provide to humankind. She managed a grant portfolio of over $100 Million.

Cristina was a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Doctorate in Ecology from the University of Colorado.

Cristina lives in Dorset, UK with her husband Allan.

Dana Jakupova

Grants and Finance Specialist

Dana Jakupova

Grants and Finance Specialist

Europe

Dana is a young professional with experience in delivering community engagement and development projects. She previously worked as a grants officer at the national grant-making organization in Kazakhstan. During this experience, she worked closely with local grass-root NGOs specializing in environmental projects. Dana holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Exeter and a MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics. Dana was born and raised in Kazakhstan, and is currently based in The Hague, Netherlands. She is fluent in English, Russian, Kazakh languages, and currently is learning Spanish.

Danielle Gent

Head of Partnerships and Policy

Danielle Gent

Head of Partnerships and Policy

Europe

Devisha Poddar

Senior Project Associate, FOLU India

Devisha Poddar

Senior Project Associate, FOLU India

Asia

Devisha Poddar, is a Senior Project Associate with Food and Land Use Coalition India (FOLU India). She is responsible for research and programme development for the FOLU India platform. Currently, she is leading the Action Agenda, writing proposals for competitive funding, coordinating with multiple partners among other roles. Previously, she has had intersectional experience in stakeholder management, project implementation, relationship building and communication. Devisha has worked in the environment and sustainability space, namely waste management, urban farming, energy efficiency and sustainable development goals. She has worked in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, India and briefly in Budapest, Hungary. She has an MSc. in environmental science and policy from Central European University, Austria (formerly in Hungary) and a B.A. in international studies from FLAME University, India. 

Dr Olaf Erenstein

Director Research Integrity

Dr Olaf Erenstein

Director Research Integrity

Europe

Dr Olaf Erenstein is the Director of Research Integrity within the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) team based at the World Resources Institute (WRI) The Hague. In this role he supports the development of a Coalition-wide research strategy, as well as oversees a rigorous quality assurance process for all knowledge products bearing the FOLU (and WRI) logo. He is an agri-food systems R&D professional with a multi-disciplinary background and some 3 decades of experience in the Global South, including being posted and working in Africa (West, eastern & southern), South Asia and Mexico. Much of his international career was associated with the CGIAR focusing on research for development in agri-food and land use systems and the environmental and development implications. He previously was Socio-Economics Program Director for 8 years with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico. He holds a PhD and MSc in agricultural development economics from Wageningen University, Netherlands as well as a MSc in tropical agronomy from the same university and has an established publication record (115 journal publications recognized in Scopus, with a h-index 33).

Edward Davey

Policy and International Engagement Director

Edward Davey

Policy and International Engagement Director

Europe

Edward Davey is Policy and International Engagement Director of the Food and Land Use Coalition. In this role, he is responsible for ensuring that FOLU drives real and lasting impact in international processes and institutions on the food systems agenda, as well as for the effective deployment and management of FOLU’s Ambassadors. Edward has been involved in FOLU since its creation in 2017; in the first phase, he worked to establish and then collaborate with FOLU’s country platforms.

Edward is based at WRI, where he also serves as Co-Director of WRI UK.  He lives in Lewes, a small town set in the rural landscapes of Sussex in southern England, with his wife Davina, son Oliver, daughter Lara, and chocolate Labrador Rosie.

Elinor Newman-Beckett

Interim Director of Knowledge Generation

Elinor Newman-Beckett

Interim Director of Knowledge Generation

Europe

Elizabeth Petykowski

Lead Researcher, Forests, Sustainable Trade and Supply Chains

Elizabeth Petykowski

Lead Researcher, Forests, Sustainable Trade and Supply Chains

Europe

Elizabeth Petykowski is an Associate at SYSTEMIQ and leads FOLU’s research on issues of deforestation, sustainable trade and supply chains. She holds an MBA from Imperial College Business School and an MSc International Development from the London School of Economics. She brings nearly a decade of non-profit experience, serving previously at the Environmental Defense Fund and United Nations Foundation

Gina Karina

Country Manager, FOLU Indonesia

Gina Karina

Country Manager, FOLU Indonesia

Asia

Gina Karina (Gina) leads FOLU Indonesia, hosted as part of the World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia. In this role, she works to shape a strategic partnership to support the government of Indonesia in achieving low carbon development through accelerating the food and land use system transformation. Working closely with the global team and partners, she provides leadership to the FOLU Indonesia Secretariat and is responsible to position the coalition strategically with key counterparts and diverse stakeholders across the FOLU Indonesia network.  

Prior to joining FOLU, Gina spent six years at Local Government for Sustainability (ICLEI). As the focal point for Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency at the UN, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient, and circular development. Gina was certified as an Urban Greenhouse Gas Inventory Specialist from City Climate Planner program and served as the Country Manager for Indonesia from 2017-2019. 

Gina holds an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with UK FCDO Chevening scholarship.

Haijun Zhao

Country Coordinator, FOLU China

Haijun Zhao

Country Coordinator, FOLU China

Asia

Haijun Zhao is a Research Associate in the Food and Natural Resources Program in the WRI China Office. He works to coordinate Food and Land Use Coalition China program by working with multiple research and business partners independently.

Prior to joining WRI, Haijun worked as a policy advisor and senior engineer in Research Center for Urban-rural Development of Chinese Academy of Sciences, a senior program officer in the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) for years. He also worked as a policy expert in a consulting firm, by doing strategic research for multinational companies in agriculture/ food sector.

Haijun holds a M.S in Ecology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was selected as the consultant for the Chinese Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, and consultant of Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center of MEE.

Jake Ireland

Communications Specialist

Jake Ireland

Communications Specialist

Europe

Jake Ireland is a Communications Specialist at the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) in London. He provides editorial assistance across FOLU’s outputs, initiatives and events, and supports the Coalition in scaling its digital, PR and media reach.

Jake brings with him a diverse portfolio of experience in the sustainable development space, having worked, consulted and interned at a variety of INGOs, charities and nonprofits, including the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Action Against Hunger and Fairtrade.

At CIFOR, Jake’s work involved supporting the Global Landscapes Forum with content creation, knowledge sharing and capacity development around sustainable land use, climate change, nature-based solutions and ecosystem restoration. He also co-designed the Forum’s Landscape Academy, managed its knowledge hub, and provided communications support during international events and innovation challenges, such as GLF Africa and the World Bank Disruptive Tech Challenge.

Jake’s interests in sustainable agriculture, global nutrition and smallholder rights stem from his experience at Action Against Hunger and Fairtrade, where he undertook internships shortly after graduating.

Outside of work, Jake enjoys playing the guitar, writing fiction, running, cycling and exploring the great outdoors.

Jayahari KM

Country Coordinator, FOLU India

Jayahari KM

Country Coordinator, FOLU India

Asia

Jayahari (Hari) leads FOLU India together with a secretariat at WRI India. His primary responsibility is to coordinate the FOLU India activities working closely with the FOLU India partners and initiatives. He is also the Associate Director of the Sustainable Landscape Restoration Programme India.

Prior to joining FOLU and WRI, Hari worked in different capacities in institutions like Kerala Forest Research Institute, WWF India, Winrock International India till 2015, focusing on Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity Conservation. He has initiated and implemented many conservation programs primarily in Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas. Between 2015-17 he led an NGO working in pastoral and dry-land agriculture sectors—Sahjeevan—as its Executive Director. He has also played an instrumental role in building several spatial databases in India, like India Observatory (www.indiaobservatory.org.in) at the Foundation of Ecological Security, and Restoration Opportunity Atlas of India (india.restorationatlas.org) at WRI India. He also provided consultancy services to national and international organizations like Tetra Tech, ICLEI South Asia, etc.

Jayahari holds a PhD in Forestry (Wildlife Biology) from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

Katie McCoshan

International Policy and Engagement Manager

Katie McCoshan

International Policy and Engagement Manager

Europe

Katie is the International Policy and Engagement manager for FOLU. In this role, Katie collaborates with the Policy and Engagement Director, country leads and communication teams to support a systemic program of international engagement.

Prior to joining WRI, Katie straddled both business and politics, working to promote trade and investment in emerging markets with DMA Invest and as a senior advisor in the House of Lords. As an Associate at DMA, she organised investment summits for heads of state and led trade missions to Sierra Leone and Algeria. When putting on her political hat in August 2020, Katie worked closely with a Peer in the House of Lords, advising them on a range of topics including green finance, community inclusivity, female empowerment and human rights. She enjoyed being in the heart of Westminster and seeing the progression of many bills as a speech writer.

Katie has a Master’s with Distinction in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics, and a First-Class Undergraduate Degree from the University of Cambridge in Geography. She has volunteered in New Delhi with ActionAid India’s partnership unit, during which she supported field research on food security and women’s empowerment. Katie has also been a research consultant for Oxfam GB, analysing projects on climate change adaptation and sustainable forestry.

Klara Nilsson

Senior Communications Associate

Klara Nilsson

Senior Communications Associate

Europe

Klara is the Senior Communications Associate at FOLU. In this role, she leads on FOLU’s communication work together with the Communications Manager, developing strategic communications plans globally and in country. More specifically, She leads the coalition’s digital media channels, content development, project coordination, media relations and engagement efforts to elevate inspiring stories, deepen dialog to support action towards transformed food and land use systems.

Klara brings with her experience in creative writing, media, development work, and business. Curious and artistic, she began her journey as a storyteller in the theatre and has ever since been driven by the power of narratives. Having lived in multiple countries, Klara holds global fluency and approaches every situation with an open mind. As a longstanding advocate for sustainable development, she further developed her communications skills during an internship with the United Nations and is committed to creating a better future for all.

She holds a BA in Communications and Business from Pace University, New York.

When she is not working, Klara enjoys long walks in the countryside, yoga, poetry and skiing. 

Mitchell Groves

Associate, Knowledge Generation

Mitchell Groves

Associate, Knowledge Generation

Europe

Having grown up Austria, Mitch’s love for nature comes from summers spent in the Alps and he continues to enjoy skiing and hiking in the mountains when he gets the chance to. After studying Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham, Mitch was a geography teacher before pivoting into the sustainability world, studying a Climate Change MSc at the University of Sussex. Since graduating from the course in September 2021 Mitch completed two internships at a Nature-based Solutions (NbS) investment company and a systems-change think tank before starting at FOLU in April 2021. Since joining he has primarily worked on the Financing NbS project. Outside of working at FOLU, Mitch enjoys playing sport and is a regular at his local squash and football club.

Morgan Gillespy

Executive Director

Morgan Gillespy

Executive Director

Europe

Morgan Gillespy is the Executive Director of the Food and Land Use Coalition, co-led by the World Resources Institute. In this role, she provides strategic leadership for the coalition, working collaboratively across its global partners and country platforms to advance FOLU’s reform agenda with governments, the private sector, financial institutions, and civil society.

Prior to this, Morgan was the Director of Forests and Head of Water Security at CDP. Morgan brings a decade’s worth of experience working across climate, forests, sustainable supply chains, water security, corporate disclosure and sustainable finance.

Natasha Mawdsley

Associate, Knowledge Generation

Natasha Mawdsley

Associate, Knowledge Generation

Europe

Natasha is an Associate in SYSTEMIQ’s food and agriculture practice in London. She is currently working with the Food and Land Use Coalition on developing plausible country-level financing strategies for Nature based Solutions (NbS). Prior to this, she worked as a sustainability consultant at PwC, primarily working with corporates in the food and retail sectors on their environmental strategies. This included developing supply chain Natural Capital Accounting tools and addressing the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) through climate risk assessments and scenario analysis.

She holds a BSc in Environmental Geoscience from Durham University and an MSc in Climate Change, Management and Finance from Imperial College London.

Olga Artsiukh

Operations Manager

Olga Artsiukh

Operations Manager

Europe

Patricia Falla

Senior Consultant, FOLU Colombia

Patricia Falla

Senior Consultant, FOLU Colombia

Latin America

Patricia holds a M.Sc. in Ecological Economics, Territories and Environmental Management from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain and a B.A. in Economics from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Has over 25 years of experience working with public institutions, NGOs and multilateral agencies in environment and sustainability projects and plans. She has also supported processes to formulate, evaluate and implement public policies on biodiversity conservation, climate change, environmental offsets and rural development. Patricia is an expert in forming public-private coalitions and in implementing policies, programs, and projects. 

Praveen Rajadiston

Deputy Director

Praveen Rajadiston

Deputy Director

Europe

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Scarlett Benson

Director of Corporate Standards

Scarlett Benson

Director of Corporate Standards

Europe

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Seth Cook

China-India Project Manager

Seth Cook

China-India Project Manager

Asia, Europe

Seth Cook PhD, is the China-India Project Manager at the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), based in SYSTEMIQ, where he is responsible for overseeing FOLU’s China and India platforms. He has extensive experience in both countries, as well as in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Zambia, Ethiopia and Uganda. Prior to this position, he was a Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development in the China and Agroecology teams. He lived and worked in China for over 10 years, including heading IUCN’s China office and serving as Global Operations Director for WWF’s China for a Global Shift Initiative. He is a fluent Chinese speaker. Seth has undertaken projects on sustainable diets, sustainable and regenerative agriculture, climate resilient drylands agricultural development, climate neutrality, Chinese investment in African agriculture, and China-Africa forest governance, and has published extensively on these topics. He holds M.E.S. and PhD degrees from the Yale School of the Environment, and an MA in international relations from Yale University.

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Sofia Ahmed

Country Manager, FOLU Ethiopia

Sofia Ahmed

Country Manager, FOLU Ethiopia

Africa

Sofia leads FOLU’s Ethiopia platform hosted as part of the World Resources Institute (WRI) Africa, with responsibilities leading the day-to-day engagement of the coalition’s activities in Ethiopia. Before joining FOLU she worked at several regional and international organization including Oxfam America Horn of Africa Regional Office as Economic Justice Policy and Research Coordinator for the Horn, AU and Horn of Africa Civic Engagement Advisor for Save the Children Pan African Office. Prior to that Sofia worked at European Union Special Representative for Sudan and CARE International in Ethiopia providing strategic direction, overall program management and coordination for Policy and Research Unit. This included the establishment of coalition of non-state actors, advocating for food and climate justice, ending poverty and inequality, developing national roadmaps as well as Ambassador Program in promoting sustainable food system, economic justice, women in agriculture, and inspiration across the Horn of Africa. 

Sofia has served on the board of directors of the national civil society organization and member of advisory board including Sustainable Environment and Development Action among others.

Sofia holds MA in Development Studies from Institute of Development Studies Dublin, Ireland and BA in Political Science and International Relations from Addis Ababa University with advanced certificate in Human Rights Leadership as well as Peace and Conflict Studies.

Sophie Mongalvy

Communications Manager

Sophie Mongalvy

Communications Manager

Europe

Sophie Mongalvy is a Communications Manager at the Food and Land Use Coalition.  Prior to joining FOLU, Sophie worked as a journalist for 17 years, at Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Bloomberg News. She was a foreign correspondent in East Africa, Scandinavia, and West Africa. Working in print and video, she was a deputy coordinator of AFP’s video output from across Africa before moving to Lagos, Nigeria, where she was Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News. 

During a sabbatical, Sophie decided to pivot her focus towards environment and development issues. She joined WRI and FOLU in April 2021. 

Sophie is French-Danish and now lives in The Hague with her daughter. She enjoys organizing debate evenings with friends and neighbours and loves spending time outdoors.  

Talia Smith

Director, Knowledge Generation

Talia Smith

Director, Knowledge Generation

Europe

Theodora Ewer

Program Manager of Regen10 Frameworks Hub

Theodora Ewer

Program Manager of Regen10 Frameworks Hub

Europe

Theodora is Program Manager of Regen10 Frameworks Hub and an Associate at SYSTEMIQ with over four years’ experience in consulting and coalition building. Theo’s expertise focusses on the sustainable transformation of food and land use systems. She has worked with a variety of clients and partners across business, government, civil society and finance. She has advised food and agriculture companies on how to embed sustainability at the core of their business and worked with Governments to help shape their food and agriculture strategies, with the aim to raise the level of ambition to deliver positive environmental, social and health outcomes. More recently, Theo has been working with FOLU to conduct an evidence review of how regenerative agriculture can lead to positive social and environmental outcomes, with a particular emphasis in advocating for an outcomes-based framework to successfully measure impact. Theo specializes in approaches to scaling regenerative agriculture and looking at how to trigger positive tipping points in food and land use systems, with a particular emphasis on behavior change and dietary shift.

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