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Team

Picture of John Reid

John Reid

Distinguished Policy Fellow & Founder, Sebastopol, California

John has worked in conservation since 1991 when volunteered on a project in the lush coastal forests in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Conservation became a full-time profession shortly thereafter. John founded Conservation Strategy Fund in 1998 after positions with Resources for the Future, Conservation International and Pacific Forest Trust. He built CSF as an independent technical organization that has helped transform conservation practice by spreading economics skills among conservation professionals worldwide. CSF has provided leadership as the international conservation community has embraced the central role economics plays in successful environmental strategies. In 2012 CSF was recognized with the MacArthur Foundation's Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. After 18 years of leadership, John stepped aside as CSF's president in 2016 to dedicate himself entirely to technical work. John’s work has appeared in many CSF publications, in Scientific American, Conservation Biology, Environment, the Journal of Political Economy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Megadiversidade and Ambio. He speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish and terrible French. He loves writing, mountain biking and photography. He holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard and an undergraduate degree in English and Spanish from Amherst College. John became an honorary board member of CSF in 2016.

Jesse Agar

Animator, Fergus, Ontario, Canada

Jesse began working with CSF in the beginning of 2014 on our series of animated conservation economics video lessons. Jesse has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Biology from University of Guelph and has always been interested in film making and science. After discovering a particularly inspirational video, Jesse started creating animated shorts that quickly gained a following due to his unique voice and vision. Since joining CSF, Jesse has created over 20 videos on various conservation economics topics, ranging from intro to cost benefit to fisheries management.

Picture of Fernanda Alvarenga

Fernanda Alvarenga

Consulting Analyst, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Fernanda joined CSF as a research analyst in July 2010. She has experience in financial analysis of projects, financial and process management, and in systems implementation management. She has a degree in Business Administration from PUC Minas, a masters degree in Globalization, Spatial Dynamics and Sustainable Development in Southern Countries from the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and graduate degrees in Business Economics from PUC/MG and in Socio-Educational Projects Management from UNA/MG. Fernanda started in CSF in 2008 as a consultant working in projects related to rural credit in the Amazon and the financial feasibility of fish processing by local fishermen in the Corumbau Extractive Reserve, in Bahia. She has previous experience as a management and economics consultant and analyst at PUC Minas. She was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.

Picture of Irene Burgués Arrea

Irene Burgués Arrea

Consulting Analyst, San José, Costa Rica

Irene managed a successful CSF program on integrating biodiversity and infrastructure agendas in Central America from 2004-2007. The initiative contributed to: providing information on 400 infrastructure projects, generating consensus about analysis priorities and avoiding several poorly conceived projects, including roads in the Maya Forest region and the Tenosique dam on the Usumacinta River in Mexico. She then started an organic farm project and continues to tend to it. Most recently, Ms. Burgués had been researching payments for ecosystem services at CATIE. Ms. Burgués came back to CSF at the end of 2011 and worked as Infrastructure Program Manager through March 2016, focusing in the Albertine Rift, Andes, Amazon and Central America. Ms. Burgués has a BSc in Economics, Environment and Ecology from the University of York.

Picture of Pedro Gasparinetti

Pedro Gasparinetti

Consulting Analyst, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Pedro joined the team in 2016 to contribute to the project on mangroves environmental services values. He is an economist, with a masters in environmental economics from the University of Brasilia, focusing on environmental valuation using stated preference methods. Before joining CSF, he worked as a consultant on projects for the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), covering topics such as economics of ecosystems and biodiversity in the TEEB-Brazil project, ecological footprint, evaluation of urban infrastructure projects and projects using ecosystems based approaches.

Picture of Courtney Lewis Cheng

Courtney Lewis Cheng

Graphic and Web Designer, Sebastopol, California

Courtney has over 15 years of design experience and works in a full range of platforms including print design, infographics, and responsive web design in both Drupal and Wordpress. From 2009-2015, Courtney managed all print design and marketing collateral, communications, web development, and social media for CSF. She particularly enjoys the challenge of making economics look sexy...not an easy feat.

Picture of Jorge Maldonado

Jorge Maldonado

Senior Technical Advisor, Bogota, Colombia

Jorge is associate professor in the Department of Economics at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. He is also deputy director of the Latin America and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program (LACEEP). His main research interests are economics applied to environment, natural resources and development, in particular the nexus of poverty and livelihoods. He has published in different journals such as Ecological Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, World Development, Environment and Development Economics, among others. He teaches environmental economics, natural resource economics, and microeconomics at both undergraduate and graduate level. Currently, he is the director of the Platform for Evaluation and Learning of Graduation Programs in Latin America, funded by the Ford Foundation, IDRC and Fundación Capital. He is also the director of the project Conditional Cash Transfers and Rural Development in Latin America, funded by FIDA.

Picture of Frank Merry

Frank Merry

Senior Resident Fellow, Washington, DC

Frank Merry, Ph.D. joined CSF in 2017 as a Senior Resident Fellow. Prior to this Frank was a Research Associate Professor of Natural Resource Economics in the Department of Forests and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. Frank also served as a Director at Alianca da Terra, a Brazilian non-profit organization (www.aliancadaterra.org) focused on improving agricultural production in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado. He has published numerous articles on land and forest economics, including topics ranging from forest policy and timber trade to the economics of smallholders and cattle ranching. At Alianca da Terra, Frank was responsible for institutional strengthening and fundraising. Previously, as a research scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, Frank was the lead economist on the Amazon Scenarios Project— a multi-institutional land use change modeling project. Frank has wide-ranging experience in international development and more than 15 years of work in the Amazon region. He is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, and has worked or conducted research in Bolivia, Brazil, Mozambique, Peru, Senegal, and Trinidad. Frank speaks Portuguese and Spanish, lives in Carrboro, North Carolina and has two daughters. He is a recreational cyclist and occasional surfer, but his spare time is mostly spent taking his daughters to swim meets and school events.

Picture of Rocío del Pilar Moreno Sánchez

Rocío del Pilar Moreno Sánchez

Senior Economist, Bogota, Colombia

Rocío has worked for 20 years on issues related to the role of economic incentives, local resource users, and institutions for biodiversity conservation. She has conducted specific research on topics such as fishing, payments for environmental services, adaptive capacity of resource-dependent communities in marine protected areas, economic valuation of protected areas, co-management of common-pool resources, and the relationship between poverty and resource dependence. Rocio´s work has been published in several books and scientific journals including Ecology and Society, Plosone, Ambio, World Development, Environment and Development Economics, Ecological Economics, and Biodiversity Conservation. She holds a Master of Science in Environmental and Resource Economics from the Universidad de los Andes-University of Maryland, and a Master of Science in Agricultural, Environment and Development Economics from Ohio State University. Since 2011, Rocío has served as academic advisor for CSF’s fellowship program and as professor for CSF’s economic tools for conservation courses.

Picture of Cecilia Simon

Cecilia Simon

Resident Fellow, Mexico

Cecilia Simon joined CSF as a consultant in 2015 acting as local manager for the Valuation of Ecosystem Services in Four Protected Natural Areas project in Mexico. In 2017 she developed a Fisheries Opportunity Analysis for CSF to identify the degree to which economic analyses and capacity building can influence sustainable fishing practices in Mexico. Cecilia has also been working in climate change related issues since 2007, including forest carbon projects and REDD+ where she has contributed to the development of the Climate Action Reserve Protocol (currently being tested as a pilot project), Mexico´s REDD+ Strategy and the promotion of market-based tools. She also works on conservation finance and is currently analyzing biodiversity offsets as a potential finance mechanism. Cecilia has wide experience working with numerous stakeholders in the Mexico and internationally, including government agencies, non-profit organizations and local communities. Prior to working as a consultant, she headed Pronatura Mexico’s Climate Change program. Cecilia received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana and a Master of Science in biodiversity, wildlife and ecosystem health from the University of Edinburgh. She is a 2014 Kinship Conservation Fellow.

Picture of Leo Trujillo

Leo Trujillo

Consulting Designer, São Paulo, Brazil

Leo Trujillo joined CSF as a consulting graphic designer in 2017- his first big project with us being our 2016 Annual Report. Leo has over 12 years of experience in design and is passionate about creating for brands and organizations with a social mission. He especially enjoys developing the aesthetic and visual part of projects and capturing the true essence of a brand.

Picture of Felipe Vásquez Lavin

Felipe Vásquez Lavin

Senior Technical Advisor, Concepción, Chile

Felipe holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics and is an Associate Professor in the School of Business and Economics at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile. He is also a member of the Scientific Committee of the Latin America and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program (LACEEP). His areas of research include the Economics of Climate Change, Water Resources, Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Health Economics. He has published research articles in journals such as Value in Health, Climatic Change, Journal of Environmental Management, AMBIO, Water Resource Research, among others. Currently he is an associate researcher in the Environment for Development (EfD) Center in Environmental and Resource Economics, and the Center for the Study of Multiple-Drivers on Marine Socio-Ecological Systems funded by the Chilean Ministry of Economics.