The Board also receives input on governance from regular meetings of RRI Partners, which often take place simultaneously with meetings of the Board.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Saskia Ozinga

Secretary

FERN

Biography

Saskia Ozinga

Saskia Ozinga is the founder and campaign coordinator of FERN. Born in Beverwijk, the Netherlands, she studied biology and healthcare at Wageningen University and the Hogeschool Utrecht.  Since graduating, she worked as a teacher in environmental science at the Hogeschool Utrecht and for nearly ten years as a campaigner at Friends of the Earth Netherlands. She founded FERN in 1995. While at FERN she has facilitated various NGO coalitions on different topics related to forests and community rights, and written and published numerous books, articles and reports on themes like forest certification, trade and forests, effective advocacy, improving forest governance and forests and climate.

Chitra Subramaniam

Treasurer

Biography

Chitra Subramaniam

Chitra Subramaniam had an extensive career in India’s premier banking institution, the State Bank of India, for over 35 years before retiring as a General Manager in 2015. She served in several senior executive positions including as Chief Vigilance Officer of the Indian bank (on secondment) where she reviewed the Bank’s risk profile and initiated a series of improvements to its controls, audit, investigation systems and procedures to mitigate risks and streamline operational efficiencies. As Head of State Bank’s ATM operations in Tamilnadu and Pondicherry, she led teams that planned and managed the installation of a network of over a thousand ATMs, including addressing the technical and security risks. Her areas of expertise include retail banking and liability management, credit appraisal including balance sheet and cash flow statement analysis, risk profiling and pricing, control and supervision of loans and stressed assets management. In all her senior Management roles, she was also responsible for formulating and implementing strategies to achieve business goals of the Bank. She has also been actively involved in the implementation of poverty alleviation programmes of the Bank, working in partnership with NGOs and community groups. Chitra holds a Master’s degree in Chemistry from India and an MBA from the US. She is also a certified associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers.

Arun Agrawal

Member

IFRI

Biography

Arun Agrawal

Arun Agrawal is a Professor at the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching emphasize the politics of international development, institutional change, and environmental conservation. He has written critically on indigenous knowledge, community-based conservation, common property, population and resources, and environmental identities.  He coordinates the International Forestry Resources and Institutions network, and is currently carrying out research in central and east Africa and South Asia. He is the author of Greener Pastures and Environmentality, and his recent work has appeared in Science, PNAS, Conservation Biology, World Development, and Development and Change among other journals.

Nighisty Ghezae

Member

International Foundation for Science

Biography

Nighisty Ghezae

Dr. Nighisty Ghezae is the Director of the International Foundation for Science (IFS). She has a B.A. in economics, an MSc in the legal and institutional management of water resources, and PhDs in natural water resources management, as well as international economics (focusing on the impact of the global economy on Africa and its development). She has more than 30 years of professional experience as a lecturer, researcher, senior network officer, training organizer, program and project leader, and evaluator. As a network officer with the Global Water Partnership she managed a number of integrated water resources management projects and led the work program of four regional offices in Africa and two in the Mediterranean. Serving as a Head of Programme at IFS, she’s coordinated its programme of activities, helped develop strategy and policy, oversaw research areas, coordinated and evaluated supporting activities provided to the IFS constituency, and supervised programme staff.

Michael Jenkins

Member

Forest Trends

Biography

Michael Jenkins

Michael is President of Forest Trends. From 1989-1999, he was the Associate Director for the Global Security and Sustainability Program of the MacArthur Foundation. Michael’s responsibilities with the Program included all grant-making in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as overarching program management. In 1998, Michael was in a joint appointment as a Senior Forestry Advisor to the World Bank. Before entering the MacArthur Foundation, he worked for three years as an agroforester in Haiti with the USAID  Agroforestry Outreach Program. Previous to that, he worked with a Washington-based development organization, Appropriate Technology International, as a technical advisor. In the late 1970s, Michael was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay working in agriculture, apiculture, and forestry projects. He has traveled and worked throughout Latin America, Asia and parts of Africa, and speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese, Creole, and Guaraní. Michael has contributed to a number of books and articles, and with Island Press published “The Business of Sustainable Forestry: Strategies for an Industry in Transition.” He holds a master’s of Forest Science from Yale University.

Samuel Nguiffo

Member

Centre for Environment and Development

Biography

Samuel Nguiffo

Samuel Nguiffo is a Cameroonian lawyer working on community rights/tenure in Cameroon and the Congo basin. He is the Secretary General of the Center for Environment and Development in Yaoundé, which he created in 1995 with the specific aim of realizing sustainable management of Central Africa’s forests. Samuel was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1999 for his efforts to protect the tropical rainforests of Central Africa.

Ujjwal Pradhan

Member

Biography

Ujjwal Pradhan

Ujjwal Pradhan was formerly the Southeast Asia Regional Coordinator for the World Agroforestry Centre, a research and advocacy organization headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. He is responsible for leading scientific teams, mobilizing resources, and building partnerships, as well as managerial oversight and reporting for the Centre’s operations in Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Ujjwal previously worked for the Ford Foundation as a Program Officer, in the field of environment and development in Indonesia, and in water resources development and policy as well as environmental justice in India. He has a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University in the U.S. and served on the International Steering Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)’s interim Science Council. At present, he serves on the Boards of both RRI and RECOFTC (also known as The Centre for People and Forests) in Bangkok.

Tapani Oksanen

Interim Chair

Former Indufor Oy, Finland

Biography

Tapani Oksanen

Tapani Oksanen began his career as a forest economist and expert in community-based small-scale forest industry development and extension, working for the FAO in Honduras and the highlands of Peru. In the early 1990s, Tapani held the position of Forest Adviser in the development department of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (then FINNIDA). His experience as a consultant includes clients such as the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Sida, Norad, the Nordic Development Fund, DFID, GTZ, the World Bank, IDB, FAO, UNDP, and the European Commission, with a geographic focus on Latin America, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia. He has held the positions of Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Indufor, one of the leading forest and forest industry consulting companies in Finland. From 2005 to 2007 Tapani worked as the Task Team Leader for the World Bank Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) Program. Tapani lives in Helsinki, from where he continues to engage in consultancy work as an independent adviser. He has M.Sc. degrees in forest products marketing and in the social economics of forestry from the University of Helsinki.

Andy White

Ex-Officio Member

Rights and Resources Group

Biography

Andy White

Andy White is Coordinator of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). He also serves as President of the Rights and Resources Group, the nonprofit coordinating mechanism of the RRI Coalition based in Washington, D.C. Prior to co-founding RRI in 2005, Andy served as Senior Director of Programs at Forest Trends and Natural Resource Management Specialist at the World Bank, as well as worked as a consultant to the International Food Policy Institute, Save the Children Federation, and the Inter-American Foundation. He has worked extensively in Haiti, Mexico, and China. As Coordinator of RRI, he advises policy research, advocacy, and engagement in Asia, Latin America, and Africa and leads initiatives and networks to advance RRI’s mission. His research and publications have focused on forest tenure and policy, forest industry and trade, as well as the role of forests, communities, and institutions in climate change. Andy has a PhD in forest economics, a M.A. in anthropology from the University of Minnesota, and a B.S. in forestry from Humboldt State University.

To learn more about governance of the Rights and Resources Initiative, see the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all Partners and the note on RRI Institutional and Business Arrangements.