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

Tapani Oksanen

Chair of the Board

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.

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.

Margaret Anne (Peggy) Smith

Treasurer

Lakehead University, Canada

Biography

Margaret Anne (Peggy) Smith

Peggy is a Registered Professional Forester with the Ontario Professional Foresters Association. She has taught Policy and Legislation in Natural Resources, Environmental Assessment, Aboriginal Peoples and Natural Resources and Natural Resources Development and Aboriginal Peoples in the Faculty of Law. Her research interests have focussed on the social impacts of natural resources management, especially Indigenous peoples’ rights, community forestry, public participation, northern development, and forest certification. Peggy is a member of the Forest Stewardship Council’s Policy and Standards Committee and a member of FSC Canada’s Standards Development Group. Peggy continues her longstanding affiliation as Senior Advisor with the National Aboriginal Forestry Association, an Indigenous-controlled non-profit organization with the goal of increasing Indigenous participation in the forest sector.

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 is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences 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.

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.

Chris Jochnick

Member

Landesa

Biography

Chris Jochnick

Chris Jochnick is a global land rights expert and social entrepreneur with decades of experience in international development. Chris joined Landesa as CEO in August 2015 after leading Oxfam America’s work on corporate engagement including shareholder engagement, value chain assessments, and collaborative advocacy initiatives.  Chris spent seven years working in Latin America, devoting much of that time to addressing threats to indigenous peoples’ land rights. Prior to Oxfam, Jochnick worked as a corporate attorney with the Wall Street law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, on corporate governance and social responsibility issues.

Anne Larson

Member

Center for International Forest Research

Biography

Anne Larson

Anne M Larson conducts research on multiple aspects of forest and landscape governance policy and institutions, including property rights, climate change, decentralization, indigenous territories and gender, from local to international scales. Her current work includes developing research strategies, projects and methodologies; fundraising; supervising and conducting research; writing and editing books, reports, article, briefs and more popular materials such as illustrated training manuals and flyers in indigenous languages; networking with policy-makers, NGOs and grassroots organizations for impact; and project management. She is also a member of the council of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC, 2014-16).  Current research priorities include opportunities and challenges for forest tenure reforms; women’s rights to land in communal forests; and multilevel governance, REDD+ and low emissions development. She coordinates fieldwork for CIFOR in Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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.