LEADERSHIP

Alain Frechette

Director, Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement

Biography

Alain Frechette

Alain Frechette, PhD, is the Director of Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement at RRI. He has over 25 of experience in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change—focusing on international development for the better part of the last two decades. Alain began his career with state and provincial forest and protected area agencies in the United States and Canada before pursuing strategic consultancies with multilateral organizations, development agencies, and NGOs such as IUCN, DFID, the World Bank, and various UN institutions across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Alan Landis

Chief Operating Officer
+1 202 552 7572

Biography

Alan Landis

Alan Landis has been advising, building, and growing enterprises in the DC area for more than 20 years. He specializes in organizational change, managing rapid growth, and aligning long-term vision with operational prioritization. Alan joined Rights and Resources Initiative in early 2018 as Chief Operating Officer (COO) where he will lead efforts to align the work of the programs, administration, and fundraising teams. Alan recently left the anti-human trafficking field where he managed all operational, programmatic and administrative teams as Polaris Projects’ Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Polaris, Alan served as a senior leader at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public where he worked directly with the founder and senior leadership on numerous initiatives including technology products, fundraising, and recruiting senior talent. Prior to joining Ashoka, he was the Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Development at the Corporate Executive Board where, he oversaw product development, R&D, acquisitions, alliances and business line management. He also established and developed the company’s corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer management program.

Andy White

Coordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative
+1 202 470 3890

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.

Carole Carlson

Director, Finance & Administration
+1 202 470 3982

Biography

Carole Carlson

Carole contributes to the institutional operations of RRG, the nonprofit coordinating mechanism of the RRI Coalition based in Washington, D.C., to ensure that they effectively and efficiently enable the RRI Partner, Collaborator, and program staff’s work to achieve tenure reform. Before coming to RRI, she worked for nearly 20  years in public accounting, specializing in nonprofit organizations. Carole is a Certified Public Accountant and also holds a master’s degree in business administration, with a specialty in international business.

Claire Biason-Lohier

Director, Coalition and Strategic Networks

Biography

Claire Biason-Lohier

Claire Biason-Lohier is the Director of the Coalition and Strategic Networks Program at Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). She joined RRI in 2011 and played various roles within the organization. She now focuses on strengthening the RRI Coalition and enhancing and consolidating support to strategically relevant global and regional networks. Prior to joining RRI, Claire worked at the Academic Council on the United Nations System and at the Stimson Center. She has an MA in International Affairs and diploma in Political Science from the Institute of Political Science of Aix-en-Provence, France.

Kundan Kumar

Director, Asia Program

Biography

Kundan Kumar

Kundan has a PhD in Resource Development (2010) from Michigan State University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Forest Management from Indian Institute of Forest Management (1990). He worked with NGOs and the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India on community forestry, bank financing of forestry projects, watershed development, and micro-credit. He has also been closely involved with social and environmental mobilizations in India, including the enactment of India’s landmark Forest Rights Act. Prior to joining RRI in 2014, he worked as a faculty member at University of Toronto for five years, teaching and conducting research on forest governance (specifically forest tenure), environmental justice, and social movements. He has published work in natural resources governance, forests and land tenure, and social and environmental movements. He speaks English, Hindi, and Odiya.

Omaira Bolaños

Director, Latin America & Gender Justice Programs

Biography

Omaira Bolaños

Omaira Bolaños is the Director of the Latin America & Gender Justice Programs at Rights and Resources Initiative.  She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida. Omaira has 23 years of professional experience throughout Latin American working on topics related to Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant communities’ collective tenure rights, sustainable development, gender justice, watershed management, community forestry, forest policy, community-based conservation, applied research and capacity development. She has developed research on Indigenous Peoples land rights struggles in the lower Amazon Brazil and Community forestry in Bolivia. In the last seven years, she has worked to strategically prioritize and support the regional afro-descendant movement in consolidating their collective tenure rights. She joined RRI in 2009.

Patrick Kipalu

Director, Africa Program

Biography

Patrick Kipalu

Patrick KIPALU coordinates and leads RRI’s engagement in Africa. He has strong background in natural resources management and human rights in Africa. He has experience supporting civil society organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa, including on human rights, natural resources exploitation (lands, forests, and mines), and climate change. Prior to joining RRI, Patrick worked as Country Manager for Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Before that, he worked for the Africa Program at Bank Information Center (BIC), and for the Equity and Governance Program (EGP) at World Resources Institute (WRI). Patrick has a Master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy from the American University (AU) in Washington DC, and a bachelors’ degree in Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources Management from the University of Kinshasa in DRC. He speaks English, French, Lingala and Kikongo.

STAFF

Alejandra Zamora

Peru Facilitator

azamora@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Alejandra Zamora

Alejandra is a forest engineer and comes from Loreto, a region of Peruvian Rainforest. She has worked in various regions of her country on forest management issues related to forest concessions, wildlife monitoring, remote sensing, creation of protected areas and ecological zoning. For four years, she was part of Peru’s technical team of the project “Monitoring Forest Cover in the Amazon Region”, an initiative of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO). As part of the “Global Comparative Study on forest tenure reform” conducted by CIFOR, she facilitated a series of participatory workshops between native communities, civil organizations and government; in addition to researching the problematic around native and Afro-descendant communities in Peru and Colombia. Since 2018, she is part of the RRI Latin America Program.

Alpha Ousmane Sarr

Accounting Manager

asarr@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Alpha Ousmane Sarr

Anne-Sophie Gindroz

Southeast Asia Regional Facilitator

asgindroz@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Anne-Sophie Gindroz

Since July 2014, Anne-Sophie Gindroz has worked as the RRI Facilitator for South East Asia and is based in Indonesia. Before joining RRI, she worked as Country Director in Mali and Laos for HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation for 10 years. She has also worked for SDC, the European Commission, the ICRC, and Swisscontact. Anne-Sophie has been engaging in the Aid and Development Effectiveness process, focusing in particular on creating an enabling environment for civil society. She has also been advocating for the resource rights of communities challenged by extractive industries and industrial plantations. Anne-Sophie has a law degree and holds a master’s degree in Development Studies.

Arvind Khare

Senior Advisor

akhare@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Arvind Khare

Bryson Ogden

Associate Director, Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement

bogden@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Bryson Ogden

Bryson leads the coordination and generation of analytical work in RRI’s Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement portfolio, with a focus on the connections between business, tenure, and the environment. Prior to joining RRI, he worked as a portfolio manager and equity analyst, covering the energy sector. He also consulted for the Kenya Forestry Research Institute in Nairobi. Bryson holds a B.S. in International Business from the University of Arkansas, an M.P.A. in Environmental Policy, and an M.S. in Applied Ecology, both from Indiana University.

Carolina Ronconi

Officer, Digital Communications

cronconi@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Carolina Ronconi

Carolina is a member of RRI’s communications team as Digital Communications Officer since August, 2019, being responsible for managing the website, digital strategy, social media and RRI brand. She has been working as a Social Media Strategist since 2014. Being a specialist in Business Administration and Health Systems and Services Management, she worked as Special Project Manager in the public health sector in Brazil. She has a B.S. from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo and 15 years of professional experience in communication solutions.

Chloe Ginsburg

Senior Tenure Analyst

cginsburg@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Chloe Ginsburg

Chloe has supported RRI’s tenure data collection and analysis since joining RRI in March 2015. She also contributes to the Rights and Climate theme. She received her B.A. in environmental policy and politics from Drake University with a concentration in primate studies. During her undergraduate studies, she spent a semester in northeast Thailand studying social and environmental justice in the face of development and conducted field research on a chimpanzee population in Gishwati National Park in Rwanda.

David Kroeker-Maus

Research Associate, Tenure Tracking

dmaus@rightsandresources.org

Biography

David Kroeker-Maus

David Kroeker-Maus has worked on RRI’s Tenure Tracking team since May 2019, supporting the collection, analysis and management of RRI’s tenure data, and providing support and guidance to other research initiatives. David has previously worked in Haiti, as a journalist and researcher; in Uganda, as a consultant for various development organizations; in the US, as a research assistant at the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, and as a regional organizer at Bread for the World; and now in Montreal, Canada. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from Bethel University (Minnesota, US) and an M.A. in Environment and Development from King’s College London (UK).

Eric Teller

Senior Associate, Coalition and Strategic Networks

eteller@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Eric Teller

As the Coalition and Strategic Networks Senior Associate at RRI, Eric facilitates collaboration with, and among, RRI’s broad network of Partners, Affiliated Networks, and Fellows. Prior to joining RRI, he provided logistical and operational support to the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, the Andes Amazon Fund, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Eric holds a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University. While pursuing his Bachelor’s degree, he completed an ethnographic research project investigating the politics of NGO-Indigenous Community partnerships to restore community-managed native forests in the Peruvian Andes.

Johnathan Erves

Office Manager

jerves@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Johnathan Erves

Joseph Bono

Manager, Coalition Governance and International Engagement Coordination

jbono@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Joseph Bono

Prior to joining RRI in July 2013, Joe held positions with the European Parliament as well as with several national and international electoral campaigns. As Chief of Staff to a Member of the European Parliament, he drafted legislative proposals on rural development policy, alternative energies, and diplomatic initiatives between the European Union and the governments of East Asia. Before his time in Europe, Joe operated as a Project Manager for capital development programs in the New York City region.  Joe has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The State University of New York at Purchase.

Laura Valencia

Senior Associate, Asia Program

lvalencia@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Laura Valencia

Laura is part of the Asia Program as the Senior Associate. She comes to RRI with seven years of experience in South Asia working on forest rights and food sovereignty with social movements and non-profit organizations. She is currently pursuing her MA in Geography at the University of Toronto and has a BA in Global Development Studies from the College of Wooster. Her MA research focuses on India’s compensatory afforestation program and its impacts on shifting cultivators’ livelihoods and land rights in Odisha, India. Laura speaks Spanish and Hindi and has studied Kannada, Urdu, and Odia. She is grateful to her mentors for nurturing her commitment to feminist organizing and community-led social change.

Luke Allen

Officer, Strategic Communications

lallen@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Luke Allen

Luke has worked with RRI’s Strategic Communications team since August, 2016, and previously interned with the Tenure Facility. Prior to joining the Tenure Facility, Luke was a Lantos – Humanity in Action Fellow in the Office of U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks, where he worked on foreign policy issues with an emphasis on Europe and the Americas. He previously completed the Humanity in Action Fellowship program in the Netherlands, where he studied and wrote on social justice issues in the Dutch context. Luke graduated from Macalester College in 2014 with a degree in international studies and political science. As a student, Luke’s interest in development led him to spend a semester abroad in Senegal, where he interned with a local development NGO. Before moving to Washington, Luke also worked in the field of immigration law in Minnesota and Iowa.

Matthew Gonzales

Grants Administrator

mgonzales@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Matthew Gonzales

Mayra Johana Tenjo

Colombia Facilitator

mjtenjo@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Mayra Johana Tenjo

Mayra Tenjo is a professional Public Administrator with a high capacity in planning, organizational analysis, management, and implementation of activities in the social and administrative fields. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in geography at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. For eight years she has worked directly with non-governmental organizations, with people in diverse professional settings of climate change, human rights, and extractive industries. She has worked as a consultant and junior researcher with RRI, Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y un Derecho Alternativos, Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad, and Derechos Diersidad y Selvas. In this capacity, she provided advice about climate, forest, and the collective rights of communities and analyzed information about the environmental and forest policy in Colombia, the REDD+ process, and climate change mitigation programs.

Minerva Scott

Finance Manager

mscott@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Minerva Scott

Peter Oesterling

Senior Associate, Latin America Program

poesterling@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Peter Oesterling

Peter Oesterling specializes in the nexus of climate change, environmental policy, sustainable development, and Indigenous Peoples, with interests in mountain and forest landscapes. He is a former Fulbright Public Policy Fellow with the Peruvian Ministry of Environment’s National Institute for Research on Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems, where he helped advance the development of Peru’s National Policy for Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems. He is a published author and holds a Master of Arts in International Development from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Rachel MacFarland

Operations Manager, Finance and Administration

rmacfarland@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Rachel MacFarland

Sandra León Bolourian

Senior Manager, Programs & Strategic Response Mechanism

sleon@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Sandra León Bolourian

Sandra León Bolourian is Senior Manager, Programs & Strategic Response Mechanism at RRI. She manages the Strategic Response Mechanism Program and is responsible, among others, for ensuring the integrity of collaborative agreements with Partners and Collaborators, as well as other agreements. During her tenure at RRI, Sandra has been responsible for the administration of the Tenure Facility and the Country and Regional Program (CRP), as well as overseeing the administrative systems for CRP and the Global Programs. Sandra is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in administration, human resources, external relations, event planning, and public affairs in large international organizations and smaller non-profits. Sandra came to RRI from the World Bank’s Latin America Social Protection program. Prior to that, and following a 14-year career at INTELSAT, an intergovernmental cooperative of over 147 nations, she worked at Calvert Foundation, a non-profit investing in disadvantaged communities. She holds an M.B.A. in international business and a B.A. in radio and television, with a minor in sociology from George Washington University. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.

Shannon Johnson

Associate, Africa Program

sjohnson@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Shannon Johnson

Shannon Johnson is the Associate for the Africa program. She has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Environmental Analysis and Policy from Boston University, where she spent a semester in Kenya and Tanzania to study wildlife conservation. She conducted research for her thesis in Northern Tanzania on impacts of climate change and adaptation strategies. Shannon completed two years of Peace Corps service in Benin before obtaining her Master of Development Studies from The Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. While a graduate student, she completed a research project for IOM about climate finance for environmental migrants as well as conducted fieldwork in Ghana about discourse and practice of REDD+. Prior to joining RRI, Shannon researched just transition for a low-carbon economy for United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, contributing to a report on Cities in Transition for COP 25. She speaks French, Bariba, and a little Swahili.

Stephanie Keene

Senior Tenure Analyst, Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement

skeene@rightsandresources.org

Biography

Stephanie Keene

Stephanie Keene is an attorney with a background in land tenure security, women’s rights, and corporate social responsibility, particularly in Africa. She has worked on issues of women’s land rights, gender-based violence, and social protection at the World Bank, and was previously an Associate with Covington & Burling LLP’s Anti-Corruption, Africa, and International Trade Controls practices. Stephanie has worked to protect the land rights of women-victims of illegal property seizure in Northern Uganda, and has served as a Princeton Fellow with the West African Regional Bureau of the UN World Food Program. Her field research and related reports include an environmental and human rights assessment of Indigenous People’s land rights within the context of a large-scale agricultural development project in Papua, Indonesia, and an assessment of Sierra Leone’s legal prohibition against child marriage.  Stephanie received her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, and her undergraduate degree from Princeton University.