RRI fellowships are honorary positions enabling long-term collaboration with distinguished individuals.
Mr. Alain Diouf is currently a consultant leading the project for a faster implementation of the land reform for the Emerging Senegal Plan “Plan Senegal Emergent.” Recently, he was a senior consultant for the land reform process in Senegal. He has worked for decades on sustainable development, tenure and land reform issues, and in the fields of agroindustry and management of water resources. More specifically, he has worked on land tenure issues for the Senegalese government, the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Senegal, the US company ARD Inc., USAID, and for various private law firms. Additionally, he provided advice on land rights and tenure issues in Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, and Mozambique. Diouf was also an invited professor at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, the International University HECI, and the University Bourguiba (all located in Dakar, Senegal), as well as at the International Catholic University for West Africa in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Diouf received his BA and MA from the University of Cheikh Anta Diop (in 1990 and 1992, respectively) and his diploma of third cycle (PhD) from the same university in 1995. He has been an RRI Fellow since 2016.
Don Roberts has over 30 years’ experience as a financial services executive, investment banker and equity professional, and over 35 years of experience in the resource sector, including advising CEOs and Ministers in Canada and internationally, on financing and strategic growth in the resource sectors. He is recognized as a global thought leader in both the Forest Industry and emerging Renewable Energy Sectors. Don is the President & CEO of Nawitka Capital Advisors Ltd. Prior to starting Nawitka in 2013, Don was a Vice-Chair of Wholesale Banking, and Managing Director in Investment Banking with CIBC World Markets Inc. In this position, he founded and led the Bank’s cross-functional Renewable Energy & Clean Technology Team. He also provided senior coverage for companies in the global forest products industry. ?Don has a B.Sc. Agricultural Economics (Honors), University of British Columbia; M.Sc. Forestry Economics, University of California at Berkeley; MBA (Honors) and Doctoral Studies, International Finance & Economics, University of Chicago, and ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman School of Management. Don is also an Adjunct Professor in Forest Management at the University of British Columbia, Visiting Scholar of Clean Energy in the China Center for Energy & Development at Peking University, Mentor with the Pierre Trudeau Foundation, and sits on several profit and non-profit Boards of Directors/Advisors.
Dr. Doris Capistrano is Senior Advisor of the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) and a Senior Fellow of the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). She was Director of Forests and Governance at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a Visiting Professor in Forest and Conservation Policy of Wageningen University. She served as Ford Foundation Deputy Representative for India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, and was Program Officer for Rural Poverty, Resources and Environment in Bangladesh. She was a Post-doctoral Fellow in Tropical Conservation and Development at the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies, and was Instructor in Economics at the University of the Philippines at Los Banos. She has a PhD in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, USA. Dr. Capistrano has been involved in a number of international initiatives. She was Co-Chair of the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Working Group on Sub-Global Assessments and member of the MA Technical Panel. She has served on international advisory bodies and committees, including the Science Committee of DIVERSITAS and the Steering Committee of the FAO National Forest Programme Facility. She was Chair of the Founding Board of Directors of the Rights and Resources Initiative, was a Council member of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) and a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of the Commons. She served as member of the Advisory Committee of the 2015 World Forestry Congress and is a member of the Executive Committee of the FAO Asia Pacific Forestry Commission. She is Chair of the Board of Trustees of RECOFTC, the Center for People and Forests. Dr. Capistrano has published articles, book chapters and technical papers and has co-edited several books, including “The Politics of Decentralization”, “Lessons from Forest Decentralization” and “Bridging Scales and Knowledge Systems.”
Edmund Barrow grew up on one of Ireland’s first formal organic farms and was planting trees at the age of 6. This early practical experience has stayed with him and helped him focus on community level knowledge, institutions, rights, responsibilities and governance and learning from and with the rural people he has worked with. These areas have been an underlying aspect of all the work Edmund has been involved with. Edmund studied Natural Sciences in Trinity College Dublin, and has a Master’s degree in drylands development from Antioch University. He has worked in 20+ countries in Africa and globally for over 40 years. Edmund is currently a consultant in community based natural resource management and governance. Prior to this, he was Director of IUCN’s Global Ecosystem Management Programme with responsibility for IUCN’s global work on Ecosystem based Approaches to Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction, IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems, and Drylands. Edmund has extensive working experience with sustainable development in different ecosystems (drylands, forests, agriculture, pastoralism), with a lot of practical field experience – especially at the local community and village levels. He has been very involved in ecosystem (especially forest) restoration, participatory approaches to conservation (planning, implementation and learning), and governance (with respect to issues such as institutional choice, representation, action learning, power).
Hans Gregersen is a Professor Emeritus of the College of Natural Resources and Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, where he joined the faculty in 1970. He worked on the Technical Advisory Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) from 1991 until his retirement in 2006. Most recently, he has carried out an assessment of the World Agroforestry Center’s progress in implementing the recommendations of its most recent External Program and Management Review. In 2006 and 2007 he carried out a major assessment of the FAO global forestry program, as part of the major Independent External Evaluation of the FAO. His technical work deals with environmental and natural resources policy and economics issues, with a particular focus on integrated watershed management, forest and water management and policy, agroforestry and sustainable development. He has worked on these issues with numerous international institutions, including on staff at the FAO, as a long-term consultant to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank. In 2000 and 2001 he served on the World Bank’s Advisory Committee for its evaluation of World Bank forest policy. He has led numerous studies and published more than 180 works on natural resource policy, economics, evaluation, forestry, watershed management, sustainable development, agroforestry and social forestry.
Ing. Humberto Campodonico Sanchez is an industrial engineer and has a Master in Economic Development at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University. He is currently working as a professor at the Faculty of Economics at the National University of San Marcos. He has been linked to the Center for Studies and Promotion of Development (DESCO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), as a researcher since 1984 and as a consultant in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Since 2002 he is chief columnist for the newspaper La República. In 2010 he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Economics of the University San Marcos. Between July 2011 and December 2012 he served as chairman of Petroperu. Humberto has been working with RRI since 2013 in supporting the coalition in Peru, Latin America and globally. He has written books and scholar articles about privatization, the public sector, hydrocarbons, and state reforms. He is a Fellow of the Rights and Resources since 2016.
Dr. Leticia Merino studied Social Psychology, Sociology, Population and Development, Social Anthropology and Environmental and Forest Studies at the National University of Mexico; FLACSO-Mexico; Colegio de México; the Center for Development Studies, Kerala India and the Workshop for Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. For 30 years she has been working in the field of rural studies, with forest communities and communities’ federations. Her research has focused on: communities’ governance of forests; forest sustainability; tenure and property rights; and forest and conservation policies. An important academic effort of the last decade is the diffusion of the Commons Theory and policy approach in Mexico and Latin America: she translated into Spanish Elinor Ostrom’s seminal book “Governing the Commons” and coordinated the translation and technical review of Ostrom’s last book—co-authored with Amy Poteete and Marco Janssen—“Working Together. Collective Action, the Commons, Multiple Methods in Practice.” In 2004, she organized the X Biennial Global Conference of the IASC, held in Oaxaca, México, the first—and until now only—bilingual IASC Conference. She is full time professor at National University of Mexico (UNAM) teaching at the Postgraduate Programs of Social Sciences and Policy and Ecology. She has been invited professor at FLACSO-Guatemala, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, el Colegio de México, the University of McGuill, the University of Manitoba and Colegio de San Luis, Mexico. From 1994 to 1997 she represented Mexico at the Program for Communities and Environment of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation. She has been consultant for the Ford Foundation, CONABIO, the Congress of the Union of Mexico, FAO and the World Bank. In 2003, she received the Award of Agrarian Studies from the Ministry of Agrarian Reform of Mexico; in 2006 the Highest Level of the National Research System (SNI III); and in 2008 the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity of Mexico from the National Commission for Biodiversity and the University of Jalisco. She has been a member of the IASC since 2000 and a member of the IASC Executive Council since 2004.
Liz Alden Wily is a political economist with 40 years practice as a tenure specialist in 20 agrarian economies, in mainly Africa. She works as an independent facilitator and researcher, from community to cabinet office levels, and is an acknowledged expert on Indigenous/customary ownership regimes. She has been a prominent advocate of legal recognition of customary rights as registrable property rights for 30 years, devising accessible constructs for collective ownership by communities within which family rights are nested. She has been a leader in piloting community-based land, forest and pastoral governance regimes, and in challenging needless retention of protected areas as government or public property where unacknowledged customary possession offers a more effective and fairer path to conservation. Liz’s commitment to community property began early when she worked with San hunter-gatherers in the Kalahari in Botswana and learned first-hand the perils of absent legal recognition of land rights and the consequences of weak empowerment, as stronger societies encroached San territories. This led her to establish one of the earliest minority land rights programs (1974-78), and eventually, after also working in Indonesia and Zambia, to return to school to study the political economy of property for a PhD. Liz focused in the 1990s on forest tenure, including piloting the first community-owned and managed forest reserves in Africa (Tanzania, 1994-2002). Liz has also developed innovative reforms in several post-conflict states (Liberia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sudan/South Sudan). She continues to contribute informally to constitutional and land law reforms and supports community-led litigation challenging dispossession with technical briefs. She continues to work directly with communities, now mainly in Kenya where she lives, mentors a number of INGO, NGO and CBO programs elsewhere, and contributes to several regional and international initiatives in the now well-established community land rights sector, of which she has been part from the outset. Liz has been an active supporter of RRI since its establishment, its first nominated Fellow, and after a break from 2017, is now pleased to rejoin its ranks as a new Fellow.
Madhu Sarin has been working on forest tenure reform in India for the last 15 years. Combining grassroots work with policy analysis and advocacy, her primary focus for over 3.5 decades has been on gender- and equity-sensitive community empowerment and the democratization of natural resource governance. Sarin was a member of the Technical Support Group constituted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs which drafted the Indian Forest Rights Act passed by Parliament in 2006. Since then, together with Campaign for Survival and Dignity(CSD) and other movements, she has been involved in pushing for proper implementation of the law.
Margarita Florez is a lawyer with expertise in environmental law issues, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), forest policy, as well as Afro-descendant and Indigenous collective tenure. She is currently the Director of the Environment and Society Association (AAS), a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the promotion and defense of human and environmental rights, and has been a Collaborator of RRI at the Latin America regional level since 2010. Margarita has over 30 years of experience across the Latin American region promoting innovative and critical reforms in public environmental, forest, and tenure policies. She has led review and monitoring processes for the implementation of international environmental and human rights agreements which have benefited the participation of civil society and community based organizations in decision-making on environmental and collective tenure rights. In the 1980s, she accompanied the consolidation of the regional Indigenous organization in southern Colombia and advised its land reclamation projects. During the creation of the new Constitution of Colombia in 1991, Margarita promoted and served as an advisor on the inclusion of issues of environmental law and collective tenure for Afro-descendants, as well as supported the participation of Indigenous leaders in the constitutional process. She worked closely with the first two Indigenous senators in Colombia to support their sponsorship of laws on natural resource management and rights of Indigenous Peoples. She served as an attorney for the national system of parks and protected areas and produced the first draft proposal for Colombia’s forest certification standard. She has brought her extensive knowledge of environmental issues and rights to serve as a civil society representative and observer in the implementation of the CBD and in the Inter-American Development Bank. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Third World Network (Malaysia) and the Third World Institute (Uruguay), as a member of the Crucible Group II organized by the International Development Research / International Plant Genetic Resources Institute / Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, and a member of the Reinventing Social Emancipation Group at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). She has authored and co-authored several books and countless articles, including studies on the social and environmental impacts of large-scale coal mining. Currently she is developing a regional study for RRI on the impacts of the extractive industry on collective territories and forests in Latin America.
Owen J. Lynch was a visiting professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law. Previously, he worked as a senior attorney and managing director of the Law and Communities and Human Rights and Environment programs at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) in Washington, DC, (1997-2006), and was a senior associate at the World Resources Institute (1990-96). He taught at the University of the Philippines College of Law (1981-88) and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (1991-2006). Lynch has been actively engaged for three decades in fostering public interest law careers in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. His substantive focus is on environmental justice, law, and sustainable development, and his special expertise is on community-based property rights (CBPRs) and their legal recognition in national and international law. He was a member of the executive council of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) (1998-2011 terms). Lynch is the author of many scholarly articles on Indigenous and other local communities, legal history, and CBPRs, as well as articles on policy advocacy. Owen earned a B.A. degree cum laude from St. Johns University (Minnesota) in 1975, a J.D. from The Catholic University of America in 1980, and Master of Laws and Doctor of Laws degrees with honors from Yale University in 1985 and 1992. His doctoral dissertation was titled “Colonial Legacies in a Fragile Republic: A History of Philippine Land Law and State Formation with Emphasis on the Early U.S. Regime (1898 – 1913),” and was awarded Yale University’s Ambrose Gherini (International Law) Prize in 1992.
Paul De Wit is an expert in land tenure reform with over 30 years of experience and working on land policy analysis and reform processes in 20 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Europe. He received formal training from University of Ghent in Belgium with a BSc in Agronomy and MSc in Tropical Soil Science. He has worked with a range of organizations, including the FAO, EU, DFID, USAID, MCC, World Bank, UN-Habitat, UNDP and the Right and Resources Initiative, amongst others. His work has provided pro-community/pro-poor rights advocacy campaigns with essential tools and his analyses have contributed to important legal and policy reforms in several countries. More specifically, Paul has worked with RRI on several projects. He conducted an assessment of the implementation of the Communal Lands Registry and Cadastre in Guatemala, conducted a scoping mission assessing forest and land tenure policy landscapes in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Currently, Paul is leading a research cluster for RRI’s Tenure Baseline Study in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Paul’s practical, hands-on approach and consistently high quality field work, coupled with influential positions advising UN and World Bank programs, provides new intelligence, operational savvy, and greater influence for RRI’s work at multiple levels.
Phil René Oyono is a rural and natural resource sociologist, with longtime experience in policy analysis and social theory in Central Africa. His research focuses on issues such as natural resource governance, conflict, institutional change, collective action, collaborative management, and other social aspects of forest and environmental management, with the purpose of disseminating knowledge to improve natural resource policy and problem-solving strategies. In addition to his contributions to RRI, René has conducted research and analysis for leading institutions such as CIFOR, WRI and USAID. He is currently leading a research program in Central Africa on the effects of REDD implementation on local democracy with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the University of Illinois.
Sally Collins served as the first Director of the USDA Office of Environmental Markets. She retired in August 2010. OEM continues to play an instrumental role in advancing markets for ecosystem services provided by farms, forests, and ranches across the country. As Director, Collins supported the USDA Secretary in developing uniform, science-based guidelines and the infrastructure necessary to create markets for carbon, biodiversity, and water. Collins has spent more than 25 years in natural resource management, working at the “field level” as a forest manager for 20 years prior to coming to Washington, D.C. Her last field assignment was Forest Supervisor of the 1.6 Million acre Deschutes National Forest. She served most recently as Associate Chief for the U.S. Forest Service, sharing responsibilities with the Chief for management of all of the 155 National Forests and Grasslands, providing support to tribal, state and private lands, and overseeing the International Program Office. She supervised an organization of over 40,000 employees and a budget of more than $5 billion. Under her administration, the Office of International Programs doubled in size due to an expanded partnership with USAID, a partnership that recognized the nexus between forest protection and human well-being. As leader of this work, Collins traveled to a number of countries to establish long-term partnerships. She worked with Gabon on the establishment of protected areas, and participated in the establishment of the Congo Basin Partnership. She worked on log tracking and enforcement in Madagascar, restoration in Vietnam, and tenure and governance in China (a country that recently completed some major tenure reforms of the forest sector). Collins currently works with Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) to help the largest forested countries of the world establish secure tenure arrangements and laws for their forested estates. For six years, she has served (and continues to serve) as Co-Chair of MegaFlorestais, an organization established to informally connect the top forest leaders in the world. The group has collectively shared and advanced issues around climate change, deforestation, illegal logging, REDD and associated markets (including the Amazon Fund) and tenure/governance issues fundamental to forest protection and poverty alleviation. In October 2010, she co-hosted Mexican and Brazilian Forest leaders in Montana on “Re-Thinking Forest Regulations Internationally.” Additionally, she works with RRI more generally to support their efforts in tenure and governance reform associated with REDD+ and with the establishment of protected areas around the world. Collins has received a number of awards and recognition for her work, including the designation as the Starker Lecture Recipient in May of this year from Oregon State University, and the 2010 Stan Adams Partnership Award from the National Association of State Foresters. She served on an advisory committee for Yale’s International Forestry Program, and has spoken extensively both nationally and internationally on climate change, REDD, and forest management, and carbon and other ecosystem service markets. She is most proud of her recognition by the communities in which she has worked as a person who effectively involves people in decision-making and her ability to establish creative partnerships to accomplish work. She received her BS from the University of Colorado and her Master’s from the University of Wyoming in Natural Resources Management and Political Science.
William Sunderlin is a Senior Associate with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Indonesia and an Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, New York, USA. He got his masters and PhD degrees in development sociology at Cornell University (1984-1993). In the period 1994-2006, he conducted research at CIFOR with a primary focus on the underlying causes of tropical deforestation, and on the well-being of people in forested areas. He then moved to RRI in Washington DC where he provided analytic support for documentation of global forest tenure (2006-2009). In the period 2009-2016 he returned to CIFOR to lead the subnational component of its Global Comparative Study on REDD+. In that capacity, he produced several publications on tenure and REDD+. In recent years he has been working with the Land Tenure Security Working Group to conduct analysis on tenure, human well-being, and conservation.
Jintao Xu is professor of economics and director, China Center for Energy and Development (CCED), National School of Development at Peking University since September 2013. Before that he served as department head and professor at the Department of Environmental Management, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University during 2006 and 2012. His research ranges from forest tenure and regulatory reform, forest carbon and water resource allocation, transportation, to assessment of industrial performance under environmental regulation. His academic papers appeared in AJAE, World Development, Land Economics, Ecological Economics, Forest Policy and Economics, and Environment and Development Economics. Currently he serves as associate editor of AJAE, senior editor for “Regional Environmental Changes” and on the policy board for “Environment and Development Economics”. Jintao Xu also heads the Environmental Economics Program in China (EEPC) based at Peking University, one of the six world centers sponsored by SIDA. With EEPC he is building capacity to conduct rigorous economic analysis into China’s environmental and natural resource policies. Jintao Xu has frequently been involved with policy consultations with national government and international organizations. During 2000-2004, he was coordinator of the forestry and grassland taskforce under China Council for International Cooperation for Environment and Development (CCICED), and helped formulate advice to Chinese government on polices to improve implementation of China’s ecological restoration programs. Recently, he served as senior expert to China’s forest carbon management program. He is a member of the Asia-Pacific Forest Policy Think Tank under FAO, member of the Council of Scientific Advisors, Global Adaptation Institute, as well as member of Blue Ribbon Panel for Global Partnership on Ocean. He also participated in the biannual Sino-US Economic Dialogue (Track II) organized by the National Council of US-China Relations and Peking University. Jintao Xu received his master of economics degree in 1996 and Ph.D. in forestry (natural resource economics) in 1999, both at Virginia Tech. In 1988 he was conferred master of agricultural sciences in forest economics at Beijing Forestry University. In 1984 he graduated with bachelor of engineering degree at Jilin University of Technology.
Yemi Katerere is an independent scientist working with the regional office of WWF Africa, supporting the strengthening of country offices in Africa including Madagascar. He previously served in various high-level positions such as Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Forestry Commission, Head of the IUCN regional office for Southern Africa and Deputy Director General of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). In 2009, he became the Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat. In this position he was closely involved in coordinating collaboration between the UN-REDD partner agencies, guiding strategic planning. Katerere has served on non-profit and private sector boards including as Chair of the ICRAF Board of Trustees, as non-executive director of the Wattle Company, chair of ZERO, a regional Network of environmental experts, and chair of The Programme Oversight Panel of the Aquatic Agricultural System. Katerere is a forester by training who holds a PhD in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho and has published extensively. In recognition of his contribution to forestry and development, he was awarded the Commonwealth Queen’s Award in 1993.