RRI is coordinated by the staff at Rights and Resources Group, a non-profit 501c(3) organization based in Washington DC, United States.
Andy WhiteCoordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative
+1 202 470 3890
Prior to helping create and establish RRI, 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 and supervises policy research, advocacy and policy engagement Asia, Latin America and Africa. 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, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota, and a BS in Forestry from Humboldt State University. Andy is also the President of the Rights and Resources Group, the nonprofit coordinating mechanism of RRI based in Washington, DC.
Arvind KhareExecutive Director, Rights and Resources Group
+1 202 470 3891
Arvind is a natural resources management specialist with more than twenty years of experience in the non-profit, corporate and public sectors. During this period he made significant contributions to the critical examination of poverty-environment linkages, initiated a number of innovative rural development projects and was involved in social risk assessment of development investments in India. His work has also involved the development and analysis of policies in infrastructure, forestry, tribal development, social development and watershed sectors for the state and central governments of India, infrastructure financial institutions, private and public sector enterprises, non government organizations, bilateral and multilateral development institutions. He chaired the External Advisory Group of the World Bank on Forest Sector Strategy Implementation from 2005-2006. Arvind speaks fluent English and Hindi.
Luis ColomerChief Operating Officer
+1 202 470 3891
Luis joined RRG in September, 2013 as Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for overseeing, administering and coordinating the operations as well as managing and scaling the organization at an efficiency and budgetary level. He works alongside the board of directors, founders, and executives of RRG on developing its long-term strategy. Luis manages a wide variety of departments including human resources, finance, compliance, technology, and internal controls. He is responsible for ensuring that RRG performs in an optimal manner to fulfill its mission and to meet or exceed the requirements of its donors. Prior to joining RRG, Luis served as a director of strategy and operations across sectors and industries, with a diverse set of clients such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and its national laboratories, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI), MetLife, and Shaw Construction. Before that, he served with a Washington, DC-based fund-of-funds for five years, where he was assigned to the international equities group as a researcher and buy side analyst. Luis also has experience working with pro-bono clients such as The Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited, Demirden Design of Turkey, The Washington Opera, The National Ballet, and ProJet Aviation where he currently serves as an Advisory Board Member. Luis holds an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a dual major BBA in International Business and Marketing from Loyola University.
James Christopher MillerDirector, Finance & Administration
+1 202 470 3897
James Christopher Miller
James’ responsibilities include ensuring the sound and efficient financial management and operations of RRG, ensuring RRG compliance with donor and U.S. tax-exempt regulations, and coordinating the submission of required deliverables to donors, while mitigating legal and financial risk to RRI. Prior to joining RRI James worked within the Biodiversity Support Program at World Wildlife Fund, supporting community-based natural resource management programs in Asia and supporting efforts toward recognition of traditional and indigenous resource rights. He has also worked for Conservation International, assisting in compilation of a manual documenting their approach to conservation. James has an academic background in comparative and historical linguistics.
Janis Bristol AlcornDirector, Country & Regional Programs
Janis Bristol Alcorn
Janis Bristol Alcorn is a biologist and anthropologist, with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India, and served as Asia & Pacific Director for the Biodiversity Support Program at WWF from 1991-2001. She has worked for many clients, including USAID, InterAmerican Development Bank, The Christensen Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Global Diversity Foundation, CBD, UNEP, Forest Trends, and others. From 2001-2012, she also served as Program Advisor for Garfield Foundation´s biodiversity and sustainable development program in South America. Her expertise includes program management, project design, grant-making, technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation, and policy analysis. Dr. Alcorn is an Honorary Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Adjunct Professor at the University of Manitoba´s Natural Resources Institute; and past-president of the Anthropology and Environment section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA).
Jenny SpringerDirector, Global Programs
+1 202 470 3884
Jenny Springer is Director of Global Programs for the Rights and Resources Initiative, where she oversees global analysis, convening and communications that influence increased recognition of community land and resource rights around the world. Jenny has over 20 years of experience working on community-based natural resource management, tenure rights and poverty reduction, including broad-based experience across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Prior to joining RRI, Jenny was Senior Director for People and Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund-US, where she led WWF's policies and programs on indigenous peoples and rights-based approaches to conservation, and was a co-founder of the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights. A cultural anthropologist by training, she has conducted field research in South India and the Philippines, served in the Peace Corps in Ifugao (Philippines), and holds degrees from Harvard and the University of Chicago.
Solange Bandiaky-BadjiRegional Program Director, Africa
Solange Bandiaky-Badji is the Africa Program Director for the Rights and Resources Initiative. She leads the development of RRI’s strategy for engagement in Africa with a focus on tenure rights, building more synergies around new strategic analyses, and giving actors a more strategic understanding of trends, issues, options, and gender in Africa. She holds a PhD in women’s and gender studies from Clark University in Massachusetts, and Masters degrees in Environmental Sciences and in Philosophy from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal. She previously worked as the Regional Expert on gender and climate change for the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) and the UNDP/ BDP Gender Team in New York. Solange has published work on gender in relation to natural resource management, decentralization/local governance, forest and land reforms. She speaks English, French, and Wolof, one of the local languages of Senegal.
Claire BiasonManager, Networking Support
+1 202 470 3888
Claire BiasonClaire joined RRG in March 2011. She graduated from the Institut d\'Etudes Politiques in Aix-en-Provence (France) in September 2009 with a Master’s degree in European and International Affairs. Throughout her higher education, Claire has focused on development issues and human rights especially in Latin America and Africa. She maintains a keen interest in sustainable development principles and climate change issues and has been volunteering since 2007 for the French website www.GreenIT.fr. Prior to joining Rights and Resources, she interned at the Academic Council on the United Nations System and at the Stimson Center where she focused on the implementation of international health regulations and water scarcity issues. Claire is fluent in French, English, and Spanish.
Omaira BolañosRegional Program Director, Latin America
+1 202 470 3893
Omaira manages the Latin America Program, providing strategic support and knowledge on the socio-political context of the region in order to envision opportunities for RRI engagement. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Latin American Studies with a concentration in Tropical Conservation and Development both from the University of Florida. Her research included women’s participation in community forestry under the Bolivian Forest Program (BOLFOR) and Indigenous Peoples’ self-definition and land tenure rights claims in the lower Brazilian Amazon. Prior to joining RRI, Omaira worked extensively in development and community-based conservation, watershed management, gender equity, and indigenous peoples tenure rights throughout Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, El Salvador, and her native Colombia. In addition to Spanish she speaks fluent English and Portuguese.
Sandra Leon BolourianSenior Program Administrator
+1 202 470 3988
Sandra Leon Bolourian
Sandra Leon Bolourian is primarily responsible for the administration of the Country and Regional Program (CRP), and for overseeing and guaranteeing the administrative systems for CRP and the Global Programs. Sandra ensures the development and implementation of processes and procedures that will maximize the synergies among program areas, program delivery, and quality control and evaluation while fostering a success-oriented, accountable environment within RRG. She is a seasoned professional with over 20 years’ experience in administration, human resources, external relations, event planning and public affairs in large international organizations and small sized non-profits. 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. Sandra came to RRI from the World Bank’s Latin America region’s Social Protection. Prior to that, and following a fourteen year career at INTELSAT, an intergovernmental cooperative of over 140 nations, she worked at Calvert Foundation, a non-profit investing in disadvantaged communities. She is fluent in English, Spanish and French.
Meryl CohenGrants Administrator
+1 202 470 3899
Meryl is responsible for managing efficient procedures for RRG’s financial and other resources to ensure positive relationships with donors. She has more than four years of experience working in grants management, fundraising, and financial administration within international organizations and non-profits. Meryl worked most recently with Conservation International as Finance and Grants Coordinator and previously with the IMF in both its Budget office and African Department. She holds an M.A. in International Development, a B.A. in Political Science, and a graduate certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her academic studies were complemented by her work abroad, including capacity building with a rural community-based organization in Ecuador, coalition building for a government association in Spain, and community development projects in Bolivia.
Jenna DiPaolo ColleySenior Manager, Strategic Communications
+1 202 470 3894
Jenna DiPaolo ColleyJenna manages the Strategic Communications Program for RRI. She comes to the Rights and Resources Initiative from a consultancy at the U.S. Navy where she served as a Congressional & Public Affairs Coordinator. Prior to her time in the private sector, Jenna was a Fellow at the Alliance for Justice, a national alliance of human rights and civil liberties based nonprofits, where she managed the Alliance’s extensive online outreach and communications efforts. Additionally, Jenna has work experience in event coordination and income development. Jenna has and MA in International Affairs and Human Rights from the George Washington University’s Elliott School on International Affairs and a BA from Bucknell University. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C, she spent a year in Europe studying the efficiency and effectiveness of the world’s premier International Organizations.
Alexandre Corriveau-BourqueTenure Analyst
+1 202 552 8431
Alexandre Corriveau-Bourque is a Tenure Analyst with the Rights and Resources Initiative. He is currently managing and updating RRI’s various tenure tracking data sets, developing new methodologies to track community tenure globally, and leading the implementation of RRI’s Tenure Baseline Study in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Alexandre received a MA in Geography, from McGill University. His master’s thesis examined the mechanisms that perpetuate and mitigate land conflict in rural Liberia. He has worked in the past in various capacities with the International Crisis Group, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Geneva Center on Humanitarian Demining, and the Terra Institute on questions of post-war natural resource management, legal pluralism, large-scale land acquisitions, peace-building, and participatory development. He is fluent in English and French, and speaks some Spanish.
Ganga Ram DahalRegional Facilitator, Asia Program
+44 07 50 074 1367
Ganga Ram Dahal
A native of Nepal, Ganga holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agroforestry, a master’s degree in sociology and rural society, a Master of Science degree in international and rural development, and a PhD in forest governance and institutions in decentralization. As regional facilitator, he also works for the RRI partner organization, The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) in Bangkok, Thailand. His key areas of expertise include forest governance, institutional structure, tenure and resource rights, community based resource management and livelihoods, decentralization and devolution policies, and sustainable resource management. He is a native Nepali speaker and nearly native speaker of Hindi, and proficient in Bahasa Indonesia.
Boubacar DiarraRegional Facilitator, Africa Program
+223 76 45 55 45
Prior to joining RRI, Boubacar supported producer organizations at municipal, national and regional levels for the past 20 years. Since 2004 he has worked with various NGOs and collectives in and around Mali and West Africa, with a focus on the defense of human rights and political reforms, specifically among poor populations. He holds an MA in public law from the National School of Administration in Mali. He is fluent in French and proficient in English and German.
Nate DobbinAssociate, Global Programs
+1 202 552 8437
Nate DobbinNate Dobbin joined RRIin April of 2014 as a Program Associate for Global Programs. Prior to joining RRI, he served as the Program Coordinator of the Horizon Foundation in Trujillo, Peru, working to support access to education. He has previously interned with the South Africa-Washington International Program in Washington DC and the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs’ Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit at the US Department of State. He has a BA from the University of Maryland in Government and Politics, with a concentration in International Relations and Latin America. Nate is a Maryland native and speaks English and Spanish. He will be supporting the entire GP team with finance, administrative, and communications needs.
Shepherd Fru-NdiStaff Accountant
Shepherd is responsible for RRI’s general ledger accounting in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US-GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Best Accounting practices. He has more than six years of nonprofit accounting experience notably as Staff Accountant/Financial Analyst for Arundel Community Development Services (an Annapolis, MD-based affordable housing non-profit), and as Staff Accountant for Winter Growth (a Washington/Baltimore non-profit provider of services to the elderly). He recently provided financial advice to the Fru-Ndi Projects, working on development programs in parts of Cameroon. Shepherd holds an MS in Nonprofit & Association Management, BS in Business Administration and a certificate in Advanced Accounting from University of Maryland University College. He also holds an Associate degree in Computer Information Systems from Montgomery College, MD.
Misty JonesManager, Coordination & Operations
+1 202 552 8432
Misty's biography will be available shortly. Please check back soon.
Gaurav MadanAssociate, Asia Program
+1 202 470 3889
Karina NavasAssociate, Latin America
Karina joined RRG in April 2013, immediately after having finished her fellowship with Atlas Corps. During her fellowship she lived and worked with a vulnerable Afro-Colombia community outside of Cartagena, Colombia. Karina has a major in Latin American Studies, and a double minor in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Delaware. She has experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining RRG she managed three non-profits for Potomac Management Resources. She also volunteered at CARECEN and CentroNia. Karina is a Washington, D.C. native and bilingual in Spanish and English.
Jay NemeyerManager, Finance & Administration
+1 202 470 3887
Jay co-manages the development, integration, and maintenance of RRI’s institutional systems, policies, and procedures in Finance and Administration, including RRI’s sub-agreements and contracts portfolio, accounting system, methods of payment, Human Resources, and risk mitigation. Jay has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Drew University. Prior to joining RRI Jay worked as a marketing assistant at ProFund Advisors LLC, and an administrative assistant at Marsh USA.
Hortense NgonoRegional Facilitator, Africa Program
+ 237 99 63 82 39
Prior to joining RRI in November, 2011 she supported the unit for studies and projects at the National Support Agency for Forest Development (ANAFOR), where she developed projects and monitoring mechanisms to fight climate change. She holds a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Ngaoundere and a Diploma of Specialized Higher Studies (DESS) in Environmental Sciences from the University of Yaounde I, where her dissertation focused on multipurpose legumes on soil fertility in the northern part of Cameroon. She a native French speaker and fluent in English.
Bryson OgdenPrivate Sector Analyst
+1 202 552 8436
Bryson leads the coordination and generation of analytical work in RRI’s Strategic Initiatives portfolio and contributes to RRI’s Global Programs, 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 BS in International Business from the University of Arkansas, an MPA in Environmental Policy, and an MS in Applied Ecology, both from Indiana University. He speaks English and some French.
Maria Jose OlavarriaSenior Manager, Coalition Coordination & Development
+1 202 552 8435
Maria Jose OlavarriaMaria Jose Olavarria is the Senior Manager for Coalition Coordination and Development for the Rights and Resources Initiative. She leads the coordination of the coalition, helping to strengthen the secretariat’s communication with partners, build synergies and boost sharing of good practices. She is also responsible for scouting out opportunities to better catalyze RRIs achievement of its global goals through collaboration with other organizations in the public, private and civil sectors. Prior to joining RRI, Maria worked with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) and the World Bank as lead partnership specialist for a number of land and external outreach portfolios. She holds a graduate degree in Anthropology and is currently finishing a degree in Law. Maria is fluent in French, Spanish and English.
Mario OsorioSouth America Facilitator
Profesional con amplia experiencia de trabajo en diferentes áreas y responsabilidades en instituciones públicas y ONGs, en asuntos socio ambientales, relacionadas al manejo y conservación de recursos naturales, fortalecimiento y soporte político de organizaciones indígenas para la gestión de territorios indígenas y de grandes paisajes, con enfoques participativos y comunitarios y en coordinación permanente con organizaciones indígenas, gobiernos locales y sociedad civil, en el contexto de la Amazonia peruana.
Madiha QureshiSenior Associate, Production and Media Engagement
+1 202 470 3886
Madiha is responsible for effectively communicating key messages and vibrant representation of RRI on public forums and media, and providing internal communication support within the RRI coalition. She holds an MBA with a major in marketing from the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi, Pakistan. She has wide-ranging experience in nonprofit marketing communications, writing, editing and project management. Madiha co-managed communications for a leading nonprofit supporting formal education for her native Pakistan’s rural and slum-dwelling communities, and also worked as a freelance journalist. She continues to be involved in advocacy for promoting literacy in Pakistan. She was most recently senior editor at the Washington, DC-based publisher Columbia Books, where she led research and publishing for national nonprofit databases and other publications. Madiha speaks fluent English, Urdu/Hindi, and some Punjabi.
Johann RoldanAssociate, Networking Support
+1 202 555 7574
Johann RoldanJohan obtained his B.A. in Government with a concentration in Economics and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, College of Liberal Arts, in May 2013. He has interned at the Office of the Assistant Secretary General at the Organization of American States and the Council on Foreign Relations and worked extensively in both a research and programmatic capacity with the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at University of Texas. He is a native Spanish speaker, originally from Peru.
Jody SadornasAssociate, Social Media and Online Engagement
+1 202 470 3885
Jody SadornasJody has a B.A. in Classics from the University of Southern California and a Masters in International Affairs, with a concentration in Economic Development Policy, from the George Washington University. She has worked at a number of development organizations supporting women entrepreneurs in the developing world and social entrepreneurs globally. However, it was in working as a public affairs intern at US Embassy Athens when she found a real passion for communications, designing and leading the mission's social media strategy. Since joining RRI, Jody has utilized her social media and online engagement skills to substantially enhance RRI’s online presence. Prior to joining RRI, Jody lived and worked in Greece, where she co-founded a civil society organization promoting tourism to Greece, participated in archaeological excavations, and taught English. Jody speaks English, Spanish, and Greek.
Nana SangBenderAssociate, Africa Program
+1 202 470 3892
Nana SangBenderNana SangBender joined RRI in April 2014 as a Program Associate for the Country and Regional, Africa Program. Prior to joining RRI, she served as Program Coordinator at the International Youth Foundation in Baltimore, working to support USAID- funded projects in the DRC and Senegal on youth, entrepreneurship, business, agriculture, education, and health programs. She has interned with the Advocacy Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and various UN agencies. She holds a BA and an MA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in International Relations with a focus on Human Rights/Conflict Resolutions and Global Health. Nana was born in the DRC and was raised in both the DRC and the US. She speaks Kikongo, Lingala, Kimbunda, French, and English.
Jennifer SchenkAssociate, Africa Program
+1 202 470 3883
Jennifer joined RRG in May 2013. She graduated from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) with a MA in International Relations and has a BA in Political Science from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). Her graduate research focused on Civil Society’s participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council. Jennifer worked most recently with the U.S. Olympic Committee – Division of International Relations where she managed an International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program offered to 205 National Olympic Committees. Prior to joining RRG, she has worked as a consultant at the World Trade Organization – Division of Information and External Relations and interned at the United Nations Geneva Office within the NGO Liaison Unit, Office of the Director General. Jennifer is a native of Switzerland and is bilingual in French and English.
Annie ThompsonAssociate, Strategic Initiatives & Analysis
+1 202 470 3896
Annie ThompsonAnnie supports RRI’s Strategic Initiatives work analyzing land-based investments in the tropical forested world. She comes to RRI after a three year stint as an English teacher and later graduate student in France and Spain. As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, she majored in Spanish with a double minor in Environmental Studies and Business Administration. Following a year-long study abroad in Quito, she interned in the Chocó Rainforest region of northern Ecuador educating local coffee and cacao producers on sustainable agricultural practices. Annie is currently a master’s candidate in International Business at the University of Rennes in France. She speaks fluent English, French, Spanish and some Portuguese.
Ben TobiasAssociate, Operations and Event Logistics
+1 202 552 8434
Ben supports RRI’s event planning and travel logistics needs for the Coalitions’ major domestic and international seminars and conferences. Ben graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, with a concentration in international development and Latin American studies. Prior to joining RRI, Ben served as the Student Director of LIFT-DC, where he was responsible for community outreach and providing 1:1 social services to DC residents.