• About us

Our Team

  • About us

Our Team

Board of Directors

Dr. Geoffrey Heal (Chairman)
Professor of Social Enterprise and International and Public Affairs, Columbia

Geoffrey Heal is the Director of the Earth Institute’s Center for Economy, Environment, and Society. He previously served as Vice Dean of the Business School and managed the Executive MBA Program.

Heal studied Physics and Economics at Cambridge, where he obtained a First Class Honors degree and a Doctorate, and then taught at Cambridge, Stanford, Yale and Princeton, and held a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Sienna.

Heal’s research fields include the management of risks by financial markets, and especially the securitization of catastrophic risks and analysis of the systemic risks associated with the growth of derivative markets. He has worked more generally on the application of mathematical modeling techniques in economic theory.

Heal is a member of the Pew Oceans Commission (www.pewoceans.org), a Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists (www.ucsusa.org) and a Fellow of the Econometric Society.

Mr. Ruben Kraiem
Senior Counsel, Covington and Burling LLP

Rubén Kraiem, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, leads the firm’s Latin American practice, and was a co-founder of its Clean Energy and Climate Industry Group. He is an honorary trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council (having actively served on the Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2009) and a member of the Board of Directors of Resources for the Future, where he is the Chair of the Board’s Audit & Compliance Committee.

He is a graduate of Yale University, where he was awarded his B.A. degree in 1978, summa cum laude, and of Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. degree in 1981, cum laude and was an Articles Editor for The Harvard International Law Journal. 

“We attract and retain high-caliber, mission-driven professionals from around the world.”

“We attract and retain high-caliber, mission-driven professionals from around the world”

Team

Kevin Conrad
Executive Director

Kevin Conrad founded the non-profit Coalition for Rainforest Nations in 2004, where he remains Executive Director. He served as Ambassador and Special Envoy for Environment and Climate Change in the Department of the Prime Minister and National Executive Council of Papua New Guinea from 2005-2014.

TIME Magazine named Ambassador Conrad a “Hero of the Environment” and #1 for “Leaders & Visionaries”. UN Environment named him a ‘Champion of the Earth’ for Policy Leadership.

Kevin Conrad’s background is in investment banking and financial advisory services along with operational experience in both industrial and emerging markets working in agriculture, energy, sea foods, telecommunications, and textiles. He was raised in Papua New Guinea and subsequently earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California and MBAs from both Columbia Business School and the London Business School – receiving the ‘Distinguished Service Award.’

Federica Bietta
Managing Director

Ms. Federica Bietta is the Managing Director of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations. Ms. Bietta is an internationally recognized expert in the development of international agreements related to climate change and specific mechanisms that include emissions resulting from tropical deforestation.

She has held a leadership role in the Coalition’s REDD Program since its inception in 2008

Previously, Ms. Bietta was actively involved in the design and implementation of both the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank and the UN-REDD programme. Until December 2012, she led CfRN’s activities within the REDD+ Partnership, serving as this body’s inaugural Co-Chair in 2010.

Before joining the CfRN, Ms. Bietta worked for a major European bank and forged professional relationships with Fortune 500 Companies such as: Tyco, General Electric, ADP, AIG and IBM.

Raised in Italy, Federica Bietta earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Perugia. Ms. Bietta earned MBAs from Columbia Business School and the London Business School. 

Paul Chung
Chief Operating Officer

Paul is the Chief Operating Officer of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations with a professional concentration on fundraising initiatives and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change relations. Mr. Chung is a primary liaison between the CfRN Secretariat and the Coalition constituency, driving internal communications and negotiating strategy at all United Nations Climate Talks.

He works with the Board of Directors, Executive Director and Managing Director to lead external relations with donors, foreign governments, multilateral agencies, and civil society leadership. Mr. Chung oversees all teams that draft and finalize required operational and financial reports. His skills include strategic design, policy development, project management, installation of control frameworks, regulatory accountability, and risk management. 
 
Mr. Chung holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College and a M.Sc. in Sustainability Management, including a Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation, from Columbia University. In January 2018, Mr. Chung completed coursework for Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute USA.
Mark Grundy
Managing Director, Marketing & Communications

Mark Grundy is a Managing Director, Global Marketing and Communications. He brings 18 years of experience in public relations and communications within energy, environment and climate working for agencies, governments, corporations and non-profits in USA and Europe.

Before joining CFRN in 2020, he spent 10 years working for not-profits in energy. He was Managing Director, Global Marketing and Communications for the clean energy think-tank, Rocky Mountain Institute for six years. Prior to that, he was Director of Communications for Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, a market-based climate non-profit.

Mark also worked for Edelman Public Relations, where he was a Vice-President in the Corporate Social Responsibility Practice, New York. He provided strategic counsel, public relations and public affairs campaigns on climate and energy for Fortune 500 firms, governments and not-for-profits. Clients included: Coca Cola, PepsiCo, UPS, G.E., Starbucks, Danone, Canon, E-Bay and the government of UAE in its successful bid to host IRENA.

Mark started his energy and climate career as a Communications Officer with the European Commission’s Environment Agency, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to that, Mark taught English as a foreign language in Japan, Greece and Denmark.

Raised in UK, Mark Grundy earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Manchester Metropolitan University, Master of Education in English as a Second Language from Manchester University, and an MBA from Open University, London.

Paul De Noon
Director of Policy

Paul has been involved with CfRN since 2015 and joined the leadership team 2020. He brings 36 years of institutional investment experience and macroeconomic research.

Prior to joining CfRN, Paul worked at AllianceBernstein, a New York based Global Asset Manager, as a Senior Vice President and Fixed-Income Portfolio Manager. During his 28 year tenure Paul built the firm’s emerging market debt and multi-sector fixed-income products, having direct oversight of some $60 billion of client assets.

He also served on a variety of investment committees. He was elected to firm’s first Partner Class in 2010 and was then asked to spearhead the firm’s corporate responsibility initiatives, which included Responsible Investment and Diversity & Inclusion.

Paul was instrumental in the creation and still serves as an advisor to “ The Climate Change and Investment Risk” curriculum, which is collaboration between AllianceBerstein and Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Previously he was a vice president in the Investment Portfolio Group at Manufacturers Hanover Trust and an economist in the bank’s Financial Markets Research Group, where he was primarily responsible for analysis of monetary and fiscal policy. DeNoon began his career as a research analyst at Lehman Brothers.

He holds a BA in economics from Union College and an MBA in finance from New York University.

Michael Mitchell
Senior Project Manager

With a strong portfolio of successfully managed projects, Michael Mitchell got his start working in the non-profit sector. Since then, he’s been credited with many successful product launches, campaigns and organizational initiatives that have strengthened his skills in the field.

Michael graduated from Eastern Carolina University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. He has since acquired his certifications in Project Management from the National Project Management Institute, as well as the Agile Scrum certification, focusing on sustaining complex products and developing technologies.

Presently, Michael has 15+ years of initiating and delivering sustained results and effective change for a wide range of industries including marketing, manufacturing, production, design and consulting.

Leonardo Massai
Senior Team Expert

Leonardo Massai has 20 years of experience on international environmental law, climate change mitigation and adaptation, forestry, human rights and carbon markets.

Leonardo is Senior Advisor to the Coalition for Rainforest Nations –CfRN (www.rainforestcoalition.org) where he provides direct counsel, assistance, advice and training to all rainforest nations on international environmental law, climate change governance, mitigation and adaptation, transparency, carbon market, REDD+, climate compatible development plans and multilateral negotiations. Massai has also extensive experience in supporting developing countries in the preparation, submission and implementation of NDCs under the Paris Agreement.

Massai is also Associate Professor in EU Law and International Environmental Law, Climate Change Law at the Catholic University of Lille in France. Since 2014, Massai is Alternate Member of the Enforcement Branch to the Compliance Committee of the Kyoto Protocol (elected as representative of the Asia-Pacific group), where he will serve until 31 December 2021.

Massai has extensive experience in providing support to developed and developing countries on institutional arrangements, legislation review and capacity building on all matters related with the Paris Agreement.

Finally, Massai is Associate Editor of the Carbon and Climate Law Review where he contributes regularly on climate change law matters.

Thelma Krug
Senior Team Expert

Thelma Krug is a former researcher at the Earth Observation Coordination at the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil, under the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (MCTIC). She was elected Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the Sixth Cycle of Panel (October 2015 – October 2022), after having been co-chair of the IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories from 2002 until 2015.

She holds a PhD on Spatial Statistics from the University of Sheffield, UK. She has been Deputy National Secretary at the Secretary on Policies and Programs of Science and Technology at MCTIC; National Secretary at the Secretary on Climate Change and Environmental Quality from the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) and Director of the Department on Policies to Combat Deforestation under the Secretary of Climate Change and Forests at the MMA. For more than 15 years she represented Brazil in the negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with particular focus on issues related to land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); research and systematic observations; and reporting guidelines. Her main areas of interest are climate change and the role of deforestation, forest degradation and land-use change; REDD+; and national greenhouse gas inventories.

Milena Nino
GHGI Expert

She is Colombian, Environmental Engineer, with double Master Degree in Environmental Forestry and Agricultural Development; and 3 years of Doctoral research studies on forest carbon accounting in the Caribbean Region. She has 15 years of research and work experience in North-South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean Region. Her main skills and competences are on natural resources management; climate change mitigation and adaptation; REDD+; sampling and modelling of forests; biostatistics; integrated management of hydrographic basins and socio-economic assessment of environmental services. Algo good experience in team and project management. 

She joined CfRN team in 2016 as a REDD+ & GHG inventory expert to support countries on theimplementation of methodological guidelines set by the UNFCCC and the IPCC. Her support includes developing and training technical teams on calculation tools for estimating AFOLU GHG inventories, Forest Reference Levels, REDD+ Technical Annexes and updating NDCs. She has also participated in the QA/QC steering committees of countries to review National GHG inventory reports, FRELs, National Communications and BURs before countries submit them to UNFCCC.  

Her main goal has been improving understanding in how to harmonize the different reports under the Paris Agreement versus REDD+, and how all Forest-related mitigations actions should tell the same story, being as consistent and transparent as possible.  

 

Eloïse Guidi
GHGI Expert

Eloïse Guidi is a Greenhouse gas inventory and REDD+ expert under the Reporting for Results-Based REDD+ Project since 2017. She supports rainforest countries build capacity in the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories for the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector that follow IPCC Guidelines and are consistent with the UNFCCC decisions.

She also provides support on Forest Reference levels, REDD+ Technical Annexes and update of NDCs for the AFOLU sector. In the last few years, Eloïse has been working closely with the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Guyana. She has also provided support in Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Saint Lucia and Dominica.

Eloïse has a Master degree in Environmental Geosciences with a focus on Environmental Socials Issues from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She focuses on land rights and territorial policies.

Lucila Balam
GHGI Expert

Lucila is an expert in GHG Inventories for the AFOLU and REDD + sector. She has been part of the Coalition since 2019, working with countries in the development of their GHG inventories, UNFCCC reports, Forest Reference Levels, training and capacity building, among other activities.

With 10 years of experience, she has developed research, advisory and training functions on issues related to climate change, resource management and GHG inventories. She was part of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change of Mexico, where she coordinated the Inventory area of the AFOLU sector. Lucila is nominated for the Roster  Experts from UNFCCC and is preparing to participate as a reviewer. She is a Biologist with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law.

Yolanda Bulo
Senior Finance Officer

Mrs.  Bulo is the Senior Finance Officer of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations where she handles the Finance Department operations of the Secretariat in New York.  She assists and works closely together with the Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer and the Senior Program Officer.

Mrs. Bulo  maintains the Budgets, Cash Flow, Payroll, Government Grants and Private Grant reporting, abide by all tax laws, bank reconciliations, and assists in all Audits ( Internal and External).

Mrs. Bulo  reviews and approves all expense reports for remittance;  she also maintains the general ledger balances and oversees all other aspects of the Accounting office.

Mrs. Bulo has an intensive experience in finance.  Her background is in the non-profit sector.  She has managed and reported millions of dollars in Federal, State, City and County Grants. 

Ameeta Chinkan
Operations Manager

With twenty years of experience working at a private University in NYC. she is a resourceful problem solver who is adept and effectively assisting in a variety of trades. Ameeta was born in Guyana, South America, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York; and holds a MS in Human Resource Management.

Nicholas Conrad
Project Support

Nicholas is supports the technical team with greenhouse inventory training. He hails from the New York, with a background in biology, and a love of forests and conservation.

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