Vice President for National and International Conservation Programs
Sarah Laskin serves as the Vice President for National and International Conservation Programs at the National Wildlife Federation, leading the organization’s work to implement national and international programs in the cause of conservation and to integrate these with regional program work. Laskin is an accomplished leader and facilitator with over 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations on global programs in conservation, science, public engagement, and storytelling.
Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, Laskin spent 16 years at the National Geographic Society in their Science and Exploration Programs. There she served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for Science and Exploration. Prior to joining National Geographic in 2000, Laskin spent five years working on ocean, coastal, and fishery policy issues in the Clinton Administration.
Laskin has a master’s degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard.
Vice President for International Conservation and Corporate Strategies
Barbara serves as the Vice President of International Wildlife Conservation and Corporate Strategies at NWF. She is the Chair of the International Board of the Forest Stewardship Council, the preeminent eco-label for wood and paper products from sustainably managed forests, and formerly chaired the Board of Directors of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, which is the equivalent certification organization for biofuels and bio-based products.
Before joining NWF, she served as legal advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and as an environmental lawyer in private practice.
Barbara earned a J.D. from George Washington University, and a B.A. from George Mason University. Barbara has lived in Latin America for almost 5 years and speaks both Spanish and Portuguese.
Nathalie Walker, Ph.D., is Director, Tropical Forest and Agriculture at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). She has over 15 years of experience in researching and addressing drivers of tropical deforestation, working for the NWF, the Global Canopy Programme and Oxford University’s Department of International Development. Although she started her career working in tropical forests, recognizing that the greatest threats to forests often lie far outside of them, Dr. Walker has focused her work in recent years on the private sector, civil society and government initiatives to reduce deforestation.
As manager of the Tropical Forest and Agriculture project, Simon Hall leads NWF’s work on cattle and soy in Latin America. He is the liaison to the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) as well as the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS). As the lead natural resource economist, Simon provides strategic guidance in the application of economic decision making tools and market-based approaches to conservation. Prior to joining NWF, Simon worked on land use change and agriculture expansion in frontier regions of the Brazilian Amazon as a researcher and consultant with Salisbury University and North Carolina State University.
As manager of the Tropical Forest and Agriculture Project, David Burns leads NWF’s work on palm oil, most notably in Southeast Asia, providing strategic counsel as a member of the High Carbon Stock Approach Steering Group and as lead liaison to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. David also follows the international climate negotiations for NWF, focusing on land use, avoided deforestation (REDD+), and agriculture. Prior to joining NWF, David worked on land use finance and policy at the World Bank and as a consultant.
As Senior Coordinator, Hillary Fenrich works to facilitate the work of our international team particularly regarding the support of projects on cattle and soy in Latin America. Prior to joining the National Wildlife Federation, her career focus of sustainable conservation projects led her to manage a field station on the edge of Manu Biosphere Reserve in Peru and explore the heart of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Consistent hand-on collaboration on projects regarding tropical forests has given her a strong understanding of the local and global impacts of tropical deforestation.
Sustainable Agribusiness Specialist
Francisco works to engage the private sector and obtain commitments to only source deforestation-free cattle, toward a sector-wide solution. He is based in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil, and built his career working for the agribusiness companies, financial sector, cooperatives, and as a consultant. Since 2013 he has worked with sustainable development, especially at soy and beef markets, and participates at the Round Table for Responsible Soy – RTRS and both the Brazilian and Global Roundtable for Responsible Beef – GTPS and GRSB. Francisco graduated Agronomist in 1995, MBA in Agribusiness Market in 2000, both at ESALQ – USP, and Environmental Leadership Program at University of California, Berkeley, in 2015.
Mariana Empis is a member of the National Wildlife Federation’s International Wildlife Conservation team as the Communications Coordinator for the Tropical Forests and Agriculture project. She works in facilitating internal and external communications and supporting the team’s efforts to reduce deforestation and land conversion associated with the production of agricultural commodities, namely beef and soy. Mariana received her BA from American University in 2016, followed by her MA in Environment and Development from King’s College London.
As the Coordinator for Tropical Forests and Agriculture, Julia Jeanty fosters support from the private sector and government for multi-stakeholder efforts aimed at developing, strengthening and expanding zero-deforestation palm oil, soy, and cattle supply chains. Prior to this role, Julia was the International Wildlife Conservation Fellow, a position in which she worked to maintain and expand the social media presence of the International Team and supported her team in improving U.S. international policy on climate change and tropical forest conservation. Julia is a 2018 graduate from the University of Florida with a dual degree in Environmental Geosciences and Sustainability Studies, as well as certificates in Geospatial Information Analysis and Meteorology and Climatology. Prior to joining NWF, she served as general manager of Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant, and worked for several geoscience organizations.
Corporate Engagement Specialist
Rafael joined the International Wildlife Conservation team in 2019 as a Corporate Engagement Specialist. He has developed strategic solutions for several sectors in Brazil, including leather, footwear, furniture and jewelry. Rafael has over 20 years of experience working in the leather sector, and has been involved in leading global projects promoting the development of various industries. His passion is to foster new collaboration strategies that support the innovation of processes and products in order to create sustainable transformation, competitiveness, market access and social value.
Rodrigo Dias Lopes
Agribusiness and Livestock Specialist
Rodrigo Dias Lopes works engaging beef companies in Brazil to develop deforestation / conversion-free supply chains. He began his career working in large supply companies for the agribusiness sector as well as in some of the largest meatpackers in the world, and has over 7 years of experience in sustainable cattle ranching in the Amazon region. Rodrigo trained as a zootechnician and graduated from the University Gammon in Paraguaçu Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil.
Katiuscia F Moreira
Katiuscia works to provide technical support to NWF agribusiness projects to improve traceability and supply chain management systems performance. She is based in São Paulo, Brazil and she has over 7 years of experience in providing technical analysis for the agribusiness sector, working with larger companies and cooperatives utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing images, Webgis platforms and big spatial database management systems to implement and improve strategies for environmental regulation of land use and coverage of rural properties. Katiuscia is a forest engineer and graduated from UNESP-Paulista State University with post-university studies completed at FATEP-Piracicaba Technology University in georeferencing of rural and urban properties.
International Data and Research Fellow
As the International Data and Research Fellow, Emma Grier provides research and data analysis support to the National Wildlife Federation’s International Wildlife Conservation team. Emma graduated from the University of Maryland in 2020 with dual degrees in Biological Sciences and Environmental Science and Policy. While at the University of Maryland, she worked as a research assistant for a spatial ecology lab, and spent time in the Kayapo Indigenous Territories in the Brazilian Amazon, studying the role of indigenous groups in conservation efforts.