Earthmind maintains a network of experienced Associates to support the sustainability requirements of its clients and partners. Scroll down this page for more information on our Senior Associates.
Francis is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthmind. He has over 20 years of international experience in sustainable development and business. Professional strengths include strategic thinking, programme development, project management, technical analysis, policy dialogue, applied research, and executive training. Previous experience includes:
- Oxford: as the CEO of Earthwatch Institute (Europe) managed a unique partnership programme with a group of 40 large multinational corporations
- Geneva: as the Senior Economist for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) set up its Economics and Business Units, including undertaking a feasibility study with the IFC on biodiversity finance in Africa
- Nairobi: worked for the African Wildlife Foundation under a UNDP/GEF grant to build biodiversity economics capacity in East Africa
- Johannesburg: set up Eco Plus, an innovative consultancy focused on business and the environment, and advised on the economics of dune mining and the reintroduction of lions
Francis has a PhD and MA in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Diploma in Integrated Environmental Management from the University of Cape Town. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), World Commission of Protected Areas (WCPA), Species Survival Commission (SSC), and Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social policy (CEESP). Also see: linkedin.com/in/vorhies
Sam is a geologist whose primary focus is in resource economics. An expert on the various “peak oil” arguments and methodologies, his interest extends to the strategic outlook for alternative energy sources for the economy. In addition to fossil fuels, his geological approach encompasses all natural resources, especially water. Over the years Sam has worked for major international oil companies, industry consulting groups and then founded his own consulting company.
Because his work requires significant data analysis, he is particularly competent in computer data management. Clients have included banks, environmental NGOs and international organizations. Sam’s geology degrees are from Yale and Harvard. He supports the work of Earthmind by providing a deeper understanding of the challenges of making energy sustainable in the context increasing demand and diminishing supply.
In the late nineties, Jan worked for 4 years as an ecologist with one of the first carbon sequestration reforestation projects in the world, the Ecuadorian Programa PROFAFOR, which was set up to offset the emissions from a new Dutch coal-fired power plant through tree planting in the Ecuadorian Andes.
Jan then moved to Oxford, UK, where he worked for 10 years with carbon market pioneer and leading carbon project developer EcoSecurities, heading the carbon forestry department. Jan and his team were responsible for originating a forestry project portfolio, bringing it through the carbon offset certification process and assisting the Commercialization Team to sell the resulting credits in the carbon markets. In this function he assessed over 30 projects on their carbon market feasibility and brought numerous projects through the process.
Jan is a Dutch biologist who graduated in tropical ecology at the University of Amsterdam. He speaks fluent English, Dutch, German and Spanish and has working knowledge of Portuguese and French. Since October 2010, Jan has an independent consultant based in Oxford and working under the name of Value for Nature Ltd.
Sheldon’s long term objective is to create solutions at the forefront of engineering and business to make the world sustainable for all, and he previously worked for Earthmind as a Junior Associate on the implementation of the GDI and the design of the pilot platform for VCAs.
His work experience includes environmental education, engineering consulting, working for Canada’s federal environmental agency, as well as working for Canada’s Department of National Defence. The last few years of his career have focused on designing effective strategies to engage individuals and companies into investing in sustainability, with a particular interest in ocean issues.
Sheldon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering with a specialisation in Environmental Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He continues to support the development of the VCA Platform from his home in Canada.
Sarah is the Director of Operations for A Rocha International, an NGO which engages in scientific research, environmental education and community-based conservation projects in 19 countries worldwide. She has over 20 years of international experience in both the environment and development fields with an emphasis on biodiversity, business and conservation. Sarah specialises in project cycle management, research and evaluation and has proven experience across trade, education, ecotourism, forestry and agricultural sectors. Currently, Previously experience includes:
- in Geneva, consultancy partnering with public, private and not-for-profit organisations worldwide
- in Geneva, advisor for ICTSD on oversight and evaluation
- at Chester University, lecturing in geography and international development studies and founding/ co-directing the ‘Global Perspective’-a grass roots initiative in development awareness, environmental education, and advocacy.
- in Cajamarca in the rural Andes, Peru, working for PROESA- an Integrated development project in natural resources management
Sarah has an MSc in Environment and Development Education from South Bank University of London, PGCE in Environmental Science from Garnett College, Greenwich University, and a BSc Hons Geography and Natural Science from Kent University. Sarah has collaborated with Earthmind on corporate due diligence reports for IUCN, the evolution of the Green Development Initiative, and piloting the VCA Platform. She is also a board member of the Earthmind non-profit association in Switzerland.
Aurélien is an environmental and development economist with various work experience with NGOs, a development bank and the public sector. He has lived and worked in the USA, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and France – providing policy analysis and programme evaluation and conducting environmental and economic assessments. In Jamaica, he conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the Portland Bight Protected Area management plan based on an economic valuation of its ecosystem goods and services within a local non-profit organization. He worked as an economist for the French Development Agency in Guadeloupe on the production of publications on the macroeconomic and international trade dynamics, sectoral challenges and sustainable development issues facing each region of the French Antilles.
More recently, he coordinated the initial economic and social assessment of the use of marine waters and of the costs of ecosystem degradation for the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive in France. Aurélien holds a MSc in International Development and Environmental Policy Analysis (High Hons) from the CERDI at the University of Clermond-Ferrand in France and studied during his first year of masters at the University of Virginia, USA. He also has a BA in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Lyon II.
His work with Earthmind has focused on the economics of biodiversity including financing mechanisms and policy incentives.
Stephanie Presber James
Stephanie specialises in the economic, legal and political aspects of conservation, with an emphasis on effective incentives for protected area management performance. She is the Director of LiNC (Linking Nature and Culture), dedicated to improving conservation performance outcomes for managed natural assets, cultural assets, or both, particularly through the use of innovative financial mechanisms. Previously, she worked for the Global Heritage Fund as Project Leader for the “Saving Our Vanishing Heritage” initiative and for the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Her published works on “An Institutional Approach to Protected Area Management Performance” have served as the basis for the CBD’s Incentive Measures for Conservation and Sustainable Use; IUCN’s Research Program on Biodiversity Conservation Incentive Measures; the OECD’s Expert Group on Economic Aspects of Biodiversity Conservation; and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands work on incentives. Her institutional approach also provides the analytical foundation for “The Politics and Economics of Park Management” and has informed numerous related publications.
Stephanie has a PhD in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, a MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
She is a senior member of the GDI team which is currently piloting the VCA Platform.
Julian is a senior diplomat with extensive experience of working with international organisations, NGOs and the business community. He has worked in Malawi, Egypt, Latin America, the Balkans, and as Minister and Deputy Permanent Representative at the UK Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. His experience includes:
- Leading the UK Delegation to the World Trade Organisation Doha trade negotiations for 4 years (2005 -09). Elected Chairman of the WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements
- Leading the UK Delegation to the UNCTAD XII Ministerial Conference, Accra, 2008
- Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy, Zagreb, 1995 – 97
- Policy experience in the Former Yugoslavia (1993 – 2000), South Africa (1991 – 93), the Middle East (1987 -91) and Latin America (1983 -87)
- Strategic management of a global asset portfolio, including considerable interface with the private sector
- Development planning in Africa as a Fellow of the Overseas Development Institute (1981 -82)
Julian specialises in international negotiation, conflict resolution and stakeholder management. He is a Development Economist by training, having a Masters degree in Economics from Sussex University and a BSc in Politics and Economics from Bristol University.
With Earthmind, Julian played a central role in the GDM 2010 Initiative and the subsequent Green Development Initiative which conceptualised and designed the pilot VCA Platform. He is also a member of the current VCA team.
Till is CEO of Green Destinations and previously worked as an economist for Credit Suisse and several international organizations including the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In 2006, he founded Green Destinations, a property development company that specializes in master planning resource-efficient property and designing ecologically-sound urban areas and cities. Green Destinations also assists land operators in the agricultural sector with concepts regarding resource efficiency, application of clean technology and sustainable farming as well as hotels in their effort to become more environmentally friendly.
Till studied economics at Oxford University and Cambridge University, and was a fellow at Harvard University. He is the Chairman of the Environmental Committee of the Swiss Business Council and founder of the Swiss Environment Initiative.
As an Earthmind Associate, Till has supported the work of the Green Development Initiative in particular through organising and participating in expert meetings and consultations.
Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes
Michael is a sustainability economist, with unique experience and understanding of the role of markets for biodiversity conservation. He has been actively involved in various private conservation initiatives for 25 years, starting as a financial manager of a private game reserve in South Africa. Michael conducted pioneering research into the role of private markets for wildlife conservation in Southern Africa, and worked with Francis Vorhies in setting up Eco Plus, an innovative consultancy on business, economics and the environment.
His consulting experience includes work on issues as varied as energy policy, environmental impact assessments, trans-frontier conservation areas, wildlife trade policy and institutional reform in protected area management. Past clients include the World Energy Council, USAID, WWF, TRAFFIC International, Africa Resources Trust and Save the Rhino International. He has also written extensively on various conservation issues, especially relating to trade in endangered species, and has been involved with teaching and supervision of students. He has also worked and published with several think tanks, including the Free Market Foundation, Institute of Economic Affairs Environment Unit, Property and Environment Research Center and the International Policy Network.
Michael completed his BCom (Hons) at the University of the Witwatersrand and his MSc in Environmental Resource Economics at University College London under Professor David Pearce. He also has a diploma in integrated environmental management from the University of Cape Town.
Michael is supporting Earthmind’s new initiative to establish an online information platform for sustainable wildlife trade.