Staff Bios

Poverty-Environment Facility

Anne Juepner is Co-Director of the Poverty-Environment Initiative and is based at the UN Development Programme's Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification in Nairobi. Anne brings over 20 years of international development experience with technical expertise in the areas of sustainable livelihoods, natural capital and ecosystems management, and drylands development. She has served as Coordinator of the Drylands Development Centre’s Nairobi Office since 2011. The Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification is responsible for supporting UN Development Programme’s efforts towards sustainable and inclusive development in the drylands, including providing support to the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Prior to this, Anne served as Team Leader, Business Development Unit, with the UN Development Programme Ethiopia Country Office (2008-2010); Resource Mobilization Advisor with the Bureau of External Relations and Partnerships (2005-2007), and External Relations Officer with the UN Development Programme Somalia Country Office (2001-2004). Before joining UN Development Programme, she worked with various non-governmental organizations in Kenya and Germany with a focus on small enterprise development and appropriate technology solutions. Anne is a German national and holds a Master's degree in Engineering from the Technical University of Freiberg, Germany.  She is currently pursuing her Ph.D at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Isabell Kempf is Co-Director of Poverty-Environment Initiative and is based at the Poverty-Environment Facility in Nairobi. She has more than 20 years of experience working with the UN, including UNESCO, the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean and with the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights. Isabell has widely published on the right to development, poverty reduction and economic, social and cultural rights and brings many years of experience in the area of project management and technical cooperation. She was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Global Governance Institute of the University College London in 2014.  Isabell has a B.A and M.A. from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and holds a Ph.D in International Economics and Development from the University Complutense of Madrid. She also has post-graduate degrees in Gender and Public Policy as well as Social Communication. 

Victoria E. Luque Panadero is Programme Officer responsible for donor relations management and focal point for gender. Victoria has worked with the Poverty-Environment Initiative since 2009 and has over 15 years of development work experience. Before joining Poverty-Environment Initiative, she worked for the Spanish International Development Cooperation Agency (AECID) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and for UN Development Programme in Brazil. Victoria has extensive experience with the UN system, including UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme and the International Atomic Energy Agency. In addition to  a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Development Studies from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences-Po), Victoria has a Diploma in International Commerce from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and  a Master’s Degree in English and German Philology.

Michael Stanley-Jones is Programme Management Officer responsible for communications and knowledge management at the Poverty-Environment Facility based in Nairobi. From 2009 to 2014, he served as Public Information Officer to the UN Environment Programme Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in Geneva.  Michael served as Environmental Affairs Officer with the UN Economic Commission for Europe in the Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention (1998) where he managed the Aarhus Clearinghouse for Environmental Democracy and served at principal officer to the Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (2003) from 2004 to 2009.  Before joining the UN, Michael served as California State Director of Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, chaired the Santa Clara Basin Watershed Management Initiative in California’s Silicon Valley region. He also served as an expert advisor during negotiation of the Danube River Protection Convention (1994). Michael holds a B.A. in Government from San Jose State University (California State University) and a Master of Arts of Politics from The Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. 

Shitaye Temam is Programme Management Assistant and supports the Poverty-Environment Facility on programme reporting, human resources issues and website support. Prior to joining the UN-Environment, Shitaye worked with the World Food Programme.  She holds a Master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Nairobi and speaks French.


Africa Regional Team

David Smith is the Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa Regional Manager. David is an economist from New Zealand with more than 17 years of experience within UN Environment and a long history of working on the Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa programme. 

Linda Ayiecha joined the Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa Regional team in the UN Environment Regional Office for Africa in May 2016 as a Programme Management Assistant. She joined UN Environment in 2008 as a Programme Assistant with UN Environment's Division of Global Environment Facility.   She has previously worked with various UN Funds and Agencies in Kenya and South Africa over the last 12 years.  She has a Master’s degree in International Relations and Contemporary Political Theory from the University of Westminster in London.  Linda speaks French and is a fitness enthusiast.

Jacinta Okwaro has joined Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa as Regional Advisor during the absence of Moa Westman on maternity leave.  Jacinta supports the Poverty-Environment gender programme.  Before joining Poverty-Environment Initiative, Jacinta was with UN Woman East and Southern Africa office.

Moa Westman is the Regional Advisor of Poverty-Environment Initiative Africa and country focal point for Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique. Moa has a Master’s degree in Political Science/Development Studies from Stockholm University.  Prior to joining the Poverty-Environment InitiativeI she worked as a Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for a major wind energy company in India.

Cherif Kane joined the Poverty-Environment Initiative as a Africa Regional Advisor and serves as he focal point for Poverty-Environment Initiative Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania, Before joining Initiative's Africa regional team at UN Environment Regional Office for Africa in Nairobi, Cherif worked for five years as the Team Leader of the Environment Unit at the UN Development Programme Mauritania Country Office.  He is familiar with mainstreaming poverty-environment, climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, disaster risk reduction and early recovery and sound management of chemicals into national and local development policies and plans including budget processes.  Before joining UN Development Programme Mauritania, Cherif worked for 10 years on issues related to integrated management of locusts, food security, nutrition and emergency aid with the World Food Programme, the German Cooperation, World Vision Mauritania and the National Centre of Desert Locust Control. Cherif holds a Master’s degree from the Ecole Nationale d’Agriculture de Meknes in Morocco (1995) and a Ph.D in Agriculture from Kenyatta University in Kenya (2004).

Asia-Pacific Regional Team

Ryan Meintjes serves as a programme analyst with Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia-Pacific in Bangkok. Ryan holds a BCom Honours in Economics and LLB from the University of Johannesburg. He is the founder and chairperson of Nutrisport Charity Organisation which aims to enhance longevity, healthy living and a well balanced life amongst disadvantaged communities.   

Prashanthi Subramaniam is a Communications Consultant with Poverty-Environment Initiative Asia-Pacific in Bangkok, supporting on country-based communication strategy, content production, outreach and knowledge management. Prashanthi holds an B.A. (Honours) in Journalism from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, and an M.Sc. in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science, specializing in international media, communications in developing and humanitarian contexts and interpersonal mediated communication.

Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States Regional Team

Nara Luvsan is a Senior Programme Officer for Poverty-Environment Initiative Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States and is located in Geneva.  Her career spans a 20-year period: five with the government of Mongolia in change management and partnership building; 15 years with the World Bank, UNICEF, UN High Commission for Refugees and UN Environment in eastern Europe and at headquarters overseeing policy and programme planning, capacity building, partnership building, monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining UN Environment, Nara worked in Tajikistan, Georgia and Turkey having extensive experience in managing poverty projects.  She has a strong personal commitment to environmental issues and integrating them into poverty reduction strategies. She has also worked extensively on sustainable development. Nara has a double Master’s degree in Economics and International Public Administration.

Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Team

Piedad Martin is the regional coordination for development officer for Latin America and the Caribbean of UN Environment. She supports UN Environment's contribution to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, its integration in UN system-wide development work, and the integration of environmental sustainability into country development strategies including UN Development Assistance Frameworks. She has been working for the UN for the past nine years, in Panama, Colombia and Mexico, focusing in the environmental, climate change and sustainable development agenda. Prior to that, she was part of the environmental team of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation both in Madrid’s headquarters and in its office for the Palestinian Territories. She was devoted to make linkages between the sustainable use of natural resources, human rights and poverty in the cooperation strategies with Mediterranean countries. Piedad is an environmentalist by training with a M.A. in Economic Development. She undertook her studies in Spain, the UK and the USA.   

Jaime Mira Salama is a programme officer for Poverty-Environment Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean based in Panama. He has been working for UN Development Programme for more than five years in different countries, formerly acting as poverty reduction official for the UN Development Programme in Mauritania, and has worked for a variety of public institutions including the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, the General Directorate of Planning and Evaluation of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs.  His professional experience has allowed him to work in a wide range of countries and with different civil society organizations and public foundations and other institutions worldwide - e.g. Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mauritania, Mali, Kenya, Peru, Paraguay, the Philippines, Senegal, Uruguay and USA - in sectors linked to sustainable development, livelihoods creation, environmental sustainability and poverty reduction. Jaime has degrees in Law and Economics, and a M.A. in International Development.

Matilde Mordt is the Regional Team Leader for UN Development Programme`s Sustainable Development and Resilience Cluster. Matilde has worked with the UN in Latin America and the Caribbean in different capacities and countries since 1991. Between 2011 and 2014, she served as Practice Manager for the Environment and Energy Group of the Bureau for Development Policy in New York, overseeing a dynamic global programme and policy portfolio.  Matilde has been a consultant in the areas of natural resource management and poverty reduction, environmental management, rural development and sustainable livelihoods, climate change, and municipal and local development. Between 2004 -2007, she was advisor for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for its Central American Regional Programme on Natural Resource Management and Environment. Matilde holds a Ph.D in Human and Economic Geography, a Master in Business Administration and International Economics, and a Bachelor in Social Sciences from Gothenburg University, Sweden. As part of her Ph.D, she studied at the Sustainable Development Doctorate Programme at the Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazônicos, Universidade Federal do Pará in Belem, Brazil. She has combined development work with research and lecturing on sustainable development, and has worked with several research centers in the Latin American region. She has collaborated in the formulation of several of UN Development Programme’s National and Regional Human Development Reports.

Gonzalo Pizarro is the Regional Policy Adviser on Poverty, Sustainable Development Goalss and Human Development at the UN Development Programme Regional Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama. Previously he served as the Policy Specialist for the Millennium Development Goals in the Millennium Development Goals Support Team at the Poverty Group of the Bureau for Development Policy of the UN Development Programme, where he, among other things, participated in the design and rollout of the Millennium Development Goals Acceleration Framework. Gonzalo joined the UN in October 2005 as Policy Advisor for Water Resources of the UN Millennium Project. Since joining the UN System he has focused on mainstreaming of the Millennium Development Goals in the National Development Strategies. He was part of the team which developed the Millennium Development Goals Acceleration Framework, and led the rollout of the Framework in several countries across the globe and thematic areas. Gonzalo has worked in countries as diverse as Belize, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay. Before joining the UN, he worked in the private sector as a consultant on Water Resource Management and Environmental Sustainability issues. Gonzalo holds a Civil Engineering degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a M.Sc. on Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D in Natural Resource Management from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from Columbia University, New York. 

Pilar Roman joined the Poverty-Environment Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean as a Junior Professional Officer (or, 'JPO') from the Spanish Government in November 2016. Pilar is an Agricultural Engineer who trained at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain. Pilar holds a MSc degree in Soil Sciences from the Swedish University of Agricultural Science and a diploma in Public Policy from Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales de Chile.  She has wide-ranging international experience in agricultural and environmental projects, including organic waste management, family farming, conservation agriculture, waste water reuse and rainwater harvesting. Prior to joining the Poverty-Environment Initiative, Pilar worked at the Joint UN Environment / Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Environment Unit as Associate Humanitarian Officer. Previously, from 2012 to 2016, she was based in Chile working at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), supporting development projects related to soil and water management in vulnerable communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has also worked in the private sector in Spain and the United Kingdom and did field work as a volunteer with Inter-American Development Bank in Guatemala. 

Juan Carlos Duque is part of the support team for the Poverty-Environment Initiative team in Latin America and the Caribbean, as a technical and administrative assistant since May 2016. Juan holds an MSc in Environmental Management from the Unversidad Interamericana de Panamá, where he was exposed to environmental project management skills that would widen his field of knowledge and prepare him for work at UN Environment. He has experience in the field with Global Brigades, as a volunteer in the environmental brigade for the province of Darien, as well as logistics work at Fundación Arvita, a reforestation foundation in Panama.