About Us: Staff
Michael is President & CEO of Forest Trends. In 1998 Michael was in a joint appointment as a Senior Forestry Advisor to the World Bank. From 1989-1999 he was the Associate Director for the Global Security and Sustainability Program of the MacArthur Foundation. Michael's responsibilities with the Program included all grant making in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as overarching program management. Before entering the Foundation, he worked for three years as an agroforester in Haiti with the USAID Agroforestry Outreach Program. Previous to that he worked with a Washington based development organization, Appropriate Technology International, as a technical advisor. In the late 70s, Michael was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay working in agriculture, apiculture and forestry projects. He has traveled and worked throughout Latin America, Asia and parts of Africa, and speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese, Creole and Guaraní. Michael has contributed to a number of books and articles and with Island Press published "The Business of Sustainable Forestry, Strategies for an Industry in Transition". He holds a Master's of Forest Science from Yale University.
Beto is the Director of Forest Trends' Communities and Markets Program. He was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where he obtained an AA degree in industrial chemistry from Escola Técnica Oswaldo Cruz and worked as an ecotourism guide in the Atlantic rainforest, while practicing nature photography and rock climbing. Borges holds a Bachelors of Science in Conservation and Resources Studies from the University of California, at Berkeley and a MBA in Strategic Leadership from Dominican University of California. Borges was the director of the Brazil Program at Rainforest Action Network for 9 years, promoting forest policies, community economic development and indigenous land demarcation in the Amazon region. He also worked for Aguirre International evaluating environmental programs for AmeriCorp-USA during President Clinton's administration and was the manager of sustainable harvesting at Shaman Pharmaceuticals, developing drugs based on the ethnobotany of rainforest medicinal plants. As the executive director of Adopt-A-Watershed he worked on watershed conservation through placed-based learning methodologies. Borges was a program officer with the Goldman Environmental Foundation, selecting finalists for the Goldman Environmental Prize and evaluating project proposals for funding. His additional involvement in philanthropy is in his current role as a board member of Global Greengrants Fund and former co-chair of Grantmakers without Borders. Borges has also consulted for Aveda Cosmetics, Conservation International, Instituto Terra, Occupational Knowledge International, and Wildlife Conservation Network, among others. He is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Rebecca is the Manager of the Communities and Markets Initiative. Her work focuses on community involvement in developing payment for ecosystem services schemes. Rebecca has a Master's Degree in Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability with a certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor's degree from Juniata College in Environmental Science and Policy. Prior to coming to Forest Trends, Rebecca worked in a rural community in Ecuador, teaching community members how to keep their children safe when applying pesticides. Rebecca speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Arthur Werneck is the Associate for the Communities and Markets Initiative, where he works with partners in South and Central America on community involvement in understanding and developing payment for ecosystem services. Arthur has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Wesleyan University, where he studied in the Science in Society Program. He is a dual citizen of Brazil and the United States and speaks fluent English, Portuguese, and Spanish.