Global SAAC Bios
Currently there are eight Global SAAC Leaders. Read their biographies and contact them through the MDP Facebook page .
Adebimpe Olumide Aderounmu
Laurent Arribe, USA Representative
Danielle Bordon, Latin America Representative
Hilmy Ishak, Vice Chair
Amanda Joynt, Chair
Seth Marsala-Bell, Treasurer
Andres Roures, Europe Representative
Martand Shardul, South Asia Representative
Hannah Goh Shu Fen, East Asia
Pedro Zanetti, Latin America Representative
Adebimpe Olumide Aderounmu
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Adebimpe worked for DAVRI Nigeria for his field practicum. He also participated in the elections and advocacy for the Oyo State Electoral Commission. His professional interest is in Endogenous Development & Advocacy.
Laurent is a French-Singaporean alumni from UC Berkeley’s MDP. He currently works as an independent consultant for multilateral institutions. While at the MDP, Laurent focused on the Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) sector, and gained valuable skills in project management, data collection, and impact evaluation. He expanded his experiences by working on the FAO’s climate-smart agriculture team, and pursued numerous strategy consulting opportunities with external clients, such as USAID, Avaya, and Chevron. Today, he is passionate about inclusive economies and aims to concentrate his career on the intersection of ICT4D, triangular cooperation, and climate-resilience initiatives
Dani works in the oil and gas sector as responsible for the Environment and Sustainable Development in a company operating in several countries in South America, North America, Asia and Africa with a focus on minimizing operational impacts on local communities and on the environment by improving the quality of life of communities through income generation and local development. On the field practicum, Dani worked in the Amazon region evaluating the perception of small farmers on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the palm oil expansion. She has also worked on the Rio Resilient focused on the the píllar Low Carbon Economy / Circular Economy. Her main interest in the field of sustainable development is on projects for income generation in traditional communities that help fight poverty and environmental degradation.
Born in Mawanella, Sri Lanka, Hilmy Ishak graduated from the University of Peradeniya with a B. Sc. in Agriculture and followed it up with M. Sc. in Agricultural Economics. He is a Trilingual (both Written and Spoken aspects of English, Tamil and Sinhala) Professional rooted in Sri Lanka. After graduation, he joined a Private Sector Research, Consultancy and Training organization to design, develop and deliver customized solutions to both development and business sector of the country. He served this firm for 11 years, of which 05 years as its CEO. His diverse experience, in including all regions, in different sectors of the development paradigm motivated him to pursue higher studies having pillars of integrated approaches to sustainable development. Then, he completed his MDP from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 2014, becoming the top of the pioneer MDP cohort at this University. He is an ILO certified SIYB Master Trainer (helping to develop management skills of SMEs), Business Consultant, a GCAP trained Micro Finance Trainer and a Social Enterprise Advisor/Coach. Presently, he is a Business Consultant at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. He is presently interested in promoting equitable regional economic development, economic empowerment through SMEs and building resilient business entities in high risk areas.
Seth focused his research on learning the farmer perceptions regarding climate change, the strategies used, and how gender roles play a part in their perceptions of climate change. The research was conducted with campesino farmers in the Piedras River Watershed in Colombia. Most recently he worked for Energy Corps, a program under the AmeriCorps organization. AmeriCorps is a U.S. based national program that engages with local communities promoting community service and sustainability. His service included working in multiple low-income communities in Montana. The focus was conducting research and educating community members on energy saving and efficiency in farming practices. Other responsibilities included promoting sustainable agricultural techniques and teaching methods for season extension. Seth’s interests are centered on sustainable agriculture in regards to addressing climate change, and conducting ethnographic research.
Amanda Joynt is a MDP graduate from the University of Waterloo. She worked as an ecologist and development practitioner for 10 years before returning to complete her Masters Degree. Her MDP field experience involved working directly with the Ghanaian federal government agency (SADA) on strategic planning. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Waterloo in Human Geography with a focus on urban food security.
Andres Roure Cuzzoni
TCD& UCD, Ireland
Andrés Roure Cuzzoni is a MDP graduate from Trinity College – UCD. His background and focus on development has led him to work for UNESCO, the OECD and UNWTO. Andrés also worked for one year as Business Development Coordinator for an international NGO in Mozambique, and volunteered in Southern India for a local organization. Andrés is currently working as a Consultant at Mott MacDonald specializing in private sector development and entrepreneurship.
Martand is a Computer Engineer by training and a Global MDP alumnus. He works with the Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) initiative and the UN SE4ALL’s Capacity Building Hub co-hosted at TERI, New Delhi. He has over 3 years of experience in the areas of technology development, technology commercialization, social mobilization, awareness generation, fund raising, project monitoring and market creation for energy access. He has coauthored several articles and papers in the area of energy access and has been speaker at international conferences. He has also interned with CARE India and Husk Power Systems. Prior to joining the development sector, he has worked in the IT/Software sector in different roles on Java platform. He has been an avid advocate for inclusion of youth in the international energy access discourse and as entrepreneurs. In 2015, Martand was elected as the Representative for South-Asia at Youth Assembly of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). He is the Member of the Leadership Committee of Students and Alumni Advisory Council (SAAC) at Global MDP (hosted at MDP Secretariat, The Earth Institute, Columbia University).
Hannah Goh Shu Fen
Tsinghua University, Beijing
Hannah is currently a MID graduate from Tsinghua University, Beijing. After attaining her bachelor’s degree majoring in Foreign affairs at the China Foreign Affairs University, she combines her background in the foreign affairs field to assist her research on the global environmental issues linking with China and world. Her MDP experience involve working at the Royal Danish Embassy, Beijing at the Energy and Climate department, specializing in climate change conservation projects and campaigns.
My professional interests in the world of sustainable development is to develop the leadership skills which are going to be necessary to deal with the real 21st century problems and issues. Issues that will be solved not with business as usual techniques and thinking, but with innovative problem solving oriented approaches that take into account the complexity of the challenges we face. I believe our generation has a special role in this transition to a sustainable society, which will demand professionals that are prepared to deal well with multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. As I have a forester background, my interests range from sustainable management of tropical forests, including Non Timber Forests Products (NTFP’s), to the study and analysis of public policies related to the use of natural resources. I also have strong interests in protected areas, climate change, governance, ecosystem services and agroforestry.