CEC Steering Committee Members

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The CEC Steering Committee is appointed according to the IUCN Statutes and Regulations and assists the Chair and Deputy Chair in guiding and coordinating the activities of the Commission. 


Sean Southey

Sean Southey - Commission Chair

Sean is now in his second term as Chair of the IUCN CEC and is also President of Zamia. He is deeply committed to community empowerment and using creative media to facilitate powerful social change.

Margareth Otieno

Margaret Otieno - Deputy Chair

Margaret is a passionate hands-on environmental education professional. After graduating from the University of Nairobi, Margaret began her career as a Development Officer with the Anglican Church of Kenya.

Katalin Czippan

Katalin Czippan - Strategic Advisor and Nature Education for Sustainability Co-Chair

Katalin Czippán works for the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management (ANL) as the international coordinator of the ELENA project. 

Cheryl Charles, CEC Member

Cheryl Charles - #NatureForAll Co-Chair

Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., is an innovator, author, organizational executive and educator. Cheryl is the Co-Founder, President and CEO Emerita of the Children & Nature Network (C&NN). She currently serves as a consultant to the Network, coordinating the Network’s international activities.

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Karen Keenleyside - #NatureForAll Co-Chair

An ecologist by training, Karen has over thirty years’ professional experience in the environmental field in Canada and internationally, both in the private sector and with the Canadian government. 

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Daniela Benavides - #NatureForAll Co-Chair & Oceania Regional Vice Chair

I straddle the environmental and communications building fields. In my role as Director of Conciencia, I witnessed first-hand the power of storytelling, and came to understand that I could play a role in bringing great storytelling into environmental constituency support and community building work.

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Firas T. Abd-Alhadi - Nature Education for Sustainability Co-Chair & West Asia Regional Vice Chair

Firas T. Abd-Alhadi is a communication specialist with 25 years of experience in designing and implementing communication and promotion strategies/plans. He currently works as the Head of Insurance Awareness Divion at the Insurance Administration / Ministry of Industry & Trade of Jordan.

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Luis Camargo - Nature Education for Sustainability Co-Chair & South America Regional Vice Chair

Luis Alberto Camargo is Founder and Executive Director of Organización para la Educación y Protección Ambiental (OpEPA - Colombia & USA), Co-Founder fo The Weaving Lab, Core member of Regenerative Communities Network and Founder of Colombia Regenerativa, and Director at Thundra Outdoors. 

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Carlos Estrada - Co-Chair of Youth Engagement and Intergenerational Partnerships & Mesoamerica Regional Vice Chair

Fundraising Coordinator, Fondo de Conservación El Triunfo A.C. Carlos currently works in the El Triunfo A.C Conservation Fund (FONCET), an organization with the main objective of contributing to the conservation of the Protected Areas of the state of Chiapas.

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Ana Valerie Mandri - Reimagine Conservation Co-Chair

Ana has worked for the non-profit sector for over 19 years. She has successfully led efforts ranging from supporting Indigenous and rural communities with communication, marketing and commerce strategies, to creating financial mechanisms to ensure conservation programs.

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Diana Garlytska - West Europe Regional Vice Chair

Diana Garlytska, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee at CoalitionWILD is a young expert who over 8 years of her career in academia has taught in more than a dozen of countries across Europe and Asia. 

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Tommy Garnett - West and Central Africa Regional Vice Chair

Tommy Garnett is a dual citizen of Ireland and Sierra Leone, with a background in Agricultural and Development Economics. Following completion of post-graduate studies in the former USSR, he began his career in 1984, as a high school teacher in Kenya, where he taught Agriculture and Mathematics.

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Kenza Khallafi - North Africa Regional Vice Chair

Mrs. Khallafi is currently the Partnerships Officer and responsible of the education for sustainable programs at the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental protection, a non-profit organization based in Morocco that takes action by raising public awareness and education on sustainable development.

Hanying Li, IUCN CEC Steering Committee

Hanying Li - East Asia Regional Vice Chair

Hanying Li is a passionate development professional with a strong interest in environmental education, communications and public campaigns gained over a period of 21 years. Her professional career includes 15 years of experience working in China on policy advocacy, communications and fundraising. 

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Eva Ndamono - Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Vice Chair

Eva is from Namibia. She is the Founder & CEO of Zadeva Investments, an agribusiness in blue economy specializing aggregating, processing, and distribution (locally and regionally) of fish and shellfish products. 

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Marie-Phillipe Ouellet - North America Regional Vice Chair

I’ve always lived my life with one foot in the country and one foot in the city, but when I moved to Quebec City for my studies, I finally found the perfect blend of city life, water, and wilderness. This is the moment when I realized that being close to nature was a priority for me. 

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Vasanti Rao - South and Southeastern Asia Regional Vice Chair

Dr (Ms) Vasanti Rao is the Director General of CMS (Centre for Media Studies) - a research based think tank in India. She also directs CMS VATAVARAN – Asia’s largest international film festival and forum on environment & wildlife. 

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Aleksey A. Zavarzin - Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Vice Chair

Dr. Zavarzin currently is deputy director of the N.I.Vavilov All-Russia Institute of Plant Genetic Resources in St. Petersburg – the oldest and one of the three top plant gene-banks in the World. Dr. Zavarzin is responsible for the Institute’s international collaborations, education and training.

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Camila Perez - Programme Officer

Camila Perez Gabilondo, an Argentine national, joined IUCN in 2018 as Programme Officer for the Commission on Education and Communication. Before joining IUCN, Camila worked in External Relations for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for six years.