Washington D.C. Office


J. Springer - TGER Photo: Jenny Springer Jenny Springer
Director, Global Programme on Governance and Rights  

Jenny Springer is an anthropologist with over 20 years of experience working on indigenous and community land rights, community-based natural resource management, and social dimensions of conservation. She joined IUCN as Director of the Global Programme on Governance and Rights in October 2018. In her previous role as Chair of the IUCN CEESP Theme on Governance, Equity and Rights, Jenny played a lead role in the development of the IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF). From 2013 to September 2015, she was Director of Global Programs for the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), where she oversaw RRI's global analytical and policy engagement work. Prior to joining RRI, Jenny was Senior Director for People and Conservation at the World Wildlife FundUS, where she led WWF's policies and programs on indigenous peoples and rights-based approaches to conservation, and was a co-founder of the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights. Jenny’s work on community tenure, natural resource management and poverty reduction includes broad-based experience across Africa, Asia and Latin America. She has conducted field research in South India and the Philippines, served in the Peace Corps in Ifugao (Philippines), and holds degrees from Harvard and the University of Chicago.


Profile picture of Cate Owren Photo: Cate Owren Cate Owren
Senior Gender Programme Manager

As Senior Gender Programme Manager of the GGO, part of the IUCN Global Programme on Governance and Rights, Cate supports management of staff and development and implementation of the team’s project portfolio, communications and knowledge products, and resource and partner mobilization, as well as policy and technical support internally and for IUCN’s wide range of members and partners.

Focused primarily on climate change, sustainable development and biodiversity themes, together with women’s rights and empowerment, women’s political participation, women’s organizing and networking, and gender equality advocacy, Cate has more than 15 years of experience working on policy processes and programme implementation at international, regional and national levels. She joined IUCN in 2013 after serving as the Executive Director of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), a women’s global advocacy organization based in New York, where she held various program positions prior. She has enjoyed a wide range of experiences in global processes such as UNFCCC, CSD, CBD, CSW, and Rio+20. In her capacity as WEDO’s ED, she served on the Advisory Boards of the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and was invited to be part of the Clinton Global Initiative, among other positions and opportunities.

Cate has traveled, lived or worked in more than 30 countries and has degrees in International Affairs/Socioeconomic Development (M.A., The New School), English Literature and Theater (B.S., Skidmore College). Prior to shifting activist hobbies toward being her professional focus, she was a member of a New York City theater company with whom she performed and produced for 10 years. She is active in local town, county, and state politics; loves weekends outdoors with her two small kids; and still fuels her soul with the arts.


Emmett Boyer
Programme Officer

Emmett Boyer coordinates IUCN GGO’s inputs into the 16-country Shared Resources, Joint Solutions programme, supports various other GGO projects, and contributes to the generation of knowledge products in their capacity as a Programme Officer for the GGO. Emmett joined the Washington, D.C. office in 2015 as an intern and has since been involved in mainstreaming gender into a myriad of focus areas, including Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR), energy, protected areas management, among others. 

Emmett has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from the University of Utah and a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Policy from Bard College, where they wrote a thesis on the importance of including gender considerations in FLR activities. When Emmett is not working to further global gender equality, they can be found perfecting their pizza dough recipe, reading books about space, and taking afternoon naps.


Seline Meijer
Programme Officer

Seline Meijer is a Programme Officer with IUCN’s Global Programme for Governance and Rights. Seline supports several projects within the Global Gender Office, including the USAID funded Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) project and the Gender and Environment Statistics project with UNEP. As part of her role, she also provides programmatic support to the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP). Seline joined IUCN in 2015 and worked on the development of the People in Nature (PiN) Knowledge Basket at HQ in Gland for 2 years before transferring to Washington, D.C., in July 2017.

Prior to joining IUCN, Seline worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher conducting research on conflict between forestry objectives and the conservation of the hen harrier, a raptor species of conservation concern, in Ireland and as a temporary Lecturer coordinating and teaching a graduate course on the post-2015 development agenda, both at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland. In 2014, Seline completed a Ph.D. in Forestry at UCD, carried out in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), for which she spent 3 years living and conducting research in Malawi. Her research focused on smallholder farmers’ perceptions and attitudes towards farm-level tree planting and forest degradation as well as the gender dynamics of household decision-making. In addition, Seline has degrees in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (M.Sc., University of Oxford), Forest and Nature Conservation (M.Sc., Wageningen University) and Environmental Sciences (B.Sc., Utrecht University).

Born and raised in Amsterdam, Seline enjoys traveling, hiking and exploring the outdoors, practicing yoga, experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen and enjoying good food and wine with friends.


Maria Prebble
Programme Officer

Maria Prebble is a Programme Officer for the GGO where she supports the Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) energy and forestry and biodiversity (FAB) portfolios. Previously Maria also supported IUCN’s EGI platform. She holds a degree in International Relations from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in environmental economics and policy from Duke University.

Prior to IUCN, Maria worked for Conservation International, the Woodrow Wilson Center and Korean National Commission for UNESCO. Her interest and passion for the environment began as a child catching frogs, listening to loons and playing in the woods of rural Wisconsin, USA.


Jackelline Siles
Senior Project Coordinator

Jackie Siles is a Senior Project Coordinator for the GGO, focusing on the nexus of gender and environment and development in the Mesoamerican, Andean Amazon and African regions. She has more than 17 years of experience in this sector working for CARE, IUCN, Wetland International and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) as a coordinator for initiatives that promote sustainable and equitable human development, as well as including social and gender issues on public policy. She has provides technical assistance to regional organizations, local and national governments in areas such as watershed management, energy, biodiversity, REDD+, climate change, community participation, organic agriculture, gender, and social issues. She is a professor for the National University of Costa Rica, has several publications on gender and environment, and has developed technical skills to train people on the use of methodologies that promote gender equity. She is an agricultural engineer, with a Masters degree in Natural Resources Management, and currently pursuing her PhD in Natural Resources for Development. Jackie is based in Costa Rica and is fluent in both English and Spanish.


Jamie Wen-Besson
Communications Officer

As the Communications Officer to the GGO, Jamie is responsible for the GGO’s strategic communications. With an approach rooted in stakeholder analyses and strategic planning, Jamie is a communications and advocacy specialist with experience across international organizations and diplomatic institutions. Prior to joining the IUCN, Jamie served as the Influence and Communications Officer for the UK Ministry of Defence’s British Defence Staff in the United States for four years, assisting the department in engagement strategies with US interlocutors in the think tank community. She has also served a Communications Consultant for the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat in France, supporting work on South-South cooperation in renewable and sustainable energy solutions; as a Communications and Advocacy Officer for the UN Women Liaison Office to the African Union and UN Economic Commission in Africa where she focused on the women in peace and security portfolio; and supported several associations with communications and branding work.

Jamie has a Master of International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris in International Security and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Southern California. A traveler, passionate home cook, and co-parent of three rescue dogs, Jamie enjoys the fullest version of every experience. 

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