Board of Directors

Co-Chair of WOCAN Board of Directors, Partner of Firelake Capital Management

Candice Eggerss is a partner in a venture capital firm, Firelake Capital Management, which invests largely in startup companies in the cleantech industry. She is a member of the Board of EOS Climate and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Berkeley Startup Cluster where she leads the WEB (Women Entrepreneurs in Berkeley) initiative. Candice has 30 years of experience in investing in publicly traded securities and startup ventures.  She also has an extensive network with companies, investment banks, academic institutions, venture capital firms, and a growing number of women led startups.  She believes that women led businesses and institutions are important and can make a difference in addressing the looming environmental and economic challenges the world faces as a result of climate change. Candice would bring to WOCAN her network, her investment expertise, her knowledge of carbon markets, and her passion to support women entrepreneurs. She has an MBA in finance and accounting from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and BA in biology from Stanford University.

Co- Chair of WOCAN Board of Directors, Co-Founder of EcoAnalytics LLC and Co-Founder and Chairman of San Francisco Carbon Collaborative

Lee West brings almost 30 years of financial services and investing background to the WOCAN Board.  Lee’s goal is to introduce financial incentives that encourage institutional sponsors to invest directly into agricultural development and gender mainstreaming programs in developed and developing countries that directly impact women.  He feels strongly that these programs should repatriate a disproportionate of those credits and incentives directly back into the local communities and NGO’s.  Lee has gained substantial perspective working together with WOCAN and environmental stakeholders on gender issues prior to his board appointment.  Lee works in Los Angeles and San Francisco and attended the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and Los Angeles (UCLA) studying both Economics and Business. 

CPA, Senior Director of Operations, Public Health Institute

Karen Frost has over 25 years of experience in the finance and grants management field as well as having attained the CPA.  She is currently the Senior Director of Operations at the Public Health Institute. In this role, she translates the vision and goals of the organization into effective operational strategies and objectives. She coordinates the development of PHI’s strategic financial planning, budgeting, risk management and other organizational trend analysis, as well as supporting the institute’s efforts in international programs with research and start-up operations in foreign countries. She has taught several courses for InsideNGO and other organizations.  She has been in all positions on an audit team, from being an auditor with Touche Ross to leading the audit as a Director of Finance to leading compliance as Senior Director of Operations.  She has experience all levels of organizational operations such as starting up foreign offices, implementing internal controls, writing policies, building disaster recovery and incident response plans, interpreting rules and regulations from a wide variety of funders.  She does this all with her sense of humor intact and a bit of her clowning techniques.

Gender Equality and Inclusion Specialist

Kanchan Lama is a Gender Specialist with expertise in gender assessment/mainstreaming, gender analysis, design of training manuals and delivery of participatory training/workshop, policy advice/advocacy, review and evaluation of poverty alleviation projects/programs, mainstreaming gender and social inclusion into climate change adaptation and REDD+ initiatives in national contexts. Kanchan is one of the founders of WOCAN. She has more than 24 years of experience in senior management positions with multiple roles in INGOs, e.g., Action Aid, Lutheran World Federation; bilateral agencies, e.g., Canadian Cooperation Office (CCO), Finnish International Development Agency (Finnida), The Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) ; and in multilateral agencies, e.g., Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the United Nation Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). She has worked in Nepal and Timor Leste, and held short term assignments in India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Kanchan is a Nepali citizen.

Environmental Scientist

Mary Mbura Njenga is an Environmental Scientist with a Ph.D. in the Management of Agro ecosystems and Environment from the University of Nairobi; she is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and visiting lecturer at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies in the University of Nairobi. She has received prestigious fellowships from the Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (LEAP) and African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). Mary has strived to decrease the drudgery of rural women by focusing her research on energy efficiency of household bio char production. She has 14 years of experience on conceptualization, management and coordination of research and development of collaborative projects and extensive experience in gender mainstreaming in organizational culture and research and development processes. She has published 67 articles in peer reviewed journals, books, technical magazines, working papers, policy and technical briefs. She is also a reviewer of two journals and an editor of Miti: The Tree Business Magazine for Africa. She is keen to bring to WOCAN her experience in gender in NRM, especially in relation to drylands, agroforestry (including participatory forest management), and women's empowerment in climate change and the energy sector, for instance, through energy enterprises.

Vice President of Strategic Partnership and Gender Program Advisory, Coffee Quality Institute

Kimberly Ann Easson is the Vice President of Strategic Partnership and Gender Program Advisory of the Coffee Quality Institute. She has been working in the coffee industry for more than twenty years with a focus on sustainability and social responsibility in the sector. She was the Board President of the International Women's Coffee Alliance for five years and Board member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Kimberly was the Director of Producer Services and relations at Fairtrade International, where she was responsible for capacity building services offered to more than 1 million agricultural producers in 63 countries. She is also the co-founder of JavaJog for Cause, which recently raised $35,000 for coffee women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a member of the founding leadership team of TrainsFair USA, that is launching the Fair Trade Certified label throughout the US, and working in prestigious coffee brands and social responsible companies.  She has a Master Degree in International Business Studies (MIBS) from the University of South Carolina.

Executive Director, Meridian Prime Ltd & EDGE Certified Foundation

Chris Grieve is the Executive Director and founder of the consulting company Meridian Prime. She is also the Executive Director of EDGE Certified Foundation: a Swiss-based global certification scheme dedicated to closing the gender gap in the workplace, in Fortune 500 companies. She has 12 years of expertise in the development and scaling-up of voluntary social and environmental global standards and certification systems and over 24 years of experience in fisheries management and policymaking from local to global levels. Chris has years of experience in fundraising from private and corporate foundations, government agencies, high net worth individuals and research grant-making bodies. Chris has held leadership positions in the sustainability, research and public sectors. She was a founding Trustee and Vice Chair of the ISEAL Alliance, a global sustainability standards organization, and a member of two Australian natural resource management public boards. Chris has a post-graduate qualification in Applied Science (Fisheries Management) and an MSc in People & Organizational Development from the University of Sussex. 

Partner, DLA Piper LLP

Brad Rock is a Partner at the DLA Piper LLP and Co-chair of DLA Piper’s Opinion Committee. Brad Rock focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, venture and angel investing, public offerings, and public company reporting and governance. Brad serves as counsel to corporations in a number of industries, including clean tech, software and information technology companies, and retail. He is also counsel to a number of family offices and venture and angel funds. Brad has a J.D. Degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. 

Former Members of Board of Directors

Managing Director, Asia Division, Chemonics Internationa

Dr. Sarah Tisch is a gender specialist with 22 years of experience in project leadership, management and governance on USAID and other donor funded projects. A three-time USAID Chief of Party and program leader for the African Women's Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment and the Global Women's Leadership Initiative, as well as the program manager for the World Bank InfoDev E-Government Knowledge Map and Toolkit, she is experienced with integrating gender into project activities in many sectors. Dr. Tisch recently served as the home office director for the MCC and USAID Indonesia Control of Corruption Project and currently is the Director for the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Order for USAID/EGAT/Office of Women in Development. She is also the Gender Practice Director for Chemonics International, helping staff respond to the USAID requirements for integration of gender in projects and proposals. Dr. Tisch has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, has lived in Russia, Nepal, and the Philippines and has worked in 23 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2010-2012.

Director of Donor Relations at PANGEA, Pan Euro-African Bio Energy Group, Brussels

Vera P. Weill Hallé began her career in 1977 working with a non-Governmental Organization, Population Reference Bureau in Washington, then later joined the United Nations and subsequently, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). She was instrumental in establishing the first IFAD office outside Headquarters; the IFAD North American Liaison Office in Washington, D.C., 1987 and New York, 1994 (at the UN Secretariat) - and became the Director of both offices. In 2004, she was appointed the Director of IFAD's Resource Mobilization Division in Rome, successfully enabling IFAD to secure one of the largest replenishments in the organizational history. She is currently a Senior Advisor for Innovative Financing and in this role has developed a strategy for private-sector and foundations outreach, successfully securing funding for IFAD from the United Nations Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Copernic Foundation, among others. She has served on numerous Boards, including AWID, Women in Environment and Development and the Congressional Hunger Centre amongst others. Vera holds an MBA from the Executive MBA Program through the London School of Economics, HES School of Business and the New York University Stern Business School and an M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Director, Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems, International Relief and Development

Dr. Isatou Jack has over 25 years of experience working with smallholder farmers, particularly women, to develop market-oriented agriculture systems and increase organizational capacity through farmer organizations. Isatou's tenure in the agricultural development field has included working at the government, NGO, and private sector levels. This background has influenced her continuous interest in creating partnerships among diverse stakeholders as a mechanism to increase agricultural productivity and profitability. Dr. Jack currently serves as the Director of International Relief and Development's (IRD) Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems sector, where she oversees programs on three continents. Isatou received her Masters and Doctoral degrees in International Agriculture and Adult Education, respectively, from Cornell University and her Bachelors degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Florida. Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2010-2012.

Senior Advisor in Gender, CIAT CGIAR

Dr. Ashby is a development sociologist, researcher, teacher and senior manager with international development experience in social change, technology development and poverty reduction in agricultural and food systems. She is currently employed at the International Potato Research Center (CIP) as a part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Previously, Dr. Ashby worked as a consultant to the World Bank on the Gender and Agriculture Sourcebook. She is also responsible for launching, conducting fundraising for and coordinating the Participatory Research and Gender Analysis (PGRA) Program through CGIAR. Dr. Ashby provided leadership in the development of recommendations to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture's (CIAT) Gender Analysis Working Group and has lectured widely on gender integration in agricultural institutions. Her experience in formulating program strategy for donor relations, partnership, and mainstreaming novel approaches into core research areas of the CGIAR system will help her contribute invaluable perspective to the WOCAN Board. Dr. Ashby received her PhD from Cornell University. Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2010-2012.

Gender and Development Consultant

Mark Blackden has been working on gender issues in development for nearly 20 years, primarily in the World Bank's Africa Region. He led the Africa Region's gender and development program for more than 10 years.  During this time, he helped to make the business case for attention to gender issues in the Africa Region's operational work.  Given the importance of agriculture in Africa, much of this work has focused on improving the understanding of women's role in agricultural development, and addressing the many obstacles to improving productivity. Mr. Blackden contributes a wide range of operational experience in addressing gender issues in development to the WOCAN Board.  In the last three years, he has gained substantial perspective through work on gender issues with various organizations including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), The Gates Foundation, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Mark graduated with his Masters Degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Senior Director, Food Security and Nutrition, Heifer International

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005-2012.

Senior Consulant, FAO

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005-2010.

Sub-Regional Representative for the Caribean, FAO

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005-2008

Strategic Communications Consultant, African Development Bank

Clare Fleming is a strategic communications consultant specializing in high impact communications at the nexus of communications and development. She had a 25-year career in communications at the World Bank, beginning in the early days of the Global Environment Facility and the inception of the Bank’s environmental work, and moving to a position as head of communications for the Vice Presidency for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development. She spent seven years representing the World Bank at the United Nations in New York, during which she helped spearhead a transformation of the Bank-UN relationship, helping the Bank’s senior management advance its work with the UN on the intergovernmental and interagency levels and participating as a delegation member for the major environmental and social global summits, including negotiations on the Millennium Development Goals, Microcredit Summit, Financing for Development, the Convention on Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Desertification Convention. Since 2005 Clare has provided several years of communications support to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Administrative Unit housed at the World Bank and now works for the African Development Bank on CIF-related communications. With a Master’s degree from Lesley College, she also has professional certifications in international development from the UN and social media from New York University. 

Gender Advisor, IUCN

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005-2008.

Director, WEDO

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005-2008

Gender Advisor, IRRI, CGIAR

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005- 2008

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005-2006.

Regional Director, Eastern Africa, IUCN

Served as a member of Board of Directors from 2005-2006.

Support Group Members

Advisor on Household Food Security and Gender, IFAD
Senior Advisor, Gender and Poverty Targeting, IFAD
Senior Officer, FAO
Gender Advisor, CIDA

Founding Members

Senior Consulant, FAO
Co-Founder Isis International
Country Director, Heifer International