About JRS / People

Board of Trustees

Sandy Andelman

Organization for Tropical Studies

Seattle, WA (USA)

Dr. Sandy Andelman is president and CEO of the Organization for Tropical Studies. She previously served as chief scientist of Conservation International and as deputy director of the U.S. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), one of the world’s top ecological research institutes. Andelman holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Bonnie Cockman

Grameen Foundation

Cambridge, MA (USA)

Bonnie Cockman is Chief Financial Officer of the Grameen Foundation. Previously, she helped launch Mothers Out Front, working first as Managing Director and then as board Treasurer. From 2007 to 2014, Cockman served as Senior Vice President of Finance & Operations at Root Capital, an agricultural impact investor that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. Prior to Root Capital, she served as Vice President of Finance for Conservation International and Director of Finance for Georgetown University’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development. Currently, she serves on the Board of Foundations of Success. Cockman is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a B.A. in business from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Allyson Fish

DuPont Aquaculture

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)

Allyson Fish has an MBA from Yale University in corporate environmental strategy and was a Hewlett Fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund’s Corporate Partnerships program. Currently Fish is a Global Business Manager for Aquaculture at DuPont and a Director of Verlasso, a sustainable salmon farming partnership in Patagonia.

Robert Guralnick

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida (USA)

Dr. Rob Guralnick is the Curator of Biodiversity Informatics at the University of Florida. Guralnick's lab is involved in diverse studies including biodiversity, bioinformatics, and response to environmental changes.

Lucy W. Irungu

University of Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Lucy W. Irungu is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Production and Extension and a Professor of Entomology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nairobi. She has conducted research in the area of vector biology and control, with special focus on malaria vectors and other vectors of neglected tropical diseases.

Souleymane Konaté

University Nangui Abrogoua (Côte d’Ivoire)

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Souleymane Konaté is a professor in ecology at the University Nangui Abrogoua (Côte d’Ivoire), where he is currently leading a research unit on Ecology and Biodiversity (UREB). Konaté received a Ph.D. in Ecology in 1998 from the University of Paris 6 (Pierre & Marie Curie) in France, and was the winner of 2004 START Young Scientist Award in Ecology.

Leonard Krishtalka

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas (USA)

Dr. Leonard Krishtalka is the Director of the Biodiversity Institute and Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. He received his Ph.D. in Systematics and Ecology, and Biology and Paleontology from the University of Kansas and Texas Tech University respectively. Krishtalka has served as Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology for the National Science Foundation.

Sarah Lynch

World Wildlife Fund

Washington, DC (USA)

Dr. Sarah Lynch is a Director on the World Wildlife Fund’s Sustainable Food Systems Team. An agricultural economist by training, she received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and Cornell University, respectively. She has served at the USDA Economic Research Service, the Henry A. Wallace Institute of Alternative Agriculture, and as an advisor to Cameroon’s Ministry of Agriculture.

Ellen Martz

Raymond James Investments

Saginaw, Michigan (USA)

Ellen Martz is an Associate Vice President of Investments at Raymond James where she oversees approximately $95 million in assets for 200 plus clients. She is a very active volunteer serving on the governing and endowment boards of several non-profit and educational non-profit organizations in Michigan.

Ruth K. Midcalf

The Methodist Church

Hampshire, United Kingdom

Dr. Ruth Midcalf is a Methodist Presbyter currently stationed in the Basingstoke and Reading Methodist Circuit in the United Kingdom. Her ministry training follows a scientific career based at Royal Holloway, University of London where she was an Honorary Lecturer in Biological Sciences, serving as the Deputy Dean of Science (Teaching) Science Outreach Officer and Deputy Programme Director for Science Foundation Year. From 2008-2011 Dr. Midcalf was the Executive Secretary of the Linnean Society of London.

Benjamin Rader

Goldman Sachs Foundation

New York, New York (USA)

Benjamin Rader has served as a Vice President of Goldman Sachs since 2005 and currently serves as the General Counsel for The Goldman Sachs Foundation. Rader received an LL.M. in International Law from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Baldwyn Torto

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

Nairobi, Kenya

Baldwyn Torto, Ph.D., is a Research Leader in Chemical Ecology at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), a world-class research center focusing on insect sciences. Previously, he worked as a scientist in some of the top research institutions in the world including Rothamsted Research, UK, and the USDA/ARS-Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary and Entomology. Torto is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

JRS Staff

Don Doering

JRS Biodiversity Foundation | Seattle, WA (USA)

Don Doering has served as Executive Director of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation since January 2013. JRS has committed $16M to biodiversity informatics since 2007 and has an active grant portfolio of about 20 grants and $3.5M in total commitments. His expertise is philanthropic strategies to create change and he has over 20 years of experience in strategy development and execution in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. From 2006-2011, Don served at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he helped to start and lead a sixty-five person team in Agricultural Development that committed over $1.7 billion in four years to help poor farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In addition to making about $250 million in grants in soils, root crops, agricultural data and extension as Program Officer, he later had responsibilities as Business Officer and as Senior Strategy Officer for group operations, financial planning, evaluation and strategy processes. Don has held senior positions at the Wharton School of Business, World Resources Institute, Winrock International, and the International Food Policy Research Institute and consulted to Fortune500 companies and major non-profit organizations. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University in Biophysics and received his Ph.D. in Biology from M.I.T.

Former Trustees & Staff

The J.R.S. Biodiversity Foundation gratefully acknowledges the valuable contributions of our former Trustees and staff to the growth and development of the Foundation and to the success of our grantees.


Leonard Saari

Trustee • 1998 - 2006

David Molyneaux

Trustee, 1999-2008

Janet Boudris

Trustee • 1999 - 2007

Bea G. Leopold

Trustee, 2000 - 2005

James H. Beach

Trustee, 1999 - 2006

Colin Day

Trustee, 2000-2008

Jim Edwards

Trustee, 2002-2010

Carole Haywood

Trustee, 2003-2008

Janet McCue

Trustee, 2002-2008

Scott Nichols

Trustee, 2006 - 2011

Vinand Nantulya

Trustee, 2006-2011

Bryan Heidorn

Trustee, 2007-2013

Jorge Soberón

Trustee, 2007-2013

Richard Kiome Bagine

Trustee, 2008-2014

Daniel Masiga

Trustee, 2008-2014

Rebecca Schrader

Trustee • 2007 - 2013

Jon Paul Rodriguez

Trustee, 2013-2015

Aaron McNevin

Trustee, 2009-2015

Harry Cerino

Execitove Director & Trustee • 2006 - 2012

Michael Jensen

Trustee • 2001 - 2009

Sarah Feresu

Trustee, 2010 - 2017

Former Staff

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Emily Grason

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Emily Grason is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington studying biological invasions. She enjoys communicating conservation and biodiversity science to broad audiences, as a speaker, a blogger, and as the person sitting next to you to on the airplane. At JRS, Emily supports foundation communications, translating grantee science and progress for the website.


Ariel West

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Ariel West is a graduate student at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Michigan. She spent last year teaching English in Shenzhen, China. Ariel assists the Executive Director with special


Samantha DeMars-Hanson

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Sam DeMars-Hanson is a University of Washington graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies. She is a huge animal lover, and is excited to learn more about the amazing projects JRS supports. Sam managed JRS’ webpage and social media as the second JRS communications intern.


Alison Saperstein

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Alison served JRS 2014-2015 as our 2nd management intern. Alison Saperstein is pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the University of Washington. She has a background in Geology-Biology from Brown University and professional experience in non-profit program management and environmental education.


Izabella Phillips

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Izzy served JRS 2013-2014 as our first Communications intern. Izzy Phillips was a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in Communications and she is a native of Seattle. Izzy managed JRS’ social media and is JRS’ point of contact for grantee communications and has developed the Grant Portfolio content in partnership with JRS grantees.


Chris Clark

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Chris served JRS 2013-2014 as our first Management intern. Chris Clark is a Master’s of Public Administration student at the University of
Washington’s Evans School, He is a graduate of Portland State University in International Studies and Economics and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa.

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