About JRS / People

Board of Trustees

Sandy Andelman

Wildlife Conservation Society

Seattle, WA (USA)

Dr. Sandy Andelman is Vice President, Conservation Strategy and Partnerships with the Wildlife Conservation Society. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in behavioral ecology and has three decades of experience at the interface of biodiversity research and policy in Africa and globally. She previously served as chief scientist of Conservation International and deputy director of the U.S. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS).

Allyson Fish

DuPont Industrial Biosciences

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 Allyson is Global Business Director for the Food Enzymes program at DuPont Industrial Biosciences.

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. He has served as Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology for the National Science Foundation.

Sarah Lynch

Washington, DC (USA)

Dr. Sarah Lynch advises initiatives strengthening democracy in the United States, especially voting rights, access, security, and turnout.  She served as a Senior Director at the World Wildlife Fund for over two decades where she focused on sustainable agriculture, ecosystem services and freshwater conservation.  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.

Michele JL Martin

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment

Boston, MA (USA)

Michele JL Martin is the Vice President of Finance and Operations at The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.  Michele has provided expert advice to non-profits including Root Capital, a leading nonprofit lender to agricultural enterprises in Latin America and Africa.  Prior to consulting to environmental and social organizations, she held positions at  KPMG France, and Credit Suisse.

Ellen Martz

Raymond James Investments

Saginaw, Michigan (USA)

Ellen V. Martz is an Associate Vice President, Investments, WMS, AIF® at Raymond James & Associates. Ellen is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®.

Ellen actively serves on the governing and endowment boards of several charitable and educational non-profits.

Guy Midgley

University of Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Guy Midgley, Ph.D., is a Professor at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. As a researcher in ecology, his work has included plant ecophysiology, biogeography and species ranges, population demography and dispersal, and aspects of systems ecology (including disturbance) and global ecology. Previously, Midgley worked as a scientist at the South Africa National Biodiversity Institute.

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. Benjamin 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

Dr. Baldwyn Torto, 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. Baldwyn 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

Matthew V. Cassetta

JRS Executive Director | Arlington, VA (USA)

Matthew Cassetta joined JRS in 2021 as the Foundation’s third Executive Director. He brings over two decades of diverse experience in international diplomacy and project management, much of it focused in Africa on capacity-building and development partnerships. Matthew’s work in Africa began as Regional Environment Officer for Central and West Africa, and later as Facilitator of the multilateral Congo Basin Forest Partnership.  Most recently he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in both the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. With a Master of Science concentrating in Protected Areas Management, conservation is a true passion and greatly influenced his professional trajectory first in the NGO sector and later in the U.S. Foreign Service. Fluent in French, Portuguese, and Spanish, he has developed creative collaborations with partners in civil society, academia, the private sector, and national governments for impactful programs to advance development while valuing unique biodiversity and enhancing environmental stewardship. These included such diverse projects as grants competitions for African forest conservateurs, global media outreach to prevent wildlife trafficking, anti-erosion and reforestation efforts in the Congo Basin, and biodiversity awareness campaigns in the Caribbean and Pacific regions.

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.


Bea G. Leopold

Trustee, 2000 - 2005

James H. Beach

Trustee, 1999 - 2006

Leonard Saari

Trustee • 1998 - 2006

Janet Boudris

Trustee • 1999 - 2007

Colin Day

Trustee, 2000-2008

Carole Haywood

Trustee, 2003-2008

Janet McCue

Trustee, 2002-2008

David Molyneaux

Trustee, 1999-2008

Michael Jensen

Trustee • 2001 - 2009

Jim Edwards

Trustee, 2002-2010

Vinand Nantulya

Trustee, 2006-2011

Scott Nichols

Trustee, 2006 - 2011

Harry Cerino

Executive Director & Trustee • 2006 - 2012

Bryan Heidorn

Trustee, 2007-2013

Rebecca Schrader

Trustee • 2007 - 2013

Jorge Soberón

Trustee, 2007-2013

Richard Kiome Bagine

Trustee, 2008-2014

Daniel Masiga

Trustee, 2008-2014

Aaron McNevin

Trustee, 2009-2015

Jon Paul Rodriguez

Trustee, 2013-2015

Sarah Feresu

Trustee, 2010 - 2017

Robert Guralnick

Trustee, 2011 - 2017

Souleymane Konaté

Trustee, 2015-2017

Ruth K. Temple Midcalf

Trustee, 2009 - 2019

Akiça Bahri

Trustee, 2019-2020

Lucy W. Irungu

Trustee, 2013 - 2020

Bonnie Cockman

Trustee, 2017 - 2020

Don S. Doering

Executive Director & Trustee • 2013 - 2020

Former Staff, 2013 – 2020

(press ESC to close or click outside the box)

Don S. Doering

JRS Biodiversity Foundation Executive Director | Seattle, WA (USA)

Don Doering served JRS 2013 – 2020 as JRS’ second Executive Director.  He presided over the shift of JRS grantmaking to focus on Africa, local capacity development to serve local needs, and on pollinators and freshwater biodiversity. He led grantmaking of $13.4M in commitments predominantly to African institutions and a high representation of women project directors. His expertise is philanthropic strategies to create change and he has over 25years 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. He held positions of Program Office, Business Officer, and Senior Strategy Officer. 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.. 

Samantha A. Garvin

JRS Biodiversity Foundation Program Manager | Seattle, WA (USA)

Sam Garvin served JRS 2018-2019 as JRS’ first full-time Program Manager.  Sam made great contributions to all areas of JRS work including grantmaking, strategic communications, grantee support, and management. Her expertise is in socio-political contexts of conservation, and she has 6 years of professional experience in applied research in the conservation and international development arenas. She has conducted research on decision-making to support human-elephant coexistence in Botswana, as well as contributed to projects at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, implementing financial instruments  to mitigate climate risk for smallholder farmers. Sam is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University in Environmental Science and received her Masters of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Lillian Mcgill

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Lillian McGill served JRS 2017-2018 as a science communications intern. She is currently a graduate student in the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management program at the University of Washington. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. Lillian enjoys the challenges of communicating technical science to a broad audience. 

Emily Grason

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Emily Grason served JRS 2015-2017 as a science communications intern. She recently completed a Ph.D. 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.


Ariel West

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Ariel West served JRS 2015-2016 as our third management intern. She 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.


Samantha DeMars-Hanson

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Sam DeMars-Hanson served JRS 2014-2015 as our second communications intern. She is a University of Washington graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies. Sam is a huge animal lover.


Alison Saperstein

University of Washington | Seattle, WA (USA)

Alison served JRS 2014-2015 as our second management intern. She completed her Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Washington. Allison 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. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Communications and is a Seattle local. Izzy managed JRS’ social media and was 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 completed his Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Evans School. He is also a graduate of Portland State University in International Studies and Economics and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Which are your primary communications interest?