Executive Team and Senior Management
Mathis is co-creator of the Ecological Footprint and President of Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think-tank. Global Footprint Network focuses on bringing about a sustainable human economy in which all can live well within the means of one planet. It proposes the Ecological Footprint, which measures how much nature we use and how much nature we have, as a tool for bringing ecological limits to the center of decision-making everywhere.
Mathis has worked on sustainability on six continents and lectured at more than a hundred universities. He previously served as the director of the Sustainability Program at Redefining Progress in Oakland, California, and ran the Centro de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad at Anáhuac University in Xalapa, Mexico. Mathis has authored or contributed to over 50 peer-reviewed papers, numerous articles and reports and various books on sustainability that focus on the question of embracing limits and developing metrics for sustainability, including Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth; Sharing Nature’s Interest; Der Ecological Footprint, and WWF International’s Living Planet Report.
After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he completed his Ph.D. in community and regional planning at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. There, as his doctoral dissertation with Professor William Rees, he created the Ecological Footprint concept. Since 2011, he is also the Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of 1956 Visiting Professor at Cornell University.
Mathis’ awards include the 2013 Prix Nature Swisscanto, the 2012 Blue Planet Prize, sponsored by Asahi Foundation, the main 2012 Binding Prize for Environmental Conservation, the 2012 Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award of the International Society for Ecological Economics, the 2011 Zayed International Prize for the Environment (jointly awarded with UNEP), an honorary doctorate from the University of Berne in 2007, a 2007 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a 2006 WWF Award for Conservation Merit and the 2005 Herman Daly Award of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics. He was also selected as number 19 of the en(rich) list identifying the 100 top inspirational individuals whose contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures (www.enrichlist.org). John Elkington identified Mathis in 2012 among the “Zeronaut 50” Roll of Honor, i.e., leading pioneers who are driving the world’s most significant problems to zero.
Senior Vice President
Susan Burns is a Senior Vice President and Founder of Global Footprint Network. Over the last decade she has built Global Footprint Network into one of the leading and most respected scientific organizations in the world addressing global ecological limits. She continues to lead the overall strategic direction of Global Footprint Network and now advises governments and financial institutions on incorporating ecological risk into financial risk analysis and government policy.
Prior to launching Global Footprint Network, Susan founded the pioneering sustainability consulting firm Natural Strategies, advising such companies as Mitsubishi Electric, Genencor, and Lowes. She has over 18 years of experience working with more than 50 corporations and other organizations on a variety of sustainability-related issues from forest policy to business strategy. Susan led the development of the screening methodology for Portfolio 21, the US’s first mutual fund dedicated to environmental sustainability. She has spoken widely on the subject of sustainability, human development, and corporate responsibility, having delivered keynote and other lectures at over 100 national and international events. In 2007 Susan, along with Mathis Wackernagel, won the Skoll Award on Social Entrepreneurship. Susan holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. Also, she was selected as honorable mention on the en(rich) list identifying the top inspirational individuals whose contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures (www.enrichlist.org). John Elkington identified Susan in 2012 among the “Zeronaut 50” Roll of Honor, i.e., leading pioneers who are driving the world’s most significant problems to zero.
Vice President of Operations
Geoff is the Vice President of Operations and oversees all operational aspects of the organisation. He brings to Global Footprint Network more than twenty-five years of post-graduate experience as a business executive in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific where he has undertaken numerous roles with The Thomson Corporation, Diageo / Guinness World Records and Ernst & Young, including General Management, Sales & Marketing, Business Development, Knowledge Management, Organisational Learning & Development and most recently, Partner-level Management Consulting.
From 2001 to early-2009 Geoff served as Ernst & Young’s Chief Knowledge Officer / Partner in Asia. He left the Partnership in 2009 to create “KMPact” - a Hong Kong-based consulting business operating in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Knowledge Management Advisory Services to both for-Profit & not-for-Profit organisations. Geoff holds an Honours Degree in Metallurgy & Microstructural Engineering from Sheffield City Polytechnic (UK), a post-Graduate Diploma in International Marketing from London (UK) and recently completed the “Certificate Program in Sustainable Management” at the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, California.
Director of Finance and Administration
Emily manages the organization’s Finance and Administrative operations. She has extensive non-profit accounting experience in a variety of social service agencies working to improve the lives of the homeless and poor of the Bay Area. She also has experience working in open adoption and intentional communities. Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, she worked with such organizations as Building Futures with Women & Children, Davis Street Family Resource Center, and the Independent Adoption Center. Emily holds an Associate of Arts degree from Cottey College.
Director, Asia Region
Pati is leading Global Footprint Network’s engagement with Asia. Building on her on-the-ground policy expertise as a journalist, Pati has been engaging with over 6 Asian national governments and various international institutions including ADB and the ASEAN Secretariat. Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, Pati was a journalist for 15 years, working as a columnist and editorial writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, deputy editorial page editor for the Honolulu Advertiser and staff editor at numerous Bay Area daily newspapers. Her yearlong editorial series on foster care reform in California for the San Francisco Chronicle helped lead to numerous changes in the state law, and won her numerous national awards, including first place in the National Headliners Award, Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Chi Award and the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Pati was also the Chronicle’s nominee for Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 2006 and 2007. She is the author of “The Oracles: My Filipino Grandparents in America”.
Director, Latin America Region
Juan Carlos Morales leads Global Footprint Network’s engagement with Latin America. He comes to Global Footprint Network after spending three years in the California State University system as a senior research administrator. He was program director at the United States National Science Foundation, overseeing the Systematic Biology and Biodiversity Inventories program for the Division of Environmental Biology, as well as an Associate Research Scientist and Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University’s Center for Environmental Research and Conservation in New York City. His educational achievements include a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Biology from Angelo State University, and a B.S. in Biology from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He has published more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, served as a mentor for several undergraduate and graduate students, and lectured at the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University.
Director for Europe
Sebastian Winkler is Global Footprint Network’s Director for Europe. In 2010, he was part of the Spanish European Union Presidency team and supported the country in a number of International and European biodiversity negotiations. Sebastian has a distinguished career as an advisor on international issues, and has held a variety of important economics- and sustainability-related posts at IUCN, UNEP, and Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Environment.
He holds a BA from the University of Konstanz, Germany (Development Economics, Administrative Science and Policy), and has earned Masters Degrees at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands; the University of Trier, Germany; and the Ecole Polytechnique of Lausanne, Switzerland. He also studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Grenoble, France and at the Harvard Business School (Management). He speaks fluent Spanish, German, English, and French, and has working knowledge in Portuguese and Italian.
Finance & Administration
Jill assists President Mathis Wackernagel and Senior Vice President Susan Burns with the nitty gritty administrative details. Jill enjoys the daily challenges of supporting two very busy executives. She has over 15 years experience providing administrative support to executives and non-profit boards. Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, she was the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Client Services at a software company. She possesses a BA in English with a minor in American Sign Language from California State University, Hayward.
Julie helps manage Global Footprint Network’s client database. She has nonprofit experience in social science research and nonprofit development. Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, Julie worked as a Development Assistant at an environmental nonprofit and as a Research Associate for the CA Dept of Public Health. She possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Office Manager, Oakland
Kamila processes accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll as well as providing general office management and organizational skills. Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, she was Office Manager and Sales Manager for Wood Heat Stoves & Solar consulting on the purchase and installation of alternative energy products through their local office and website. Her sales, bookkeeping and creative skills were also utilized at LasersandLights.com where she consulted on commercial, residential and event effect lighting purchase and installations.
Senior Manager, Operations - Geneva
Oscar assists the Director of Europe to ensure the smooth operation of the Global Footprint Network team in Europe while also coordinating the Brussels and Mediterranean Region offices. He has been a career diplomat for more than 23 years, advancing into key leadership roles at the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Foreign Trade.
He represented Venezuela, inter alia, as Chargé d’affaires to the Kingdom of Denmark, Deputy Chief of Mission in Argentina, Deputy Permanent Representative to the Latin-American Integration Association (ALADI) and Deputy Chief of Mission in Uruguay, Chief of Division for Technical Cooperation with Central America and the Caribbean, Chief of Division for Economic Integration and as delegate to numerous meetings and conferences at UNO, ECOSOC, UNWRA, UNIDO, UNCTAD, UNFCCC, FAO, IAEA, OPEC, ITC, ILO, WIPO, UTI, The Economic and Social Council of the Organization of American States, the Group of the 77, the United Nations Conference on Women, the United Nations Conference for the Adoption of a Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the Latin-American Economic System (SELA), the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), the Iberoamerican Summits, and as team member for Venezuela’s adhesion to the GATT and the Uruguay Round.
Oscar completed graduate studies in Political Science concentrating in International Economic Affairs at Simon Bolivar University in Sartenejas, Venezuela, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky, USA. At the Venezuelan Diplomatic Academy, he participated in specialization courses in Oil Diplomacy, European Integration, International Trade Policy and Harvard’s Negotiation Project.
Oscar holds both Irish and Venezuelan nationalities.
Communications and World Outreach
Senior Manager, Communications
Scott Mattoon manages Global Footprint Network’s communications and media strategies, and shepherds staff articles and reports through editing and publication. Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, Scott was an editor on the foreign and national news desks at the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle, a project manager and editor for San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits, and the publisher and editor of an online narrative writing project for combat veterans and other trauma survivors. He has a B.A. in mass communications and history and an M.A. in international studies from the University of Washington.
Media & Outreach Associate
Haley brings to Global Footprint Network her passion for communicating complex scientific topics to wide audiences through a variety of media. She fervently believes in the influence of words and images to engage humanity in sustainability. Her science research experience ranges from coral reef ecology fieldwork in the Northern Line Islands and Great Barrier Reef to oceanography research above the Arctic Circle, wildlife conservation in Alaska, and water and energy management in the American Southwest, Appalachia, and Arab Gulf. She previously worked as a science journalist for a NASA Arctic Ocean research cruise and as a research fellow for Environmental Defense Fund’s Oceans program on European Union Common Fisheries Policy Reform. Haley earned an M.S. in Earth Systems (with a science communication focus) and a B.A. in Comparative Literature (with minors in Biology and Art History) from Stanford University.
Research and Standards
Director, Mediterranean and MENA Regions
Alessandro is a Senior Scientist and the Mediterranean-MENA Program Director at Global Footprint Network. As Senior Scientist, he contributes to research on the Ecological Footprint methodology and technical publications. His research analyzes the historical changes in human dependence on natural resources and ecological services through the use of sustainability indicators and environmental accounting methods. Previously, he worked as technical advisor on the Al Basama Al Beeiya (Ecological Footprint) Initiative in the United Arab Emirates with the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS-WWF) and the Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD).
Alessandro holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Sciences from Siena University. He is the lead author of the Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Trends report and co-author of several publications, including 13 articles in peer-reviewed journals, the article “Global Biodiversity: Indicators of Recent Declines” published in the leading journal Science, and WWF’s 2008 and 2012 Living Planet Reports. Alessandro is also member of the editorial board of the journal Resources: Natural Resources and Management, and was a MARSICO Visiting Scholar at University of Denver, Colorado, USA, in April 2011.
Michael Borucke is a Research Scientist working on the National Footprint Accounts and the Multi-Regional Input-Output Model. Before coming to Global Footprint Network, he worked as an engineer at an environmental firm, and developed environmental models with several other non-profits. He holds a Bachelors and Masters in Environmental Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Katsunori is a Research Economist, responsible for tracking Ecological Footprints in global supply chains through the use of the Multi-Regional Input Output (EE-MRIO) model, which also applies to sub-national and personal calculator projects. Currently, he is working on developing the Computable General Equilibrium for Ecological Footprint (CGE-EF) model to assess the impact of different policies on nature. His next project will be building a platform to connect interdisciplinary scholars and leaders in Asian regions that are facing sustainability challenges. He holds an M.S. in Economics, specializing in Environmental Economics, from Okinawa International University, Japan.
Eli works in the Research and Standards Department supporting the maintenance, use and development of the National Footprint Accounts, and the Multi-Region Input Output Model. His research interest is in the application of Ecological science to Economics, and the integration of sustainability into measures of welfare. Eli has a broad background as an environmental advocate, filmmaker, writer, musician, and a small business owner running a green gardening business. He holds a Bachelors in Economics from San Francisco State University, where he graduated with the highest honors.
Martin is Global Footprint Network’s policy analyst. He leads much of the research around the applications of Ecological Footprint accounting in the economic and financial spheres. He is also the coordinator for the organization’s outreach and project development for the Africa region.
Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, Martin worked for several years in international organizations on issues relating to economic and social development policies, political economy, and international trade with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. He has also worked in the private banking sector. Martin holds an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Applied Research Scientist
Firesenai works at the interface of science, policy, and practice. He is contributing to the further application of the Ecological Footprint, in close cooperation with local stakeholders. Firesenai also helps to grow and maintain excellent relationships with clients and partners.
Before coming to Global Footprint Network, he worked for several years in a Swiss research station on interdisciplinary issues related to agro-forestry restoration. Prior to this position he worked as consultant for an agro-environmental firm, responsible for managing various international projects in Europe and Africa. Firesenai holds a Master’s in Agricultural Sciences (University of Hohenheim) and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences (ETH Zurich).
External Affairs and Project Manager
Bessma Mourad manages Global Footprint Network’s project development and fundraising efforts. Prior to joining Global Footprint Network, Bessma worked as Project Advisor with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch. At UNEP, she primarily conducted research and wrote on topics of natural resources management, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Prior to that, Bessma worked five years in the non-profit sector, as Program Associate for Middle East and North Africa at the Global Fund for Women, and Development Manager at the Center for Environmental Health. Bessma holds an M.A. degree from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Robert Williams manages the Global Footprint Network computer network and IT department and is responsible for the computer programming that is required to calculate the National Footprint Accounts. He is also responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of the database systems, which hold the National Footprint Accounts data. Robert has a broad background in programming, database management and systems administration. He is also the owner of Cosmetto, an information technology (IT) consulting company, that provides custom IT services to small businesses in the Bay Area. Robert has certificates in Java and C++ programming from the University of California Santa Cruz and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems (summa cum laude) from Excelsior College.
Martin is a seasoned architect and international development specialist. He has a degree in architecture and a post-graduate degree in international development cooperation, both from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. After 10 years of architecture practice as a partner in “Architekturgenossenschaft Bauplan” in Zürich, Martin led for two years the Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln Technology Transfer Programme in Kathmandu, Nepal, a programme to promote energy and environmental efficient brick production. His professional focus now is sustainable urbanism. He works for a leading urban engineering company in Switzerland.
Steve helps build coalitions to develop new applications of the Ecological Footprint, provide strategic direction for Global Footprint Network and offer quality assurance for projects. Steve was formerly a Global Footprint Network Senior Scientist. Before joining Global Footprint Network, he helped establish The Natural Step US, an NGO focused on socio-ecological sustainability, and served as its Director of Education. He has also worked with Second Nature, an NGO promoting environmental literacy and the greening of operations in higher education. Steve’s doctorate in psychology at Cornell University emphasized an ecological approach to perception and cognition.
Joy Larson is pursuing her graduate studies at Columbia University in NY. Prior she served Global Footprint Network on staff as a Senior Project Manager in the Applications department. Before coming to Global Footprint Network, she served as an auditor of environmental attributes of manufactured commodities. She has also served as a consultant to Superfund Site liability analysis and conducted water quality research in relation to steelhead habitat restoration and agricultural run-off for various agencies of the state of California. She holds a BS in Earth System Science and Policy from CSU Monterey Bay with an emphasis in Watershed Systems.
Adjunct Senior Scientist
Justin is a post-doc at the University of California, Berkeley, and the former Manager of the Research and Standards Department. He continues to contribute to methodological research in Ecological Footprint accounting, including the development of the National Footprint Accounts and the Footprint Standards. Justin holds an M.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University.
Willy is an independent journalist/consultant who specializes in global energy, environment and sustainability policies. Willy was Chief Editor and Co-founder of the EU online policy portal EurActiv.com from 1999 until end of May 2007. Willy is a frequent speaker and moderator for conferences on EU policies (especially energy, environment, climate change, sustainable development and CSR) and on Internet media and citizens’ journalism. Before getting into online journalism and becoming an Internet entrepreneur, Willy worked for nearly 10 years in the European Parliament as an MEP assistant and staff member for IT. From 1984 until 1989, he was one of the Secretaries-General of the Federation of European Green Parties. As of January 2008, Willy has served as the part-time director of the European office of Global Footprint Network. In his spare time, he runs a widely read Internet blog called 3EIntelligence, where he comments and reports on the latest developments in the areas of energy, the environment and the economy.
Bonnie is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle, Australia, where she is developing an Ecological Footprint methodology with which to compare alternative future Footprint scenarios using the temporal evaluation of multi-regional input-output data. The outcome of the research, which is carried out in partnership with Global Footprint Network, the University of Sydney, the University of Newcastle and a number of Australian state government partners, will inform policy makers as to the most effective approach to reducing Ecological Footprints. She also worked with EPA Victoria, Global Footprint Network and the University of Sydney to calculate the Footprint for the state of Victoria. Bonnie holds a Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Tasmania.
Dan Moran is the former Director of the National Accounts Program at Global Footprint Network. He is currently a doctoral student at the School of Physics at the University of Sydney where he is working on high-resolution input-output models used to trace environmental loads through international supply chains. His area of interest is the economic analysis of ecological constraints. Previously, Dan was with financial information provider MSCI Inc. in their Sustainability Solutions unit in New York. Dan holds an M.Sc. in ecological economics from Lund University in Sweden.
Juan Alfonso, Senior Associate, Latin American Initiatives, leads Global Footprint Network’s Latin American Footprint applications. He is an accomplished architect and has also worked in the areas of sustainable development, appropriate technologies and community participation projects. He has collaborated with Ecuador’s national housing agency, the United Nations Center for the Human Settlements (UNCHS), and has held a private practice. He is also a founding member of two non-profit organizations: Fundación Terra which is advancing sustainable development of communities bordering the ecological reserve "Cayambe-Coca", and Fundación Acuerdo Ecuador which is developing democratic citizen participation to inform governments from the ground up.
Yoshihiko Wada is Associate Professor of Ecological Economics at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. He is also Executive Director of Ecological Footprint Japan. Yoshihiko completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, under the supervision of Professor William Rees.
Paul started working with Global Footprint Network after 15 years at Intel, where he managed materials development programs and technical supply chains, and was co-inventor on six patents. Paul’s environmental projects at Intel included identifying replacement materials for ozone depleting substances, reducing global warming gas emissions and developing chip packages compliant with lead-free and halogen-free requirements. He is a member of the AIChE Sustainable Engineering Forum. Paul holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati.
Gemma now works for Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership. Previously, she led projects for Global Footprint Network out of the Geneva office and supported the organization’s Research and Standards Department by contributing to research on the Ecological Footprint methodology, projects and applications. Gemma completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, UK. She completed her Masters of Aerospace Engineering in 2006 from the same institution. Her research areas include ecological and carbon footprints, assessing the determinants behind the footprint and studying the differences between high-income and low income countries.
- Dharashree Panda, Carbon Footprint Intern
- Erica Hann, Fundraising and Administration Intern
- Teagan Thompson, Database Intern
- Angelina Leva, Database Intern