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Amazon Conservation Staff

Amazon Conservation's lean staff bring a variety of experiences and expertise to the organization. All team members share a deep commitment to our mission of protecting the western Amazon and are passionate about environmental conservation.

In Washington, DC

John Beavers, Executive Director
John Beavers is the Executive Director of Amazon Conservation and is responsible for its overall leadership and management. John has spent his career focused on conservation in Latin America ranging from on-the-ground conservation in the Maya Forest of Guatemala, Belize and Mexico to strengthening conservation organizations across Latin America. Prior to starting with Amazon Conservation in 2019, he spent seven years leading Audubon's international conservation efforts to protect key bird habitats and biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean. While there, he launched Audubon’s first international conservation strategy to guide Audubon's efforts outside of the United States, and developed and led innovative projects, including a $2.6 million bird-based-tourism partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and a regional climate plan that linked conservation organizations across 12 countries. Previously, he worked for seventeen years with The Nature Conservancy in Latin America, and lived in Guatemala where he led the Conservancy’s Guatemala and Central America Programs and helped lead national level conservation finance and policy actions, including a $24.4M debt-swap between the Guatemalan and US Governments. John has a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Natural Resource Economics and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Rutgers University.

Valerie Peterson, Deputy Director
Valerie leads the strategy for Amazon Conservation's three biological stations in Peru, and manages the organization's marketing and communication efforts. Prior to starting with Amazon Conservation in 2012, she worked for 10 years as an urban planner for local governments managing community planning and sustainable development projects. Early in her career, she was a researcher for National Geographic. She has volunteered with local NGOs and in Uruguay assisting in communications, fundraising, community development, and microfinancing efforts. She has an undergraduate degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin, and a graduate degree from Virginia Tech in Urban and Regional Planning.

Tamia SoutoTamia Souto, Director of Programs
Tamia leads the conservation strategy for the organization and supports the management of our efforts in Peru and Bolivia. She is in charge of developing grant proposals and managing relationship with grantmakers. Previously, Tamia worked at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute as the lead scientist for its community-based conservation programs in Peru, in partnership with various oil and gas companies. Tamia is originally from Venezuela, where she developed her dissertation on household forest dependency and ethnoecology. She received her PhD in Ethnobotany from the University of Hawaii in 2009.

Matt FinerMatt Finer, Senior Research Specialist & Director of MAAP
Matt investigates threats to the western Amazon and works with members of the Amazon Conservation Board to develop strategic responses. He led the development and implementation of the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, and continues to manage the program. Prior to joining Amazon Conservation, he was a Project Scientist for the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) Sustainable Loreto project and Staff Ecologist at Save America’s Forests. Matt received his Ph.D. from the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University in 2003.

Vanessa GarciaVanessa Garcia, Finance Director
Vanessa is responsible for managing Amazon Conservation's finance, accounting and human resources functions, including management of internal control systems, the annual budget process, preparation of all internal and external financial reports. She also oversees the annual audit process and manages the staff's benefits and payroll. Prior to working with Amazon Conservation, Vanessa was the VP of Finance & HR for Voto Latino, where she helped built the financial and operational infrastructure via implementation of processes, tools and controls. Before Voto Latino, she worked for a multinational company as Finance Manager where she managed day-to-day finances, bookkeeping and payroll for three offices. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from George Washington University.

Ana FolhadellaAna Folhadella, Communications and Development Manager
Ana designs and executes a dynamic philanthropic strategy to grow Amazon Conservation’s communications and development efforts to increase sources of unrestricted donations through digital and individual fundraising. Previous to working with Amazon Conservation, Ana worked for six years in the areas of program management, volunteer management, marketing, and fundraising with nonprofits in Michigan and Illinois. Ana has studied and volunteered abroad with several environmental NGOs implementing community-based conservation projects in Chile and Brazil. She has a BA in International Studies from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Public Administration from Oakland University.

 Adrian TejedorMariana Vedoveto, Program Associate
Mariana designs grant proposals, manages conservation and sustainable livelihoods projects and coordinates project implementation with our partners. Before coming to Amazon Conservation, Mariana spent seven years working in the Brazilian Amazon developing strategies to enhance the financing and consolidation of protected areas. She has extensive experience conducting research on policies to reduce tropical deforestation and community-based conservation and restoration efforts. Mariana has a BS in Forest Engineering from the University of São Paulo and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University.


In Peru

Amazon Conservation's sister organization, Conservación Amazónica-ACCA, acts as our on-the-ground partner for all conservation projects in Peru. They employ over 90 individuals. Visit their website to learn more about their staff.

Visit Conservación Amazónica - ACCA


In Bolivia

Amazon Conservation's sister organization, Conservación Amazónica-ACEAA, acts as our on-the-ground partner for all conservation projects in Bolivia. They employ over 15 individuals. Visit their website to learn more about their staff.

Visit Conservación Amazónica - ACEAA


ACA Staff

ACA staff members at the Peruvian Ambassador's residence in October 2013. Left to right: Rachel Tennant, Sarah Campbell, Daniela Pogliani, Megan MacDowell, Brendan Buckland, Valerie Peterson, Jeff Woodman, and Hannah Stutzman. Photo: MikeBPhotography

Photo of Luis Felipe Duchicela with staff

Former ACA Executive Director Luis Felipe Duchicela (far right) with Ronald Catpo, Megan MacDowell, and Adrian Tejedor (left to right). Photo: Leoncio Luna

ACCA staff photo

ACCA staff prepare the strategic plan in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. Photo: Nurymar Feldman

Karen with Japu residents

Karen Eckhardt of ACCA (left) meeting with residents of the indigenous Q'eros community of Japu about creating a private conservation area. Photo: ACCA

Ronald at REDD conference

ACCA's Ronald Catpo (left) speaking at a Seminar on REDD in Cusco in 2009. Photo: ACCA

MAT Beneficiaries

Luis Felipe Duchicela (formerly with ACA) and Hannah Stutzman (center left and right) with members of the Santa Rita Reforestation Association in the Manu - Tambopata Corridor of Madre de Dios, Peru. Photo: Laura Samaniego

Laura and Cristina

ACCA's Laura Samaniego (left) and Cristina Trujillo (right) with a MAT Corridor beneficiary who hopes to create an ecotourism program for his private conservation area, holding a tourism inventory map. Photo: Luis Felipe Duchicela

Vegetation Survey

ACCA's Cristina Trujillo, Luciano Huilca and Laura Samaniego conduct a vegetation study in the MAT Corridor. Photo: Luis Villena

Hannah and Daniel

Hannah Stutzman (left) and Daniel Huaman (right) spot birds from the Canopy Walkway. Photo: Leoncio Luna

red tapestry