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 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.
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 build 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.
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.
Ana designs and implements fundraising campaigns and manages all internal and external communications for the organization. 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 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.
Nadia provides technical support for Amazon Conservation’s Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project
(MAAP). She conducts real-time monitoring analysis and identifies the drivers, patterns, hotspots and
deforestation trends across the Amazon region using remote sensing and GIS techniques at a regional,
national and local landscape scale.
Previous to working with Amazon Conservation, she worked in environmental conservation and
sustainable natural resources management with government and nonprofits organizations in Peru.
Nadia has collaborated in the implementation of land restoration activities in indigenous communities
and community-based conservation projects in Madre de Dios.
She received her BA in Forest and Environmental Engineering from the National Amazonian University of
Madre de Dios and pursues a Master’s degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from
National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco.
Meryl leads the program strategy for the Alliance and supports the management of projects in Peru and Bolivia. She is in charge of developing grant proposals and managing relationships with foundations, governments, and other grant makers. Prior to starting with Amazon Conservation in 2019, Meryl developed and implemented rights-based conservation strategies across the Amazon and Mesoamerica with Forest Trends and the Rights and Resources Initiative. Prior to that, she supported Rapid Assessment Projects in Peru to quantify species diversity with Conservation International. Meryl has a Master’s degree in International Development and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Michelle provides foundational support to Amazon Conservation's operations, supporting all administrative, financial, and development operations. Prior to this involvement, Michelle worked as an Accounting Associate for the Society of Neuroscience. Passionate about wildlife and animal welfare, she has volunteered at the Smithsonian National Zoo as a Zookeeper Aide. She earned her BS in Family Science and minor in Spanish Business, Languages, and Cultures at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014.
Blair provides programmatic support for Amazon Conservation's conservation programs in Peru and Bolivia, assisting with grant development and management. Prior to working with Amazon Conservation, Blair worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as the program coordinator for the Middle East Program. She has also worked in the democracy and governance space as a project assistant with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and as an intern with PartnersGlobal. She received her BA in International Studies and History and minors in Spanish and Environment from the University of Michigan.
Menalie provides communications support for Amazon Conservation's outreach initiatives, including website management, newsletter writing, graphic design, and social media. Prior to working with Amazon Conservation, Menalie completed a Fulbright grant in Perak, Malaysia and volunteered for a school semester in Bío Bío, Chile with the Chilean Ministry of Education. She has also interned with U.S. Mission to NATO, Omnicom Health Group, and Agencia Efe in Madrid, Spain. She received her BS in Communication Design and minors in Spanish and Web Programming while on full scholarship at Ithaca College.
Janet provides finance support for Amazon Conservation. Prior to working with Amazon Conservation, she worked for Chevalier Lewis Tax Services PC as a Staff Accountant/ Office manager where she managed bookkeeping, payroll, quarterly reports, sales taxes, and day to day finances for over 60 Hispanic owned small businesses. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Strayer University.