Project Leadership

Jettie Word (Executive Director): Jettie Word has worked extensively with rural communities facing threats to their livelihoods and resources around the world. As a policy analyst with the Oakland Institute, Jettie supported community-initiated land rights campaigns in Papua New Guinea and Senegal. Before that, she worked for The Gage, providing food security assessments for community organizations in crisis situations. She has also worked for the International Budget Partnership, ACCION New Mexico, and the Nature Conservancy. Jettie has a dual Masters of Public Administration in Sustainable Development and International Development from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University.

Our Penan Preschool Program is run by an incredible group of teachers and coordinators: Click here to meet our Borneo-based Penan Preschool Staff


Our Board: 

Zach Hurwitz: Zach Hurwitz coordinates International Rivers’ efforts to promote environmental and social standards, to improve the risk management policies of public and private sector banks, and to hold developers to sustainability commitments, with a special focus on emerging markets. Before joining International Rivers in 2011, he worked as a geographer, researching climate mitigation and river basin management policy in Brazil’s Amazon region. He has previously analyzed human rights violations in the energy and infrastructure sectors, and is certified in environmental and social risk analysis and management by the UNEP-FI. Zach holds a Master of Arts in Geography and the Environment from the University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wesleyan University, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. 

Peter Kallang: Peter Kallang is the chairman of SAVE-Rivers Sarawak, based in Miri, Sarwak, Malaysia.

Chris Evans: Christopher Leith Evans was born in 1954 in Bremerton, Washington. His childhood years were spent in Brightwaters, New York, and he graduated from Bay Shore High School in 1972. After moving to Santa Monica, California, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied with painters William Brice, James Valerio, Tom Wudl, James Doolin, and David Hockney. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1980.

Chris’ current project is a series of monumental canvases called Supply Chain Portraits. Each of the nine foot wide compositions centers on a man, woman, or child, whose life is the center of an artistic exploration of the global supply chains that bring common consumer products into our daily lives. In Pipeline it is a Nigerian mother with a baby on her back scavenging gasoline from a ruptured pipeline; in Family Trees it is nomadic forest hunter crouching upon the stump of a tropical hardwood tree, surveying the destruction of his forest home; in Cobalt Blue it is a miner in the Central Republic of the Congo emerging from a hand-dug hole yielding the minerals from which the pigment for cobalt blue paint is obtained.

Joe Lamb (Founder): Joe Lamb is an arborist, writer, educator, and activist. He holds degrees in biology, ecology and filmmaking. His writing has been featured in Maxine Hong-Kingston’s Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace; in The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart; and in numerous journals. Joe worked as hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War, built passive solar homes in New Mexico in the 1970’s, taught field ecology to grade school kids from Mexico City, and worked as a field organizer on the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Joe founded the Borneo Project in 1991 to bring attention to the plight of Borneo’s indigenous peoples and to the importance of their native customary land rights in the preservation of rainforests. Joe was featured as an “environmental hero” on the KQED program, Green Means.

Judith Mayer (Director 2007- 2011): A Borneo Project founding member, Judith has worked with NGOs and communities in Borneo since 1987. She focuses on issues related to land rights and natural resource planning. A practicing environmental planner with extensive experience in the United States and Southeast Asia, Judith has taught at Humboldt State University and Virginia Tech, balancing community action at home and abroad. Judith holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Recent research focuses on social causes and impacts of fires in Kalimantan, and links between environmental conservation and community rights related to climate change. Judith lives in Arcata, California.

Anna Goldstein (Board Chair): Anna Goldstein is an organizational expert and has extensive experience in progressive organizing. She promotes international climate activism with at their global headquarters in Berkeley. Anna holds degrees in development studies from American University.

Liz Varnhagen: Liz Varnhagen is a longstanding supporter of The Borneo Project. Liz has a Masters Degree in Ecology from UC Davis, and a professional career administering US environmental laws working for the Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Service. Liz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo and loves returning to Malaysia. She has volunteered with orangutan conservation organizations, and takes a keen interest in helping to protect the natural forests and unique cultures of Borneo.

Chris Donahue: After graduating from Bowdoin College in ’68 Chris spent two years in Peru as a Peace Corps volunteer. He moved to Berkeley in 1976 and began his career as a carpenter, remodeler, and woodworker. In the mid 90s he and a partner revived an old Albany bar, the Club Mallard, and rebuilt it into a thriving business. Chris is a long time supporter and member of the Borneo Project and is now enjoying retirement.

Wick Pancoast (Director, 1996-2003): Executive Director of the Borneo Project from 1996-2001, Wick has a B.A. in Environmental Politics from the College of Wooster. He has worked in the fields of indigenous rights, environmental protection and rural development in Southeast Asia for over 12 years. Prior to the Borneo Project, he collaborated on a community reforestation initiative and experimental organic farm in Southern Laos. Under his leadership at the Borneo Project, Wick spearheaded the development of community-based GIS mapping; established the Micro-hydro Program; promoted community resource management, and significantly increased international awareness and support for Borneo communities and NGOs. Wick owns and operates a residential construction company in Berkeley, California.


Our Advisory Council:

Branden Barber: Branden Barber is the Engagement Director at Amazon Watch. Branden has moved from activism to marketing to design to management to business and back to activism over the last 20 years. Having started in advocacy with Greenpeace as a crewman on the Rainbow Warrior and the MV Greenpeace, Branden has devoted his life to being in service to our planet’s ecosystems and to environmental justice. Having been part of the leadership team at Rainforest Action Network for five years and a board member at Amazon Watch, he now dedicates himself to the growth and resilience of the organization as a full-time staff member with a commitment to increased capacity and empowerment for the organization.

Nancy Peluso: Nancy Peluso is a professor of Forest Policy in the Dept of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management  at UC Berkeley. She studies the social processes that affect the management of land-based resources, using ethnographic, historical, and other broadly sociological research methods.  Her work explores various dimensions of resource access, use, and control, while comparing and contrasting local, national, and international influences on management structures and processes. She grounds her analysis of contemporary resource management policy and practice in local and regional histories. Dr. Peluso is  particularly interested in how social difference – ethnic identity, class, gender – affects resource access and control.

Brihannala Morgan (Director 2011- 2014): Brihannala Morgan has been working on forest and climate issues for over a decade, most recently completing her master’s degree from the University of Michigan, focusing community-level impacts of REDD plantations. Before that, she worked with the Rainforest Action Network, focusing on palm oil plantation expansion, and the Center for International Forestry Research, supporting community-based land rights. She has lived and worked in Indonesia for nine years.

Jerry Mander: Jerry Mander is the former program director for the Foundation for Deep Ecology, and founder and director of the Public Media Center. Back in the 1960s Jerry was president of a major San Francisco advertising company before turning his talents to environmental campaigns that kept dams out of the Grand Canyon, established Redwood National Park, and stopped production of the Supersonic Transport. His books include The Capitalism Papers; Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System (2013), as well as Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1977), In the Absence of the Sacred (1991), The Case Against the Global Economy with Edward Goldsmith (1996), Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible, with John Cavanagh (2004), and Paradigm Wars, Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance to Globalization, with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (2006). NY Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin called Mander “The patriarch of the anti-globalization movement,” and Resurgence Magazine (UK) called Mander “One of the 100 leading visionaries of the 20th Century.”

Jessica Lawrence (Director 2004- 2007): Jessica Lawrence is a conservation biologist who has worked for 18 years in rainforest ecology research and advocacy for local community management of forests. As director of the Borneo Project from 2004-2007, she supported Penan community initiatives for citizenship documentation, reforestation, gardening, and literacy development, including indigenous language children’s books and the establishment of three Penan community preschools. She now lives in Oakland, works for Earthjustice, and continues to coordinate the Borneo Project’s ongoing support for the preschools.

Rachael Knight: Rachael Knight is the Director of Namati’s Community Land Protection Program, which works in partnership with national NGOs to document and protect community land rights. She is an attorney with expertise in the areas of land tenure security, access to justice, and legal empowerment of the poor. She previously served as Director of the International Development Law Organization’s (IDLO) Community Land Titling Initiative, working to document and protect the customary land rights of indigenous groups in Uganda, Liberia and Mozambique. Rachael also works as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Rachael has written extensively on how best to protect community land rights, including: a book for the FAO entitled  Statutory Recognition of Customary Land Rights in Africa , as well as Protecting Community Lands and Resources: An investigation into best practices for community land documentation.

Kim Klein: Kim Klein is an internationally known speaker and author, well known for her ability to deliver information in a practical and humorous way. She has worked in all aspects of fundraising: as staff, as a volunteer and as a board member. Kim is the author of five books including Reliable Fundraising in Unreliable Times which won the McAdam Book Award in 2010. Her classic text, Fundraising for Social Change, now in its sixth edition, is widely used in the field and in university programs. She has provided training and consultation in all 50 United States, five Canadian provinces and 21 other countries.

In addition to fundraising, her current work is focused on the role nonprofits need to play in creating fair and just tax policies, and why nonprofit work needs to focus primarily on the common good. Kim believes that the nonprofit sector has a critical role to play in the creation and maintenance of a democratic society. Currently, she is a lecturer at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. She serves on the board of the California Association of Nonprofits.

Joanna de Rozario: Joanna de Rozario is the Malaysia Facilitator with the Non Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme for South and SEA (NTFP EP).  Key areas being addressed include sustainable traditional resource management, community based livelihood development, tenure and access rights, subsistence with emphasis on food and health, community based conservation, and social forestry with partner communities and CSOs in Sabah and Sarawak and the region. She has over 20 years of work experience with local communities and partner CBOs in Malaysia including Kalimantan. Key areas of intervention include community organizing, capacity and awareness building including cross border exchanges, strategic programmatic development, resource mobilization, and networking and advocacy.

Martha Belcher (Director 1994-1996): Martha is an operations specialist with over two decades of experience growing and strengthening mission driven organizations. Martha was the founding employee at Sungevity, the Oakland-based residential solar company. She held several senior leadership positions there including COO, VP of Installation Operations, and VP Customer Care. She has worked with many other start up ventures including the David Brower Center, Social Venture Institute, and The Borneo Project. As Vice President at Social Venture Network, Martha worked with social entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, and philanthropists to leverage the power of business for social and environmental change. Martha’s introduction to sustainability was WALHI in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she worked on communication and campaign strategies to halt destructive mining, rainforest devastation, and human rights abuses. She has served on several boards including Black Rock Solar, International Rivers, The Borneo Project, and Project Underground.

Rebekah Shirley: Rebekah Shirley is currently a PhD student with the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at the University of California, Berkeley where she also obtained a MSc. Energy and Resources and a MSc. Civil Engineering. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Environment at McGill University. She is from Trinidad and Tobago and worked there doing environmental impact assessment for energy projects prior to Berkeley. She now does research on sustainable islands at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, directed by Professor Dan Kammen, working on decision support tools for energy resource management. She has done work with NREL in the Caribbean and now also works with environmental groups in islands of the Pacific and South­east Asia. Rebekah was a Chancellor’s Fellow and has won grants from organizations such as the DOE and the Rainforest Foundation that support her work.

John Harte: John Harte is a physicist turned ecologist. His research interests span ecological field research, the theory of complex systems, and policy analysis. Current interests include applying insights from information theory to the analysis of complex ecosystems and empirical investigation of climate-ecosystem feedback dynamics. He holds a joint professorship in the Energy and Resources Group and the Ecosystem Sciences Division of the College of Natural Resources. He received a BA in physics from Harvard University in 1961 and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1965. He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at CERN, Geneva, during 1965–66 and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, during 1966–68. During the next 5 years, he was Assistant Professor of Physics at Yale University and has been at Berkeley since 1973. Harte’s honors and awards include elected fellowship to the American Physical Society and the California Academy of Sciences, a Pew Scholars Prize in Conservation and the Environment, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Phi Beta Kappa and University of Colorado Distinguished Lectureships, the Leo Szilard prize from the American Physical Society, the UC Berkeley Graduate Mentorship Award, a Miller Professorship, and a George Polk award in investigative journalism. He has served on six National Academy of Sciences Committees and has authored over 200 scientific publications, including eight books, on topics including biodiversity, climate change, biogeochemistry, and energy and water resources.

Aviva Imhof: Aviva Imhof is the Pacific Coal Network Coordinator with The Sunrise Project. She works with a diverse network of NGOs and community groups around the world working to stop the construction of new coal plants and mines; accelerate the retirement of the world’s existing coal infrastructure; and enable a just transition to sustainable, renewable energy systems. Aviva provides support to local campaigns against coal expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, including helping with strategic advice, information resources, technical assistance, campaign support and assistance with funding. Prior to joining The Sunrise Project, Aviva worked with International Rivers in Berkeley, California, first as Southeast Asia Program Director and then as Campaigns Director, managing the organisation’s Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa and regranting programs. Aviva has extensive experience in campaigning, communications, fundraising, small grants management, and financial and organizational management.

Adrian Lasimbang: Adrian has worked in community watershed management projects since 1999, and has extensive experience in participatory mapping, conducting community awareness workshops, enrichment planting, gravity water supply systems, and designing community-based micro-hydro systems. He is the executive director of TONIBUNG, a community-based non-profit based in Sabah, Malaysia, that plans and implements community-based renewable energy systems for rural electrification in remote indigenous villages in Malaysia. Projects include micro-hydro systems and small-scale biogas for household cooking and lighting. Adrian’s work centers on improving the socio-economic conditions of rural indigenous communities in Sabah and Sarawak, and he is a technical advisor for Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (JOAS). In 2004 he was awarded the Seacology Prize for Indigenous Conservationist of the year for protecting watershed areas and improving livelihoods in rural indigenous communities in Borneo. In both 2007 and 2008 he received the Outstanding Young Person Sabah (TOYPS) award for his work integrating natural resource management and rural indigenous communities. Adrian also runs Penampang Renewable Energy, a renewable energy consultancy company.

Claire Greensfelder: Claire Greensfelder is a lifelong environmental, peace and safe energy activist, educator, political campaigner, and journalist, presently consulting as a Senior Advisor on Climate and Energy for the Munich, Germany office of Women in Europe for a Common Future and as Project Coordinator for the major multi-media exhibit – Conversations with the Earth: Indigenous Voices on Climate Change (CWE). Claire has in her long, distinguished career worked in leadership roles with over four dozen NGOs, electoral campaigns, media outlets and youth organizations, including the International Forum on Globalization, Greenpeace, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), INOCHI/Plutonium Free Future, Friends of the Earth, Jane Addams Center of Hull House, the Sierra Club, the American Friends Service Committee and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.