Staff Bios

Poverty-Environment Facility

Isabell Kempf is co-Director of PEI and is based at the PEF in Nairobi. She has over 18 years of experience working with the UN, including UNESCO, the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean and with the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights. Isabell has widely published on the right to development, poverty reduction and economic, social and cultural rights and brings many years of experience in the area of project management and technical cooperation. Isabell holds a Ph.D. in International Economics and Development from the University Complutense of Madrid. She also has post-graduate degrees in Gender and Public Policy as well as Social Communication.

George Bouma is co-Director of PEI and is based at UNDP Headquarters in New York. He has extensive experience in the area of environment and sustainable development having worked previously at UNEP, UN DPKO and as an environmental scientist in Australia. He has worked in East Timor, Afghanistan Liberia and Indonesia where his focus has mainly been project implementation for environmental governance strengthening. His specific experience in these countries is related to environmental impact assessment, pollution control policy, strategic environmental assessment and supporting capacity development in national counterpart agencies. George holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Science from Murdoch University and a Master of Arts Degree in International Development Studies from Melbourne University.

Koen Toonen functions as Regional Coordinator for the PEI and is based at the Poverty Environment Facility in Nairobi. He has 20 years of project and programme management experience in the areas of poverty alleviation, rural development, and environmental management, particularly in post-conflict settings. After starting his career with UNDP, he also worked for UNEP, UN DPKO and UNOPS. He has worked in Cambodia, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia and Somalia, and at HQ in New York and Geneva. Koen has recently returned from a detail assignment in Somalia, where he was the Head of Sub-Office for UNDP in Puntland. Koen holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Twente University, the Netherlands with a specialization on International Relations and Environmental Management. 

Victoria E. Luque Panadero  is Programme Officer responsible for donor relations management and focal point for gender. Victoria has worked with PEI since 2009 and counts with over 12 years of development work experience. Before joining PEI, she worked for the Spanish International Development Cooperation Agency (AECID) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and for UNDP in Brazil. Victoria has extensive experience with the UN system, including UNDP, UNEP and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). In addition to  a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Development Studies from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences-Po), Victoria has  a Diploma on International Commerce from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and  a Master’s Degree in English and German Philology. 

Martha Gatimu is Programme Associate and supports the PEI facility on financial reporting, human resources issues and procurement.

Shitaye Temam is Programme Assistant and supports the PEI Facility on financial reporting, human resources issues and procurement. Prior to joining PEI, Shitaye worked with the World Food Programme and UNEP. She holds a Master’s degree in Sociology with a specialization in Community Development from the University of Nairobi. 


Africa Regional Team

David Smith is the PEI Africa Regional Manager. David is an economist from New Zealand with more than 17 years of experience within UNEP and a long history of working on the PEI Africa programme. 

Alex Forbes is PEI Africa Programme Officer. He is a natural resource management expert with over 20 years experience in integrated conservation and development. He has in-depth knowledge and expertise in natural resource management within local level, national and regional contexts as well as within public sector and civil society institutions. Prior to joining the PEF, Alex worked as advisor to the PEI Kenya programme and at IUCN’s Eastern Africa office in Kenya and Uganda. Alex holds a Masters degree in Natural Resources Assessment for Development Planning from the University of East Anglia.

Jean-Jacob Sahou is the PEI Africa regional focal point for the country programmes in Kenya, Mali and Rwanda. Prior to joining PEI, Jean-Jacob was in charge of UNDP’s Energy and Environment portfolio in his home country Benin. 

Amath Pathe Sene is the PEI country focal point for Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Tanzania. Amath is an Engineer in Agronomic Science and a Natural Resources Specialist from Senegal. Before joining PEI he worked as a Program Officer at the UNDP Mauritania Environment & Energy Unit.

Moa Westman is the PEI country focal point for Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique. Moa has a Master’s degree in political science/development studies from Stockholm University and prior to joining PEI she worked as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Officer for a major wind energy company in India.

Anne Mburu is the PEI Africa Programme Assistant supporting the team with program and financial administration. Anne has secretarial training and has been with the PEI team since the start of the project. She has worked for several years with the UN in Kenya, which is also her home country. 


Asia-Pacific Regional Team

Paul Steele from the regional UNDP Environment Practice co-manages the regional PEI Asia programme. Paul has a Master’s degree in environmental economics and prior to joining UNDP, Paul worked as an economic and environmental advisor for the British and Sri Lankan Governments.

Mika Korkeakoski is the PEI Asia-Pacific Programme Officer. Mika has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science specializing in Development and International Cooperation and prior to joining UNEP, he was part of the Mekong research team at Finland’s Futures Research Centre. 

Jonathan Gilman works as UNEP Regional Coordinator on Delivering as One UN. He is an environmental economist with more than 10 years programme design and implementation experience with the UN, including postings in East-Timor, Indonesia and New York.

Manesh Lacoul is a UNEP Programme Monitoring and Operations Associate supporting PEI planning, budgeting and monitoring activities.

Saranya Rojananuangnit joined the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative as Team Assistant in 2009 and provides financial and administrative programme support.

Kwanruen Seub-Am is a UNDP Programme Assistant and provides programme and financial management support for the PEI Asia-Pacific regional programme.

Varisara Anansiribovorn is Administrative Assistant at UNDP and provides support in managing procurement processes and other administrative tasks.


Europe & CIS Regional Team

Nara Luvsan is a Senior Programme Officer for PEI Europe CIS and is located in Geneva. She has a double Master’s degree in economics and international public administration. Prior to joining UNEP, Nara worked in Tajikistan, Georgia and Turkey having extensive experience in managing poverty projects.

Stamatios Christopoulos is Programme Analyst and supports the PEI Europe CIS programme from the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre. Stamatios has a PHD in environmental science and has extensive experience in research and application of development projects. He has 12 years within the field of environmental policy and management.

Ben Slay is the Poverty Reduction Practice Leader at the UNDP Bratislava Regional Center and a resource person for the PEI team in the region. Ben has 25 years of experience in economics and policy analysis for sustainable development. Ben’s main area of expertise is energy and environmental economics.


Latin America & the Caribbean Regional Team

Gabriel Labbate is the UNEP PEI-LAC Regional Coordinator. Prior to joining UNEP, Gabriel worked as UNEP GEF Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean and developed projects in the areas of biopersity and land degradation. He has also worked for UNDP, OECD, UNICEF, ILO, academia and the private sector. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and a Ph. D in Environmental Studies.

Jaime Mira Salama is Programme Officer for PEI-LAC in charge of portfolio implementation and monitoring. He has a strong background in poverty reduction issues and extensive project management experience.  He has a professional degree in law and economics.