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Meet the secretariat
The Friends of the Earth International Secretariat supports and strengthens a global network of environmental activist groups and its international campaigns for an environmentally and socially just and sustainable world.
The small Friends of the Earth International Secretariat based in The Netherlands supports the network's campaigns and other activities through fundraising, campaign coordination, workshops, translations, electronic communications, information collection and dissemination, database maintenance and publications. The work of the international secretariat depends heavily upon volunteers.
Dave Hirsch joined FoEI in April 2012 as the International Coordinator. He previously lived in Washington DC, where he worked for Friends of the Earth United States. He held several different positions for the organization and was most recently its Managing Director. He has also served as a member of Friends of the Earth International's Executive Committee and on its Membership Development Team. He has a degree in political communication and a masters degree in political management.
Wieke Wagenaar joined FoEI in May 2000 and is the Finance and Personnel Manager. She previously coordinated the international secretariat of an NGO that focused on academic freedom and the right to education. She studied Economics and Philosophy for a few years but eventually graduated in English language and literature in Amsterdam. Wieke is Dutch and has one son.
Nina Ascoly is our International Programs Facilitator. Prior to joining FoEI in May 2010, she was a coordinator at the Clean Clothes Campaign International Secretariat. Nina has degrees in journalism, political science and women and development. She lives in Amsterdam with her partner and daughter.
Erick Burke is the International Membership Development Coordinator. Most recently, he was the Grants Manager for Global Greengrants Fund. He has degrees in Philosophy and Political Science. Erick is originally from Wyoming, USA and has three children.
Elise Le Guil is the International Program and Membership Assistant. She has a masters in cultural project management and has worked at various places in the Netherlands. Prior to working with FoEI, she worked with the program team at Mama Cash, an international women's fund. She is originally from Bretagne in France and has two sons.
Joukje Kolff is the Technical Support Facilitator. She helps to enable new features and implement changes on our websites and other information systems in the office, such as the photo library. Previously she worked for Friends of the Earth Netherlands. In the distant past, while living in London, she taught dance notation and wrote books on the subject. She is Dutch, has two children, and still dances and practices yoga.
Niccolò Sarno joined FoEI as Media Coordinator in 2002. A former journalist, educated in Brussels and Rome, he specialises in media relations, communication strategies and media trainings. Previously, he worked at Inter Press Service news agency in Brussels and at Greenpeace International. Niccolò spends a fair share of his life in funky positions (practicing yoga) and the rest standing in his kitchen (cooking). He has one son.
Loreto de Amunátegui joined us as the Events Coordinator in July 2011. Previously she coordinated an International Film and contemporary art Festival in Madrid. Originally from Spain, she has a masters degree in Cultural Management. Loreto moved to Amsterdam in January 2011, where she lives with her partner.
Denis Burke is FoEI's communications officer. He joined the staff in July 2012. Previously he worked in advocacy and communications on issues relating to HIV and development. He is from Dublin, Ireland.
Metha de Vries is FoEI's bookkeeper. She joined FoEI in January 2014. She worked previously as a bookkeeper at other NGO's in the Netherlands (WISE, Hivos and IKV Pax Christi). She studied biology. She loves walking in nature and going to small concerts. She is Dutch and lives in Utrecht with her partner.
Edit Tuboly manages the project “Financing Sustainable Futures” which aims to raise awareness and support within the EU for financial and investment systems, practices and policies that cohere with development policy and ensure access to the basic components of sustainable livelihoods. She has a masters in Cultural Anthropology and a background in environmental and socio-economic justice. She worked at Both Ends, Hivos, MDF and ActionAid before joining FoEI in 2014. She has two daughters and a partner.
Myra de Bruijn is the International Fundraising Coordinator. She started fighting for social justice in her early twenties by creating a foundation to support and fundraise for a project in Ecuador. During and after her studies she worked for various development organisations including ICCO, Oxfam and ActionAid. She has extensive fundraising and partnership management experience with EU, US foundations, UN agencies and other donors. Myra has degrees in European Public Administration, International Relations and Conflict Studies and Human Rights. Having lived in Haiti for eight years she moved back to the Netherlands and started with FoEI in August 2014.
Harmien Meijer joined Friends of the Earth International as the office coordinator in June 2015. She graduated in Graphic Design at the Art Academy in Utrecht, after which she worked in various companies, learning many other skills. For nearly 30 years she has worked as a volunteer in her spare time for a number of organisations, including 15 years for the Feminenza Foundation, which seeks to promote and sustain the long-term development of women, their understanding of themselves and their roles in leadership and society. She lives with her partner in Kockengen, a small village in ‘Het Groene Hart van Nederland’ (The Green heart of the Netherlands), where they love to go for walks in nature.