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You are here: Home / Who we are / about us / Meet the secretariat

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.

secretariat photo 2012


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 Wagemaar 2
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.
Maarten van den berg
A political scientist by training (University of Amsterdam, York University, Canada), Maarten van den Berg is FoEI's Communications Coordinator. Before he joined FoEI in January 2012, Maarten developed and directed communication and knowledge management strategies for a variety of organizations, most recently as Head of Knowledge and Communication of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy. After work, Maarten loves to cook and share in the care of his son Titus.
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.
niccolo 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.
Marta Zogbi
Marta Zogbi is our Project Officer. Originally from the wine producing region of Mendoza in Argentina, Marta has a masters degree in both Law and Social Arts and wrote her thesis on the causes of the Argentinian political economic crisis. She has two children.
Prior to joining FoEI as our Resource Mobilisation Coordinator in 2009, Paige Shipman coordinated the workers' human rights project of the Clean Clothes Campaign and directed the communications, legislative and electoral program of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. She graduated from Cornell University, has a masters degree in US History and lives in Amsterdam with her husband and two children.
Loreto de Amunátegui
Loreto de Amunátegui joined us as the Events Coordinator in July 2011. Previously she was coordinating 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 photo Denis Burke joined FoEI in July 2012 as the Web & E-Communications Editor. Previously he worked in advocacy and communications on issues relating to HIV and development. He is from Dublin, Ireland.


We rely on the generous support of volunteers who give up their time to help keep the secretariat running smoothly, assisting with communications, web, information requests, and much more.

fatema baheranwala
Fatema Baheranwala is an Indian living in the Netherlands and volunteers for Friends of the Earth in her spare time. In 2011 she completed a Masters degree in Environment and Resource Management at Vrije University, Amsterdam. She enjoys painting, yoga and music.

Sophie van den Berghe is an economist (UCL, Belgium) and has a Master in Environmental Sciences (Antwerp, Belgium). She worked in Belgium for several years in the field of Sustainable Development before moving to Peru and Chile with her family. She has been living in Amsterdam since September 2011 and works as a media-volunteer for Friends of the Earth International. She is Belgian, has 3 children and enjoys yoga and photography.
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