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Meet the executive committee
Friends of the Earth International's Executive Committee, elected at the 2016 general meeting
Karin Nansen was elected chair of Friends of the Earth International in 2016. Karin has an educational background on family farming, and is committed to the promotion of ecological and just food systems to counter industrial farming and the corporate concentration of the food chain. A native of Uruguay, Karin helps coordinate the Native and Local Seeds Network and helped to create a National Agroecology Policy initiative. She was a founding member of Friends of the Earth Uruguay/REDES in 1988. She has campiagned against the privatization of water (which led to a constitutional reform recognizing water as a human right) and against free trade and investment agreements. Karin has represented REDES within the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) federation and has served on the FoEI Executive Committee since 2004. Karin has been instrumental in the development of Friends of the Earth Latin America and Caribbean (ATALC), including deepening alliances with La Via Campesina and the World March of Women in the region. Working with peasant and rural women has nurtured Karin’s understanding of the importance of highlighting women’s role as political subjects in food sovereignty and as leaders in all struggles for environmental and social justice.
Hemantha Withanage is a co-founder and the executive director of the Centre for Environmental Justice in Sri Lanka. He is also the convenor of the Sri Lankan Working Group on Trade and IFIs. Hemantha has been instrumental in most of the public interest environmental litigations in Sri Lanka. His commitment to the environment has brought about national policies, including genetically modified food regulations.
Choony Kim is the Vice Executive Director and Chief of International Affairs and Policy Planning at Friends of the Earth Korea/the Korean Federation for Environment Management (KFEM), where she has worked in a number of positions since 1995. She has over 20 years of experience in international environmental policy and the environmental NGO sector in South Korea. She is particularly interested in REDD governance, local energy, and community adaptation to climate change.
Godwin Uyi Ojo is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Nigeria’s foremost environmental advocacy group, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, founded in 1993 as a response to environmental destruction and human rights abuses by multinational oil corporations. He holds MSc. degree in Environment and Development Studies, and obtained his PhD from Kings College London. His experience in environmental activism and human rights defence spans over two decades. He is concerned with environment and social justice issues and the Leave the Oil in the Soil campaign as part of the global energy transition to renewables in which he is currently contributing to building community energy transition models. He is a political ecologist with research interests in peace studies, environment, politics and development and has published some books and several journal articles on these subjects. He is winner of the Sophie’s prize awarded to the organisation in 1998, recipient of the Defender of the Environment Award, and a Church Minister.
Kwami Dodzi Kpondzo is campaigns coordinator at Friends of the Earth Togo. He organises campaign and advocacy activities and projects at national and international levels. He is particularly involved in campaigns against climate change and land grabbing in Africa. He has also worked on initiatives for health, peace building, community development and women's empowerment. He is the treasurer for Friends of the Earth International's executive committee.
Silvia Quiroa is the executive director of CESTA, Friends of the Earth El Salvador, and has been a member of the organization for the past 17 years. Silvia has an MSc in environmental management and she specialized in solid waste and water management. She has developed and followed up environmental projects and proposals.