The Friends of the Earth International secretariat supports and strengthens our international campaigns and global network of environmental activist groups. The small team, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, supports the federation with coordination, monitoring and evaluation, fundraising, financial management and capacity building and communications.
Dave Hirsch joined the Friends of the Earth International secretariat in April 2012 as the International Coordinator. He oversees the work of the International Secretariat and works closely with the Executive Committee to facilitate decision making and support their role in steering the federation. He previously lived in Washington DC, where he worked for Friends of the Earth United States. He held several different positions for the organisation 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 in May 2000 and is the Operations Manager. She is in charge of the Support team, overseeing finance, human resources, office management and logistics. She previously coordinated the international secretariat of an NGO 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 and grandson.
Financial Grant Manager
Hesti joined the team in March 2023. She is responsible for financial monitoring and accounting of donor grants. She also manages internal subgrants, membership fees, and the grant database system. Hesti previously worked as grant manager for Clean Clothes Campaign in Amsterdam and program officer/grant manager for ICCO Cooperation South East Asia Regional Office in Bali, Indonesia. She holds a Bachelor degree in forestry management and MSc in watershed and coastal planning management. She is Indonesian and in her private time she volunteers for a human rights defenders organisation, reads books and spends time with her son exploring new playgrounds or restaurants.
Human Resources Officer
Willie Meester joined the Friends of the Earth International secretariat as Human Resources Officer in October 2018, following four years living and working in Thailand. She has studied Hospitality Management, Communications and Human Resource Management and has held various HR roles. Willie lives in Amsterdam, where she also runs a coaching and holistic health practice working with clients to boost their overall performance, health and wellbeing.
Mara Hotiu joined us in September 2021 as our Events Coordinator, overseeing a variety of FoEI events, ranging from International meetings and conferences to participation at the United Nations events and negotiations. Mara is also our Security Officer, who advises the ExCom on security challenges, developing risk assessments and proposing risk reduction measures, ensuring that we are working within an environment consistent with accepted minimum safety and security standards. She considers herself a firm believer in global justice with a strong passion for human rights and environmental equity. She holds an MSc in Public International Law (Human Rights) and in her private time, she is active in the areas of sustainability and the right to a living wage for garment workers.
Grace Nijbroek is the bookkeeper. She worked with us from August 2006 to January 2014, then in March 2022 she returned to the international secretariat. She is ACCA qualified in Accountancy and holds a MA in Cultural Anthropology. Previously, she worked for the Dutch development agency Cordaid and the AIDS aid Agency PharmAccess, among others. She lives near Amsterdam and has two children.
Elisa joined the international secretariat in September 2022 on a part time basis. She is thrilled to join the movement for climate and social justice, which were strong motivators for her environmental studies. Elisa also works as an operational manager for fleets of boats and trains, and has experience with international youth development programme, maritime conservation and promoting sustainability in the travel industry. She enjoys travel and hiking with her dog.
International Programmes Facilitator
Nina Ascoly is our International Programmes Facilitator. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth International 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 and more than 20 years experience with social and environmental justice organisations, ranging from strategy development and coordination to communications and fundraising.
International Programme Officer – Climate justice and energy
Fieke joined in September 2018, as the International Programme Officer for the Climate Justice and Energy programme and the Economic Justice Resisting Neoliberalism programme. She previously worked as a Programme Officer for ActionAid. She holds BAs in Cultural Anthropology & Sociology and Fine Arts, and a MSc in International Development.
International Programmes Officer – Food sovereignty, Forests and biodiversity
Kaetlyn joined in November 2021 as the International Programmes Officer for Forests & Biodiversity and Food Sovereignty. She has 15 years of experience working with issues of social justice and human rights for organisations including ActionAid, Transparency International and IRC. She is specialised in grant management and coordination of global and multi-country programmes, programme development and fundraising. Kaetlyn holds a bachelor degree in Government and International Relations and languages, and a Masters in Development Studies. She is Australian and lives in the Netherlands.
International Programme Officer – Economic justice and resisting neoliberalism
Anke has more than 15 years of experience in the field of gender justice and peacebuilding and lived seven years in East and Southern Africa. She worked with several organisations and regions before joining Friends of the Earth International in June 2022. She holds a Bachelor degree in education and a Master’s degree in Global History. She is Belgian and has been living in Amsterdam for almost a decade.
Myra de Bruijn
Regional Programmes Facilitator
Myra de Bruijn is the Regional Programmes Facilitator since December 2021. Her role is to guide the federation’s southern regions in their planning and monitoring processes. After living in Haiti for eight years, Myra moved back to the Netherlands in August 2014 and started with Friends of the Earth International as a fundraiser. She is passionate about tackling systemic causes of injustices around the world. Locally, she is part of a farming cooperative in an area called the ‘Green Heart of Holland’, working to transition towards democratic and sustainable food systems from the ground up. Myra has extensive programme and contract management experience from various international NGOs. She holds degrees in European Public Administration, International Relations, and Conflict Studies and Human Rights, and is proficient in five languages.
International Fundraising Officer
Laura joined in May 2022 as an International Fundraising Officer, bringing experience in fundraising, project management, monitoring and evaluation and donor management. An Australian living in Amsterdam, she has worked together with Indigenous and refugee communities across a range of social justice issues.
Magdalena Ferrín Pozuelo
International Fundraising Officer
Magdalena joined the Friends of the Earth International secretariat in May 2022. After working as a forester in Andalusia, she began her career in Development and Human Rights fields. She has lived for over 16 years in the global South – 14 in Guatemala – working for NGOs and as an international consultant. Her experience has centred around the promotion of human rights and environmental sustainability, with an emphasis on women’s rights and social justice. She is a Forestry Engineer with a postgraduate degree in International Development Cooperation and a Master’s Degree in Applied Research in Feminist, Gender and Citizenship Studies.
Loreto de Amunátegui
Internationalist Solidarity System Officer
Loreto de Amunategui joined the Friends of the Earth International family in July 2011, working as Events Coordinator for more than 5 years. In 2013, she joined the Human Rights Defenders working team, then in January 2017 she moved to the International Membership Development team. She was also the Environmental Human Rights Defenders Project Manager in APAC region from 2017 to 2019. In 2020, Loreto was appointed as Internationalist Solidarity System Officer, working closely with regional focal points to give an internationalist response to the current political context and support defenders of territories and peoples’ rights. She is very passionate about her work towards system change and fighting social, gender, economic and environmental injustices through organising and mobilising peoples’ power. Originally from Spain, she has been based in Amsterdam for more than a decade.
Membership Development Officer
Sophie returned to Friends of the Earth International in January 2023, after previously working here from 2016 to 2019. She has a long history of working with Friends of the Earth in the fields of membership development and capacity building, having also been a Young Friends of the Earth Europe coordinator, the European School of Sustainability coordinator, and a local activist. Sophie is originally from Wales and is passionate about education, movement building and participatory processes. In her spare time she enjoys working in her community vegetable garden.
Caroline Prak joined the International Secretariat in September 2021, as Communications Coordinator. Her work involves developing and implementing the communications framework and strategies, and coordinating the small communications team, as well as working closely with the international programmes, regions, and Executive Committee. Originally from Cambodia, Caroline is French and has worked for Friends of the Earth France for nine years, then for Oxfam France for five years. She holds a Bachelor in International Economics and a MSc in Environmental Economics.
Real World Radio Coordinator
José Elosegui has been a journalist at Real World Radio since July 2004 and the Radio Coordinator since early 2018, when he officially became part of Friends of the Earth International’s Communications Team. He holds a degree in Communication Sciences from the University of the Republic of Uruguay. With the radio, he has always followed the agenda of several social movements and organisations from different parts of the world and our member groups. Within Friends of the Earth International, José has also worked in the Economic Justice Resisting Neoliberalism programme and co-coordinated the Climate Justice and Energy programme of the Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC) region.
Madeleine Race joined the Communications team in May 2019. Her work involves web content, social media and press, as well as supporting groups and regions. Originally from the UK, Madeleine has worked and volunteered for social causes in various countries, including Senegal, Uganda, Ecuador and India. She holds a BA in Modern Languages and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development.
Digital Communications Officer
Paola joined the communication team in September 2022. Her work covers the technical and analytical aspects of digital communication: our content management system, SEO and analytics, best practices for content and media on social channels, CRM, data, and all digital tools that support our activities. Paola is Italian but she has been living in Copenhagen for the past 10 years. She has worked for major advertising agencies and for Carlsberg but decided to join our team after completing an MSc in Sustainable Development.