Staff

Monti Aguirre Email me
Latin America Program Coordinator

Monti works as part of International Rivers’ Latin America program to support local movements for the protection of rivers; to identify new dam projects in Latin America and to examine their economic, social, and environmental impacts; and to design strategies to counteract their effects. She has worked for more than a decade in support of Amazon indigenous peoples’ rights and is co-producer of Amazonia: Voices From the Rainforest, a film on the fight of grassroots groups in the Amazon to defend their lives and their land. She has also been a tireless supporter of the people affected by Chixoy Dam in Guatemala. Prior to joining International Rivers in 1998, Ms. Aguirre worked with the Environmental Action Coalition and El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice in New York City. Monti has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s degree from New York University in Environmental Education and Conservation.

Ange Asanzi Email me
Africa Program Associate

Ange joined International Rivers in 2014 to work with the Africa program covering the Inga dams and the broader dam development projects on Sub-Saharan Africa’s rivers. She provides campaign and adminstrative support for the Africa program as well as creating awareness on renewable energy solutions. Prior to joining International Rivers, Ange worked as a consultant in a Human Resource firm in Johannesburg for two years. Her experience also includes monitoring developments and carrying out reaserch for the Inga dams as an intern at the United Nations Information Centre. Ange holds an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Kwazulu Natal and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. 

Sarah Bardeen Email me
Communications Director

Sarah has worked as a writer, editor and communications consultant for over 15 years. She's written about a wide range of issues over the years, including affordable housing, health equity, sweatshop labor, environmental justice, urban sustainability, and diversity and inclusion. As a music critic, her work has appeared on NPR and in numerous online and print publications.

Pianporn Deetes Email me
Thailand and Burma Campaigns Director

Based in the Mekong Region, Pai work focuses on protecting the Mekong River from dams proposed for its mainstream, and in particular on Thailand's role as dam developer and the main intended market for the hydroelectricity. Before joining International Rivers in 2010, Pai spent seven years as coordinator of the Thai NGO Living River Siam (SEARIN), working to empower communities living alongside the Mekong and Salween rivers to protect their rivers, rights and livelihoods, and to stop destructive dams. Pai has a Bachelor's degree in English and is an Ashoka Fellow.

Sabrina Gyorvary Email me
Mekong Program Coordinator Sabrina works with peoples movements and civil society partners in the Mekong region to raise awareness of the impacts of large dams, advocate for greater public participation in decision-making, and campaign for stronger environmental and human rights protections. Sabrina comes to International Rivers after a number of years with the Chiang Mai University Women’s Studies Center and EarthRights International's Mekong School, where she developed curriculum, led exposure trips and taught classes on human rights, environmental justice and the impacts of dams on the Mekong and its tributaries.  She also organized a network of 150 regional youth activists who work together to raise awareness of the impacts of dams and to campaign for stronger environmental and human rights protections in the Mekong region.  She holds an MA in International Studies with a focus on Political Ecology from the University of Oregon.

Maureen Harris Email me
Southeast Asia Program Director

Maureen works with people’s movements and civil society partners in Southeast Asia, providing technical and advocacy support to efforts to protect vital transboundary rivers in the region from destructive dams and other developments. She works closely with regional networks of affected-communities, indigenous peoples and NGOs to safeguard water resources, rights and livelihoods, with a focus on the Mekong and the Salween Rivers. Prior to joining International Rivers, Maureen worked as Mekong Legal Director for EarthRights International based in Thailand, coordinating regional legal advocacy initiatives in support of local communities in the Mekong affected by hydropower dams, land concessions and mining projects. She has also worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission on human rights and judicial reform projects in China and Vietnam, and on human rights documentation and research in India and Australia. Maureen holds Bachelors’ degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney and a Master of Laws (Human Rights and Social Justice) from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Kate Horner Email me
Executive Director

Kate is a longtime environmental campaigner who combines strategic thinking with effective organizational management and fundraising. Prior to joining International Rivers, Kate was Director of Forest Campaigns for the Washington DC-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) where she built a dynamic, cohesive, and truly global team while leading strategic campaigns to save the world’s forests. She is passionate about water, energy and human rights issues, and brings enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to the organization. 

 

Sandie Hum Email me
Administrative Coordinator

Sandie oversees human resources at International Rivers, as well as provides operational, administrative and accounting support. She brings with her 20 years of experience in those areas. Before joining the team in Berkeley, Sandie managed human resources at a sailing club and school in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a degree in American Civilization from Mills College.

Stephanie Jensen-Cormier Email me
China Program Director

Based in Beijing, Stephanie works to protect Asia’s key rivers and promote higher environmental and social standards in Chinese hydropower projects around the world. She has been engaged in environmental work in China since 2005. Her specialization on China is driven by her conviction of this country’s importance on the global stage. Prior to joining International Rivers in 2015, Stephanie  was the program director at a China-based environmental education NGO. She has also worked with the International Labor Organization and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. Stephanie has a Bachelor Degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia and earned her Master Degree from the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University in New York City. 

Josh Klemm Email me
Policy Director 

Josh joined International Rivers in 2014 and is based in Washington, DC, where he focuses on the growing role of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Green Climate Fund in the water and energy sectors. Prior to joining International Rivers, Josh worked for over eight years with the Bank Information Center (BIC), an NGO based in Washington, DC, dedicated to promoting social and economic justice and ecological sustainability in the projects and policies of the World Bank. As Africa Program Manager, he worked closely with civil society and community representatives in Africa to challenge problematic hydropower, mining, coal, and other World Bank-financed projects, and to seek remedy for the negative impacts they cause. Later, Josh coordinated BIC’s flagship campaign to strengthen the environmental and social rules of the World Bank to ensure that community rights are respected. He has also served on the Steering Committee of the CSO Coalition on the African Development Bank. He received his Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in International Affairs, and subsequently spent three years working with local NGOs in Ghana and Sierra Leone on governance issues. 


Candace Lazarou Email me
Lead Technologist

Candace manages IT, web, and information security for International Rivers. Before joining International Rivers in 2013, Candace worked alternately as a IT consultant and front-end developer for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. When she is not helping activists use technology to make their work easier and safer, she is making music, co-directing the East Bay chapter of Women Who Code, and collaborating with like-minded technologists projects that serve activist and music-based communities.  She holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

 

Samir Mehta Email me
South Asia Program Director

Based in Mumbai, Samir works with regional partners to campaign against the construction of destructive dams in the Himalayas. He supports social movements and provides advocacy support to South Asian communities and NGOs. Samir was appointed by the Bombay High Court on a Committee to assess the impacts of development on the tidal movement of a coastal river in Mumbai. Prior to joining International Rivers in 2010, Samir worked with Bombay Environmental Action Group for over 17 years. He worked on environmental and town and regional planning legislation and developed an expertise on declaration and planning of ecologically sensitive areas. He was on several Federal and State appointed Committees. After obtaining his Bachelor's Degree in Statistics from the University of Bombay, India, he started his career in IT. Exposure to environmental activism in the west influenced his decision to change careers. He also has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Brent Millikan Email me
Amazon Program Director

Based in Brasilia, Brent supports movements of dam-affected peoples and their allies to successfully resist destructive dams, while promoting alternative policies in energy planning and river basin management that contribute to sustainable livelihoods and environmental conservation in the Amazonian countries, especially Brazil and Peru. He has lived and worked for many years as a researcher, activist and consultant in the Brazilian Amazon, focusing on the impacts of large infrastructure projects, particularly highways and hydroelectric dams. Brent has a long history of engagement in the western Amazonian state of Rondônia, where he actively participated in grassroots and international campaigns around the World Bank-financed POLONOROESTE and PLANAFLORO projects. Prior to joining International Rivers in 2010, Brent collaborated extensively in Brazil with academic institutions, social movements, the Ministry of the Environment and NGOs such as Amigos da Terra – Amazônia Brasileira. He received a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master's degree in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley.

Rudo Angela Sanyanga Email me
Africa Program Director

Rudo provides advocacy and analytical support to African communities and NGOs working to protect themselves from the destructive impacts of large dams. She monitors proposed dams, helps communities affected by dams to seek reparations, and advocates for decentralized renewable energy options as alternatives to big dams. Before joining International Rivers in 2011, Rudo worked as an aquatic ecology researcher, university lecturer and an environmental consultant. She has conducted a major portion of her work on Lake Kariba and the Zambezi River Basin, based at the Lake Kariba Fisheries Research Institute, and later at the University of Zimbabwe Lake Kariba Research Station. She was one of the consultants for the EIAs for the Batoka Gorge Dam Project in 1997-98 and in 2010-11 consulted for the Dam Synchronisation and Flood Releases Project for the Zambezi Basin. As a lecturer she has taught principles of aquatic ecology, environmental sciences, water resource management and EIA methodology. She holds a Ph.D. in Aquatic Systems Ecology from Stockholm University, a Master's of Science in Applied Hydrobiology from the University of Wales, Cardiff and a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Zimbabwe.

Michael Simon Email me
Co-Director of Programs

Michael manages the Asia teams in South and South East Asia and China, as well as providing leadership in key policy and program areas. He has a background in environmental and social justice campaigning; working in environmental campaigning in Australia and for the last 20 years he has led Oxfam’s natural resource, river and water governance advocacy as part of their global campaigning. With a background in the Mekong region supporting civil society and community strengthening, he brings expertise in human rights, gender and indigenous peoples. 

Michael has undergraduate honours and teaching degrees from Monash University and is currently a scholarship recipient for the Masters in Integrated Water Management from the University of Queensland, Australia. He is also a graduate of the Prince of Wales Business and Sustainability Program delivered by Cambridge University.  

Margaret ZhouEmail me
Partnerships Manager

Margaret provides a wide range of core partner and donor relationship management and strategic support. Prior to joining International Rivers, she served as a Communications Consultant and Administrative Assistant in start-up and non-profit settings. As an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, she researched environmental justice issues in China’s rural areas and migrant worker's rights in Beijing, before writing her senior honor's thesis on China's Great Famine. She graduated with a major in Comparative Literature (emphasis in Chinese) and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Outside of International Rivers, she enjoys pursuing her interests in writing, gardening, and music.

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