International Operations Team
President and CEO
Matt started with Nature & Culture in 2015, as an advisor in the Loja, Ecuador office. For seven years prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, a conservation organization in his native Portland, Oregon and also served as treasurer on the board of an Oregon-wide network of conservation entities. Additionally, he’s worked extensively for Native American tribal governments in the US, supporting their treaty fishing and water rights. Matt first fell in love with Latin America — its vibrant cultures, stunning landscapes and incredible biodiversity — while in Honduras in the 1990s as a Peace Corps volunteer. He has a BA from Stanford University in English Literature and Human Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University.
Executive Director of Latin America
Renzo has broad experience in the field of conservation. He served as coordinator of the United Nations Geo-Loja report, and was president of the Regional Council of the Catamayo-Chira river basin. In recognition of his efforts, Renzo received the Podocarps Award from Loja’s Provincial Council for his efforts in conservation and environmental management. He holds a Master’s in Zootechnics from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow.
Director of Development
Dana considers the Amazon rainforest her favorite place on Earth. Having lived in Ecuador for ten years, she cherishes opportunities to share her enthusiasm for the diverse ecosystems and peoples of Latin America. Dana’s background includes experience in strengthening philanthropic partnerships at local, national and international nonprofits. She completed her Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management at George Mason University, and previously worked at Galapagos Conservancy, advocating for the protection of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Dana is thrilled to champion her other great conservation passion at Nature & Culture – the extraordinary forests and wildlife of Latin America.
Director of Foundation and Strategic Partnerships
Karina joins Nature & Culture bringing over 15 years of experience working with international nonprofits in the US and Central America. Her passion for environmental sustainability in conjunction with sustainable development comes from spending over a decade supporting local communities living amongst the mangrove forests of El Salvador. Karina spent over 10 years living and working in Central America as a Program Officer for Humanitarian Preparation and Response with Oxfam America where she coordinated projects throughout Central America. She earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University.
Senior Program Manager
Now based in the Del Mar, CA office, Silvia served as the staff director for our programs in the Peruvian Amazon for three years, working closely with governments, communities, donors, and the private sector to develop and manage our programs to protect the Amazon rainforest. Born in Iquitos, a major city in the upper Amazon, Silvia is a former international business manager whose personal experience led her to devote her talents to the conservation of ecosystems and ancient cultures. Read her article in the Huffington Post here.
Head of Finance in Latin America
Based in Ecuador, Priscila has been with Nature & Culture for nearly 20 years. Working closely with offices in the U.S. and Latin America, she supervises all financial tasks of the organization and ensures we use resources effectively. Priscila previously worked at financial institutions in Loja, Ecuador, including Filanbanco, Banco del Austro y Banco de Loja. Priscila holds a Doctorate in Accounting and a diploma in auditing.
Marketing Development Coordinator
Mariah brings experience in environmental and ocean sciences, public outreach and communication, and a strong desire to protect biodiversity and empower communities. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego in May 2016 earning a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Business Administration. Her passion for environmentalism and conservation led her to work on environmental research projects, including a leatherback sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica, and for 1to1 Movement, a San Diego-based nonprofit focused on sustainability and food systems education.
Lauren joins Nature & Culture with an overwhelming passion for birds and the important ecosystems in which they reside. As an experienced aviculturist, naturalist educator and non-profit development professional, she has dedicated her career to working for their celebration and protection. Lauren is especially proud to have spent eight fulfilling years working with Free Flight, an exotic bird sanctuary, in a wide variety of roles from avian care to program management. She focused her undergraduate work in Latin American studies, Spanish and religious studies – an experience that linked her indelibly to both the natural and cultural landscapes of Latin America. Having lived briefly in both Mexico and South America, Lauren considers the areas safeguarded by Nature & Culture to be her second home.