Aiko Fukuchi is GAIA’s U.S & Canada Program Associate. Aiko has contributed to local community organizing efforts in Michigan focused on environmental, gender, and racial justice. Before joining GAIA, Aiko worked on a local campaign in Detroit focused on shutting down the local incinerator and promoting Zero Waste. Aiko is based in Detroit, Michigan.

Anne Larracas is GAIA’s Asia Pacific Managing Director and first joined GAIA in 2006.  Anne has worked as an environmental educator, organizer and campaigner for the last 18 years. Before joining GAIA, Anne worked on biodiversity and conservation issues, and also as an elementary teacher for street children.  Anne is based in GAIA’s office in Quezon City, Philippines.

Beau Baconguis is the Regional Plastics Campaigner for GAIA Asia Pacific. She has been working in the field of environmental advocacy since 1995. She was involved in the lobby for the passage of the Philippine Clean Air Act and the Philippine Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. A huge part of her advocacy work was dedicated to campaigning against GMOs and toxic pollution. Beau is also a permaculturist and a natural builder.

Brieshen McKee is the Finance Manager for GAIA’s U.S. office.  She has a background in finance, administration and HR, and has worked with various Bay Area nonprofits in this capacity. Brieshen has an MBA with an emphasis in sustainable business.

Camila Aguilera is GAIA’s Latin America Program Advisor. Her interest in nature led her to hold a Diploma in Socio-Environmental Studies, which she hopes will become her subject of specialization. Previous to joining GAIA, she volunteered for different environmental initiatives, being the most significant a project she developed with local recyclers in the city of Concepción, Chile. Camila is also the co-founder of the local NGO Fundación El Árbol. In her spare time she enjoys riding her bike, hiking and reading.

Chris Flood is the Development and Resource Mobilization Manager for GAIA’s U.S. office. Chris joined the environmental justice movement over twenty years ago, when he worked with Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL) to combat one of the most egregious examples of environmental racism in the country. Since then, he has worked at a variety of nonprofits on issues ranging from education to the environment.

Christie Keith is GAIA’s International Coordinator and the Executive Director of our U.S. office. She joined GAIA in 2005, and has 25 years of experience with social movements and international non-profit organizations. She began her work in Guatemala as a popular educator, program coordinator, and strategic planning facilitator for groups in the women’s movement and Mayan-campesino organizing community, as well as in international human rights. For the last 15 years Christie has worked from the U.S. on international waste, public health, and environmental justice issues.

Claire Arkin is the Communications Coordinator at GAIA. She has previously worked as an organizer for the Colorado Democratic Party, the online farmers market Farmigo, and the New York City Department of Education. Claire became involved in the environmental justice movement through co-organizing the Food Justice Contingent of the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City. She is based out of our Berkeley, U.S.A. office.
Denise Patel is the U.S. Program Director and Regional Coordinator for the U.S./Canada Region at GAIA. She has previously worked on campaigns and policy development with labor, environmental, and environmental justice organizations on toxics and chemical safety, fossil fuel divestment, and climate change, with a focus on improving environmental and occupational health. Denise is based in New York City.

Dharmesh Shah works as a policy advisor to GAIA’s waste, toxics and marine litter campaign. His research areas include waste management, circular economy, industrial pollution and environmental justice.

Doun Moon joined GAIA as a Policy Researcher in 2017. She has been engaged in policy advocacy activities for the last five years working for national and regional civil society platforms including Asia Development Alliance and Korea Zero Waste Movement Network. Doun is based in GAIA’s Berkeley office.

Felicia Dayrit is the Zero Waste Program Associate for GAIA Asia Pacific. Right after graduating AB Development Studies, she joined the Jesuit Volunteers and was deployed to Eastern Samar, Philippines for 10 months where she provided technical assistance in helping several farmers associations set up their cassava community enterprise. After her volunteer year, she joined GAIA in September 2018.

Froilan Grate is GAIA’s Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator and Executive Director of GAIA Philippines. Froilan is a committed environmental justice campaigner who has assisted more than 20 cities/municipalities in the Philippines in developing and improving waste management programs and systems. He has extensive experience in module development and training and legislative work, providing support to legislators at the local government level, especially in areas of policy review.

Gemma Estrella  is GAIA’s Network Development Coordinator. Originally from Barcelona, she has been involved with Human Rights and grassroots organizations in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. In 2005 she moved to Mexico, where she lived seven years and worked as a Program Manager at Promedios de Comunicación Comunitaria. Prior to joining GAIA, Gemma worked at Centro Legal de la Raza, in Oakland, as the Donor Relations and Communications Coordinator, and has also continued working as a freelance video editor.

Janelle Nice is the Bookkeeper and Office Administrator for GAIA’s U.S. office.  Previously she has worked as an Office Manager in various industries, gaining experience in bookkeeping, tech support, HR, and event coordinating.  She is passionate about excellent administration and is happy to support GAIA’s team.

Jed Alegado is GAIA Asia Pacific’s Regional Communications Officer for the #breakfreefromplastic movement. Prior to joining GAIA, he has worked with several non-government organizations as a media and communications officer and project manager. He holds a masters degree in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies part of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague, Netherlands.

Magdalena Donoso is the Coordinator for GAIA Latin America and the Caribbean. She has worked in communications and networking with several Chilean NGOs and in Television Trust for the Environment (UK), supporting educational and activism programs in forestry and biodiversity for 15 years. For the last ten years she has worked on waste issues with cities in Latin America, particularly defending the rights of recyclers and promoting zero waste. She is based in Concepción, Chile.

Miko Aliño is GAIA’s Zero Waste Program Associate and is based in the Asia-Pacific office in Quezon City, Philippines. He has worked with various development and environmental organizations in the past 10 years, focusing on urban poor and climate change issues.


Monica Wilson is GAIA’s Policy and Research Coordinator and the Associate Director of our U.S. office. She has worked with GAIA since 2002, and served five years as GAIA’s International Co-Coordinator. Monica serves on the board of the Grassroots Recycling Network, was previously on the board of the Northern California Recycling Association, and is a master composter. In 2012 she was honored to be named by the California Resource Recovery Association as “Recycler of the Year” together with GAIA’s US & Canada Program, for achievement in the field. Monica is based in GAIA’s Berkeley, U.S. office.

Niven Reddy is GAIA’s African Regional Coordinator since January 2018 based in Durban, South Africa. He has worked on environmental justice issues with a focus on air quality challenges facing waste pickers and communities residing near problematic landfill sites

Rhoda David is the Operations and Finance Coordinator for Asia-Pacific and handles administration and finance matters. She holds a degree in business administration with a major in accounting. She has over 30 years of experience in the fields of human resource, administration and finance, and has worked with various NGOs working on issues related to family development and youth organizing, urban poor housing and agriculture. Rhoda is based in GAIA’s office in Quezon City.

Sherma Benosa is the Communications Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific. Prior to joining GAIA in November 2016, she worked for Philippine based non-government organizations working on agriculture and health. She also worked as managing editor of a health magazine and has written feature stories on arts, culture, health, and business for various publications. A fictionist writing mostly in the vein of social realism, she uses storytelling to add her voice to the call for social justice and equity and to delve on issues that are often overlooked in discourses.

Sonia G. Astudillo is the Regional Communications Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific. She has more than 15 years of experience working in media and communications for women’s magazines, a Philippine Senator and a Congressman, and three other NGOs: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia Pacific, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Asia, and The Way To Happiness – Philippines. She studied Journalism and has a master’s degree in public policy from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan. She is also a certified raw vegan chef, detox coach, and yoga teacher. In her spare time, she does batik painting.

Patricia Parras is GAIA’s Network Development and Campaign Associate. As a graduate student currently pursuing international relations, her academic background has piqued her interest in international development. She has witnessed and been involved with affairs that have helped to shape international relations, including participation in the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation National Organizing Council, becoming head of delegation under the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths Program (JENESYS), and working under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Veronica Michelle Moreno is the Researcher and Administrative Assistant for GAIA Asia Pacific. After graduating AB in Sociology, she joined GAIA in January 2017. Through her degree, she has cultivated her interest in research and praxis particularly in community development. Veronica is based in GAIA’s office in Quezon City, Philippines.

In addition, GAIA’s branch in Europe (Zero Waste Europe) benefits from the following coordinators:

Delphine Lévi Alvarès is a Policy Officer with Zero Waste Europe. joined Zero Waste Europe in April 2016, moving to Brussels after having lived in Paris. For the past 2 years she has been the Senior Advocacy Officer of Zero Waste France, promoting zero waste strategies and achievements in the French political arena and participating in the improvement of French waste policy. She started her career at Cniid in 2010 as a Campaigner on Incineration and Landfill, and played a key role in the transition of Cniid to Zero Waste France in early 2014. Delphine holds a a masters degree in European Policy and Sustainable Development engineering.

Esra Tat is a Network and Development Coordinator for Zero Waste Europe and the European Break Free From Plastic Movement. Previously, with a background on project management and environment, Esra co-directed a social enterprise promoting energy efficiency and co-housing programs in France. She spent 6 years as a development coordinator in this field, working with policy makers and the general public. Over the last 3 years, she’s worked as a sustainability project manager and a facilitator, mostly with international networks. She has developed an expertise on network development, with a specific approach of open governance and collective intelligence. Esra holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management.


Janek Vähk is Zero Waste Europe’s Development and Policy Coordinator. He joined Zero Waste Europe in August 2015. As Development and Policy Coordinator, he manages the relationship with Zero Waste Europe’s funders and supports climate policy advocacy work towards EU institutions. Previously, he worked for the Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) in Brussels where he coordinated fundraising efforts on behalf of FoEE and its 6 programmes. Prior to the FoEE, Janek worked for the Justice and Environment (J&E) where he provided leadership for the development of strategic grant partnerships. He holds an Msc in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University and Postgraduate degree in Charity Marketing and Fundraising from Cass Business School. Janek has worked in Spain and Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish.

Joan Marc Simon is based in Brussels where he coordinates the work of Zero Waste Europe. He has been a leading voice for Zero Waste in Europe since 2007, dramatically increasing the visibility and policy impact of Zero Waste efforts in this time. He is a regular keynote speaker in many industry and NGO meetings in Brussels but also at local level as well as internationally. In 2015 he published the book “Zero Waste – How to reactivate the economy without trashing the planet.”

Mariel Vilella is the Managing Director of our regional branch Zero Waste Europe and leads the Climate, Energy & Air Pollution programme.  Based in Manchester, UK, Mariel assists with the management and the coordination of the network activities in collaboration with GAIA members worldwide that are promoting zero waste policies and practices with special emphasis on the participation and inclusion of waste workers and communities. She leads the Zero Waste Europe’s work on zero waste project guidelines for major sources of climate finance, and international energy policy with impacts on the waste sector.

Matt Franklin is the Communications Coordinator for Zero Waste Europe. Matt joined Zero Waste Europe in July 2015, moving to Manchester, UK after living in Bologna, Italy, and working as a freelance campaign communications consultant. Before Bologna he worked for People & Planet as a Corporate Power Campaigns Co-ordinator, supporting UK student groups campaigning around workers’ rights in the garments and electronics industries. He has been long been involved in grassroots social movements, and campaigns for social and environmental justice. Matt graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Anthropology and Classical Literature & Civilisations.

Roberta Arbinolo is Zero Waste Europe’s Communications Officer covering EU policy and leading the communications of the Rethink Plastic alliance. Before joining Zero Waste Europe in May 2017, she worked on communications and EU policy with Fire Safe Europe, the European Federation for Intercultural Learning, and the European Commission’s DG DEVCO. She has a background in development cooperation and human rights, and she holds a Master in International Affairs and Human Rights from the University of Turin.

Stanislas Roisin is the Operations Manager for Zero Waste Europe Joining the Brussels office in May 2016, Stanislas, originally from France has been living in Belgium for the past 10 years, and has worked for a number of different non-profit organisations including Service Civil International, Fern and Equinet. He holds a Masters degree in Finance and a certificate of accounting. He speaks English, French, Dutch and Japanese (having spent 2 years living in Japan). In his spare time he likes to play flamenco guitar.