Robin began working with UNEP in 1997, supporting the Division of Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Liaison Office, located in Washington, DC. Since 2002, she has been providing support on office administration and programmatic matters to the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Besides providing local administrative and financial support, she works collaboratively with colleagues at UNEP Headquarters and UNOPS to manage the contracting, financial, and procurement needs of STAP and organizes logistical arrangements for global STAP meetings. Prior to joining UNEP, Robin supported a large team of commercial real estate brokers in the DC area. She has more than 20 years of experience in office administration, logistical arrangements, and finance.
Virginia Gorsevski comes to the STAP Secretariat with nearly two decades of experience working in the field of conservation and climate change in the United States and in developing countries. As a Programme Officer in the STAP Secretariat, Virginia is responsible for managing the biodiversity portfolio which includes developing practical guidance on issues related to protected area management and the illegal trade in wildlife. Prior to joining STAP, Virginia worked as a Program Manager at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop projects and programs aimed at mitigating climate change through energy efficiency and renewable energy.
More recently she turned her focus toward monitoring land cover and land use change using satellite remote sensing as a researcher at the University of Maryland, where she received her Ph.D in Geographical Sciences. Her research focused on the impact of conflict on forest cover in South Sudan. Virginia also holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Christopher Whaley is a senior policy adviser with extensive experience of global agreements on climate change, biodiversity, chemicals, forestry, and sustainable development, working in the U.K., EU, internationally, as a diplomat and in the UN system.
At the U.K. Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, Christopher was Head of EU and International responsible for leadership and guidance on international environmental and sustainable development policy, including agriculture, food security, climate change, biodiversity, water, oceans, and sustainable consumption and production (2006-2015). He was a member of the U.K. team negotiating Sustainable Development Goals.
Christopher is a former STAP Secretary (2003-05).
From 1997 to 2001, Christopher was Counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington DC, representing the U.K. on science, technology, energy and the environment with the US administration, on Capitol Hill, with business, academia and non-governmental organisations.
In addition, Christopher has served as: Business Development Manager at Canary Wharf Limited, a privately-owned property development company redeveloping London's docklands; Visiting Fellow at the World Resources Institute; Visiting Foreign Scholar at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, sponsored by the German Marshall Fund; and Chair of SEED, a non-governmental organisation which supports sustainable development projects in developing countries.
Christopher holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a masters degree in mathematical economics from the University of Birmingham.
Sunday Leonard joined the STAP Secretariat in May 2017 as the Program Officer responsible for climate change mitigation, adaptation, chemicals and waste management and their integrated linkage to natural resource management and sustainable development. His overarching interest is to bridge the science-policy gap in these fields by providing policymakers at all levels with the information needed to make informed decisions.
Before joining STAP, Sunday worked as the Science Programs Officer for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition which is hosted at UN Environment’s Office in Paris, France, where he was responsible for providing scientific and technical support to the Coalitions initiatives on climate change mitigation and ensuring the scientific credibility of the Coalition’s activities.
Before that, he was a Program Officer - Special Assistant to the Chief Scientist - at UN Environment Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. His responsibilities included leading and managing projects and activities of the Chief Scientist Office targeted at bridging the science-policy gap and ensuring the scientific credibility of UN Environment’s work. He supported the implementation of several projects including the Global Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues and the UN Environment/UN DESA Foresight Process on Sustainable Development Challenges and Opportunities in Small Island Development States. In addition, he worked on developing several UN Environment reports on various thematic areas including climate change mitigation and adaptation; early warning systems, disaster risk reduction and resilience; air pollution and human health; agriculture and food security; freshwater, marine & oceans; chemicals and wastes; energy; and sustainable development goals.
Sunday received his PhD in Environmental Engineering from University College London, United Kingdom. He also holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom and a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.
Zinta Zommers joined the STAP Secretariat in March 2019, focusing on the climate adaptation and international waters portfolios. She is a specialist in environmental management, climate change adaptation and risk reduction, and resilience. As the first Latvian to join the IPCC, Zinta was a Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on Land and Food Security and a Review Editor of AR6. Between 2012 and 2017, Zinta worked with the United Nations – first with the Chief Scientist’s Office of UN Environment in Kenya and later with the Food and Agriculture Organization in Sierra Leone. In 2015 she joined the UN Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team, contributing to the negotiation of the Paris Agreement. She has also worked with the humanitarian charity Mercy Corps as their Head of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, and has experience related to water management. Zinta has a M.Phil. in Development Studies and a D.Phil. in Zoology from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar and a Junior Research Fellow. She has authored two books on early warning systems and adaptation to climate change.
Guadalupe Duron is Program Officer at the Secretariat of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She joined the STAP Secretariat in 2002. Her main tasks included managing a database of experts on environmental issues, and assisting STAP organize expert meetings to develop technical and policy advice for the GEF. Most recently, she began to work specifically on GEF sustainable land management activities. In doing so, she supports STAP to develop and deliver strategic advice for the GEF land degradation portfolio. She also supports STAP’s work on cross-cutting topics, such as land use and climate change. Guadalupe holds a Master of Science Degree in Development Studies with a focus on Agriculture, Environment, and Development from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.