Guadalupe Durón

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.








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Robin Burgess

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, Robin works collaboratively with colleagues at UNEP Headquarters, as well as with those at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to manage the contracting, financial, and procurement needs of STAP. She also manages and organizes logistical needs for all global STAP meetings.  

Robin has more than 25 years of experience in office administration, finance, logistical arrangements and procurement.

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Virginia Gorsevski

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.



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Chris Whaley

Chris Whaley is a senior policy advisor 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, Chris 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.

Chris is a former STAP Secretary (2003-05).

From 1997 to 2001, Chris 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, Chris 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.  

Chris 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.



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Sunday Leonard

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.



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