At Wild Earth Allies, we recognize that protecting wildlife and habitats begins with people who combine passion, integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, and extensive experience in the field. We are proud that these traits define our team.
Katie Frohardt, Executive Director
With over three decades of experience, Katie is a recognized non-profit leader, field practitioner, and international conservationist. At the helm since 2003, and leading our re-branding in 2016, Katie focuses on delivering the Wild Earth Allies mission to protect vital areas of our natural world for the benefit of wildlife, habitats and people by inspiring collaborative action. Her grounded leadership style draws from years spent living in Rwanda as director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program and as program technical director for the African Wildlife Foundation. Her earlier career included grant-making with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, private sector natural resource management consulting, and land use planning.
Katie enjoys serving as a Board member for Mamoni Valley Preserve in Panama, as a member of the Charity Navigator Consultative Council of Nonprofit Leaders, and on the Advisory Circle of Daughters for Earth with partner One Earth. She previously held a decade-long affiliation with Rachel’s Network as an Environmental Leadership Liaison.
She holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of the Environment, where she combined the study of landscape ecology with coursework at the Yale School of Management on applied economics and nonprofit management. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia with a major in environmental studies.
Adam Henson, Conservation Director
Responsible for overall program design and partnerships, Adam has over 20 years’ experience working in international biodiversity conservation and natural resources management, with experience in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the United States. His areas of technical expertise include landscape-level conservation planning, project design, performance monitoring, protected area management, and watershed sciences. Adam has held senior positions with African Wildlife Foundation and FFI, Inc., and worked for the US National Park Service at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, where he engaged in forest restoration, wildlife monitoring, and wildland firefighting.He also served as an agriculture extension agent in the US Peace Corps in Central African Republic and Guinea. Adam holds an MSc in Watershed Sciences from Colorado State University and a BA in Anthropology.
José Urteaga, Director of Marine Partnerships
José Urteaga has been working in sea turtle and coastal habitat conservation in Central America for more than two decades. He uses interdisciplinary methods to find solutions that integrate human needs and conservation. In his role as Wild Earth Allies Director of Marine Partnerships, José focuses on improving the organization’s impact on the promotion of socially sound conservation interventions, the support of community-based conservation, and creative ways to cultivate local stewardship and conservation capacity.
José completed his Ph.D. studies in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University in 2022. He is an active member of several sea turtle conservation networks, including the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He was the country co-coordinator of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network (WIDECAST) between 2007 and 2012, and he is the Board Treasurer of SEE Turtles. José was recognized as a Conservation Hero by the Disney Conservation Fund in 2005 and named a National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer in 2010. He previously served as a Board Member of Wild Earth Allies from 2017 to 2021.
Eugène Rutagarama, Conservation Advisor
Eugène has over 25 years’ experience working in conservation in the Great Lakes region of Africa and is a leader in the transboundary conservation of the critically endangered mountain gorilla. He is a committed and respected conservation professional. In 1996, with park staff in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Eugène received the John Paul Getty Conservation Prize in recognition of outstanding contributions in times of conflict. In 2001, he was individually recognized as Africa recipient of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. In 2007, Eugène was recognized as a CNN Hero. As the Director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP), he worked on all aspects of regional program design, management, and technical support for conservation of mountain gorillas and their habitat in Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Eugène has also held senior positions with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, and Rwanda’s national parks agency following the war and genocide in 1994. In this government capacity, he was instrumental in restoring and restructuring the parks department and restarting gorilla-based tourism in Volcanoes National Park. Eugène holds an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation from the University of East Anglia, UK, and a bachelor’s in biology from the University of Burundi, Bujumbura.
Tuy Sereivathana (Vathana), Cambodia Program Director
Vathana is internationally recognized for his Asian elephant conservation efforts. He has received the Goldman Environmental Prize (2010) and is a National Geographic Explorer (2011), a member of the Green Asian Forum, and a member of the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group. He builds on 20+ years of researching elephant populations and successfully mitigating human-elephant conflict. He has introduced innovative low-cost solutions to help farmers defend their fields while improving their farming practices and has pioneered community outreach to teach children in remote villages about elephants and other wildlife. His work has brought hope and empowerment to local communities and has improved the prospects of endangered Asian elephants. His commitment to conservation in Cambodia is demonstrated by his other leadership roles, which include: Chairman of the Cambodian Rural Development Team, Vice Chair of a local NGO, Natural Life, and member of the Technical Working Group for Forest Reform in Cambodia. Vathana holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forestry from Belarus Government University of Technology.
Sarai Francois, Director of Finance & Administration
Sarai brings over 15 years of experience in finance and accounting management at various organizations to her role as Director of Finance and Administration. She has applied her experience in US government audit requirements for non-profits and uses her expertise in expense planning and control, financial analysis, audit preparation and budget management to support the organization’s global mission. Previously, Sarai was Finance Manager at The Arts and Technology Academy, Public Charter School, in Washington DC, where she led all financial aspects of the organization and oversaw its annual planning and budgeting, along with other management and compliance processes. Earlier in her career, she worked at the prestigious Withum Smith and Brown public accounting firm in Princeton, New Jersey. Sarai has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a minor in finance from Strayer University.
Laura Milton, Communications Director
As Communications Director at Wild Earth Allies, Laura Milton leads strategies that raise the visibility of our brand and partners, drive audience engagement, and inspire action to protect our natural world. She draws on more than 15 years of deep experience amplifying the impact of purpose-driven organizations.
Laura comes to Wild Earth Allies from African People & Wildlife, where she served as the Director of Marketing and Communications. Previously, she developed and managed the visual brand at the Clinton Global Initiative. Laura holds a master’s degree in international affairs from The New School and a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Virginia Tech.
Kelly Hogan, Senior Program Officer
As Senior Program Officer, Kelly supports our conservation programs and partnerships on strategy, implementation, and impact monitoring. She also manages Wild Earth Allies’ portfolio of marine conservation programs in close collaboration with field teams and partners, with an emphasis on Cambodia and El Salvador. Kelly has conducted biological research and implemented environmental education programs, and she has experience in biodiversity conservation in the US, Latin America, and Asia. Kelly received a MSc in Biological Sciences from Clemson University, with specialized skills in aquatic research and fish biology. She completed a BSc in Integrative Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, including a semester of marine biology course work in Ecuador.
Steven W. Brewer, Ph.D., Botanist
Steven’s passion for plants was born in a boyhood exploring the outdoors of South Carolina and nurtured by a fascination with and love of nature. He brings over 30 years of experience in field botany and ecology from a wide variety of ecosystems, including more than two decades of experience in the rainforests of Belize, Central America. He has long been conducting threatened, endangered, sensitive, and invasive plant surveys in federal and state lands in the southeastern United States during the summer, and floristic research, botanical training, and collaborative ecological studies in Belize during the winter and spring. Steven leads our Trees of Belize Project and our botanic work with partner Delaware Wilds Lands in the Great Cypress Swamp. Steven has a master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Davis.
Margaret Bartel, Consulting Chief Financial Officer
Margaret Bartel is a CPA with a Master’s in accounting who has worked with non-profit organizations since 1981 and with our organization for over eight years. She worked extensively overseas and served as CFO for large international organizations with networks of local partners and field offices. She provides technical assistance in overall financial management and in the specifics of complying with donor regulations, especially those of the US government. She has over 30 years’ experience in grant management and the particular financial issues faced by non-profits.
Maddy Caldeira, Development & Communications Associate
As the Development & Communications Associate at Wild Earth Allies, Maddy supports our growing philanthropic efforts and helps to increase the visibility of our partners and programs through effective communications. Previously, she worked as an Account Executive with Metis Communications, where she supported client account teams through public relations, communications, and digital marketing campaigns. In this role, she also gained insight into the value of informative, impact-driven messaging. Maddy completed a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with a minor in psychology from Elon University.
Chea Phallin, Operations Manager, Cambodia Program
As the Operations Manager with Wild Earth Allies’ Cambodia program, Chea Phallin leads organizational planning and implementation, capacity development, community and livelihood development, environmental education initiatives, and communications campaigns. His more than 17 years of environmental and natural resource experience includes the development and management of protected areas, the implementation and management of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tools (SMART) system, and biodiversity monitoring. Phallin holds a master’s degree in development studies and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in project management and development from Build Bright University.
E En, Community Officer, Cambodia Program
E En is the Community Officer with Wild Earth Allies’ Cambodia program, where he supports our community livelihood program and conducts field research on Asian elephants and pileated gibbons. His focus areas include deploying and monitoring motion-triggered cameras, managing database entry, and site map production using GIS. Previously, he worked with local authorities and communities to establish community forests and protected areas. En holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Aaron Gold, Philanthropy Associate
As Wild Earth Allies’ Philanthropy Associate, Aaron supports the Philanthropy team in donor cultivation and stewardship. He has spent the past five years working on various development campaigns, planning local and national events, and taking an active role in managing relationships with supporters. Additionally, he previously served as the Deputy Finance Director of a Political Action Committee, developing and executing a national fundraising strategy. Aaron has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with a minor in History from The George Washington University.
Ith Srey Oun, Marine Project Coordinator, Cambodia Program
As the Marine Project Coordinator with the Wild Earth Allies Cambodia program, Ith Srey Oun focuses on marine species assessment, seagrass conservation efforts, and socioeconomic surveys of Cambodia’s coastal areas. Previously, she led coral reef research, training, and monitoring to support the creation of the Koh Sdach Marine Fisheries Management Area in Koh Kong Province.
To increase marine research capacity in Cambodia, Srey Oun serves as co-advisor for master’s students assessing fish diversity in coral reef and seagrass habitats. She holds a master’s degree in biodiversity conservation from The Centre for Biodiversity Conservation at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, where she completed research on coral reef community structure and health in the Kep archipelago.
Meas Viphou, Community & Livelihood Manager, Cambodia Program
As the Community & Livelihood Manager with Wild Earth Allies’ Cambodia program, Meas Viphou improves community livelihoods through sustainable agriculture and other conservation-compatible options. His efforts help people and wildlife coexist in support of forest and marine conservation. With more than 17 years of experience in community livelihood development, Viphou enjoys working toward a shared personal and organizational mission to improve household economics, human health, and environmental well-being. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Maharishi Vedic University (MVU), currently called Chea Sim University of Kamchaymear.
Neang Thy, Conservation Manager, Cambodia Program
Neang Thy brings 20 years of conservation and biological research experience to his role as Conservation Manager with Wild Earth Allies’ Cambodia program. In this role, he leads field research and project implementation. As a leading herpetologist, Thy has described new species to science and first-country records of reptile and amphibian species in Cambodia. Thy is also a wildlife generalist with skills ranging from taxonomy, biological ecosystems assessment, ecology, and research on at-risk native wildlife species such as Asian elephants, Sunda pangolins, and pileated gibbons. He has designed, implemented, and managed multiple field projects and teams, trained rangers and local community members in survey and monitoring techniques and tools, and delivered a broad range of wildlife research methodologies and techniques to field teams and students alike.
Thy has authored and co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal papers and supervised students in their master’s thesis topics. He holds a master’s degree in forestry from the Voronezh State Academy of Forestry Engineering in Russia.
Kim Richards, Strategy & Program Design Manager
As Strategy & Program Design Manager at Wild Earth Allies, Kim manages strategic planning and program design work for the organization, using Open Standards and other participatory methodologies to increase effectiveness and impact. She plays a key role in multi-year organizational planning and the Conservation Fellows program. Kim has more than 10 years of experience with non-profits, spanning various sectors and geographic regions. She holds an M.A. in communications from Johns Hopkins, with studies centered on behavior change and environmental communications. She completed her B.A. in political science and international studies from the University of Wisconsin, including a year of coursework at the Hebrew University in Israel.
Jason Ruiz-Swartz, Development Manager
As Development Manager for Wild Earth Allies, Jason stewards our funding pipeline, supports the development of funding proposals, and manages engagement with the generous donors that drive our mission forward. Jason leads the Development team and coordinates closely across other practice areas, drawing upon five years of experience in conservation programs focused on watersheds, coasts, and wetlands.
Before coming to Wild Earth Allies, Jason worked on restoration and education initiatives tied to the Chesapeake Bay watershed in his home state of Pennsylvania. Jason has a dual master’s degree in park and resource management and environmental education from Slippery Rock University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies/biology with a minor in French from McDaniel College.
Joelle Rutagarama, Program Manager, Rwanda
Joelle Rutagarama serves as Wild Earth Allies’ Program Manager in Rwanda. In this role, she manages the expansion of our community-based partnerships and programs in Rwanda. Joelle brings diverse marketing, business development, and communications experience to the team. She has a strong track record of working with organizations to grow brand awareness, increase revenue, and build strategic partnerships.
Growing up in Rwanda, Joelle developed a passion for nature at an early age. She is excited to be making a positive impact on people and wildlife through conservation. Joelle received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Edith Cowan University in Australia.
Sem Srey Thai, Community & Awareness Officer, Cambodia Program
Sem Srey Thai serves as the Community & Awareness Officer with the Wild Earth Allies Cambodia program. In this role, she supports community-based marine conservation along coastal areas of Cambodia. Her experience in environmental and marine conservation includes sea turtle rescue, seagrass surveys, anti-trawling structure deployment, and community-led mangrove restoration. Srey Thai is passionate about protecting marine wildlife in ways that benefit coastal communities. She is currently earning her bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and engineering from Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia.
Jose Soto, Operations Manager
As Operations Manager for Wild Earth Allies, Jose leverages over five years of non-profit experience to support our team workflows, systems and collaboration, policies and procedures, and Board governance. Prior to joining Wild Earth Allies, Jose worked as an operations manager in higher education consulting. He also supported multiple non-profits through program design and strategic initiatives and served as an NGO representative at the United Nations. Jose completed a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Lock Haven University, with studies centered on foreign trade and developing nations.
Samorn Vireak, Field Research Officer, Cambodia Program
Samorn Vireak is the Field Research Officer with Wild Earth Allies’ Cambodia program. In this role, he supports our biomonitoring program and conducts surveys on at-risk species, including Asian elephants, pileated gibbons, and Sunda pangolin. Previously, Vireak volunteered with several NGOs and worked with BirdLife International and Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden.
Vireak earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. He holds a master’s degree in biodiversity conservation from the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation. While earning his master’s, Vireak volunteered with Cambodia’s Department of Biodiversity and the Ministry of Environment. He conducted his thesis research on species diversity and the distribution of the gliding lizard (genus Draco) in Cambodia.