Paulina is a program officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Andes-Amazon Initiative, which has significantly contributed to the conservation of almost half of the Amazon biome. Paulina leads and manages the protected areas and indigenous lands portfolio in the Andean countries of the Amazon.
She came to Moore with a fifteen-year plus career dedicated to conservation and sustainable development issues, focused on local community participation in park and natural resource management. She currently contributes to several working committees including the Conservation Measures Partnership and the Funders of the Amazon Basin.
Prior to joining the foundation, she worked at The Nature Conservancy for ten years, first as Condor Bioreserve coordinator, then as Andes Amazon program manager, and, in her last position, as director of the Indigenous and Communal Lands Global Strategy. Paulina is known as a strong advocate for local community and stakeholder participation in environmental conservation, which culminated in preparing the Conservancy’s first draft of principles for working with indigenous peoples and local communities. Her contributions include promoting the creation of the first ecological reserve and indigenous territory in Ecuador (Cofan-Bermejo Reserve), leading the first Ecuadorian protected areas sustainable finance strategy, consolidating the first water fund in Latin America, the Quito Water Fund, and co-drafting guidance on incorporating human well-being and community participation in the Conservancy’s conservation planning framework. While at The Nature Conservancy, Paulina coordinated conservation projects in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia. Previously, she co-founded a non-profit in Ecuador focused on bridging social sciences with biological conservation (Grupo Randi Randi, which continues to operate) and served as president for its first two years. She was also head of the community conservation program for an Ecuadorian grassroots organization, Antisana Foundation, founded to engage local communities in park management and natural resources.
Paulina holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke University with a focus on Environmental Leadership as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Her post-graduate studies include gender and natural resources management at FLACSO-Ecuador. Paulina speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.