Paulina serves as the embedded technical officer providing adaptive management and learning support to the foundation’s Environmental Conservation Program, in addition to supporting foundation-wide efforts in building capacity and creating learning opportunities in adaptive management.
Paulina transitioned to the foundation's Adaptive Management and Evaluation team after nine years as a program officer for the Andes-Amazon Initiative, which has significantly contributed to the conservation of almost half of the Amazon biome. Paulina led and managed the protected areas and indigenous lands grantmaking in the Andean countries of the Amazon. In this role, she led collaborations with partners to further consolidate conservation in the Amazon region such as establishing Peru’s Natural Legacy fund as a long-term financing mechanism for all of Peru’s Amazon protected areas and communal reserves. She also served as primary manager for monitoring, data capture, analysis, and visualization, and learning for the initiative.
She came to Moore with a fifteen-year plus career dedicated to rights-based conservation and sustainable development in Latin America and globally, focused on local community participation in park and natural resource management. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked at The Nature Conservancy for ten years in various roles, 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.
She currently contributes to several working committees including serving as the foundation’s lead representative to the Conservation Measures Partnership, and currently serves on its board. She served as a co-chair for the Funders of the Amazon Basin collaborative during 2020. She also serves on the board for a recently created non-profit committed to elevating women’s role in conservation, Planet Women.
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.