GEM Initiative at Yale University
Governance, Environment,
and Markets Initiative

Who We Are

Ben Cashore
Ben Cashore is Professor of Environmental Governance and Political Science at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and holds a courtesy appointment in Yale’s Department of Political Science. He is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Business and Government at Yale, and the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry.

His research interests focus on non-state market-driven environmental governance, the impact and opportunities of globalization and internationalization on domestic and local environmental policy, firm-level “beyond compliance” sustainability initiatives, and comparative environmental policy.  He is a prolific author of books and articles that integrate public policy, corporate social responsibility and international environmental governance.

His work has won a number of awards/distinctions including winning the International Studies Association’s Sprout Award for the best book on international environmental policy and politics for, Governing Through Markets: Forest Certification and the Emergence of Non-state Authority (with Graeme Auld and Deanna Newsom),

He serves, or has served, on the editorial boards of the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, Business and Politics, the Journal of Forest Policy and Economics, and the Journal of Sustainable Forestry.
Stefan Renckens
Stefan Renckens is the coordinator for the Program on Private Authority and Environmental Governance. His doctoral research focuses on the interaction between EU public policy and private environmental and social regulation. Other research interests include the emergence, uptake and impacts of transnational private governance and the role of business in international politics. Substantively, his research covers issue areas such as renewable energy, electronic waste (e-waste), fisheries, fair trade, and organic agriculture. For his research, he has received a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant and scholarships from the Yale MacMillan Center, the Belgian-American Educational Foundation, and the Flemish Research Foundation. Stefan holds an M.Phil. in Environmental Politics (2011) from Yale, and MA degrees in Political Science (2002), Economic Policy (2003), and Conflict and Peace Studies (2005) from the University of Leuven in his native Belgium. At the Political Science Department of the University of Leuven, he worked as a research and teaching fellow between 2003 and 2006, and as a research fellow of the Flemish Research Foundation between 2006 and 2008. He was a visiting researcher at Yale in the fall of 2007 and at the University of California, Berkeley in the spring of 2008.
Sébastien Jodoin
Sébastien Jodoin is is a member of the Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative and leads its research program on law, rights, and environmental governance. He is a PhD Candidate, Trudeau Scholar and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where his research focuses on the relationship between human rights and environmental governance. He is also a Lead Counsel with the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law and the Director of the One Justice Project. He currently serves on the national council of the Canadian Environmental Network, the board of governors of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, and the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law. Sébastien previously worked for the Canadian Centre for International Justice, the Canadian branch of Amnesty International, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. He holds graduate degrees in law, international law, and international relations from McGill University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge and has been called to the bar in Ontario. Sébastien has received numerous awards and honours, including the 2012 Public Scholar Award from the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, a John Humphrey Fellowship in Human Rights from the Canadian Council on International Law, and a Public Interest Law Articling Fellowship from the Law Foundation of Ontario.
Michael Stone
Michael Stone has led the program on Forest Governance and Policy since 2009. He has focused his research on forest governance from a comparative political perspective. He has devoted his time to three primary issues: 1) Community Forest Management in China, 2) Legality Verification globally, 3) Comparing forest management in Canada, China, and the United States. His work aims to use many different methodological approaches to look a variety of political contexts, but always using impacts on forests as the primary lens.
Jasmine Hyman
Jasmine Hyman is currently completing a doctorate at the Yale School of Forestry and the Environment, where she seeks to identify design principles for global climate finance schemes that promote equitable development and social justice. Prior to her research at Yale, Jasmine was the Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Gold Standard Foundation, a certification scheme for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects under the Kyoto Protocol's offset scheme and for the voluntary carbon offset markets in the US and Australia. From 2001-2005, Jasmine worked on climate and sustainable agriculture issues at the Food and Agriculture Or ganization of the United Nations. She was the head writer and correspondent for the International Year of Rice in 2004, where she wrote speeches for the Food and Agriculture Director General and varying representatives to ASEAN. Jasmine began her study of greenhouse gas emission markets in earnest while doing a Masters of Science at the London School of Economics in Environment and Development in 2005. She earned an honors B.A in Urban Studies at Columbia University in 2001. Jasmine's current research is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, and the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.
Matto Mildenberger

Matto Mildenberger, a political scientist by training, studies the comparative politics of climate policy. His dissertation explores the institutional drivers of variation in the timing and content of carbon pricing policies across advanced economies. Matto also studies the dynamics of public climate opinions. Matto directs GEM's Program on Climate Governance and Policy and is affiliated with the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

JohnNixon

John Nixon is the Director of Strategy and Operations for the GEM Initiative. A 2008 alumnus of F&ES and Professor Cashore's, he returns to Yale after four years with Blu Skye Consulting in San Francisco, CA. John was awarded an A.B. in Physics and Math from Dartmouth College in 2004. In 2000, he was the forestry specialist on the Pennsylvania team that placed first at the Canon Envirothon's international championships. John combines a professional background of project management, client services, strategy and organizational development with his academic training in science, research and sustainability to lead GEM’s activities at the intersection of practitioners and academics.

Masters Students

Urs web
Sarah Bolthrunis is a research assistant for the Climate Policy and Governance Program and a master’s candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Sarah’s research focuses on the valuation of ecosystem services and the integration of related economic mechanisms into environmental policy. Prior to Yale, Sarah worked at a consulting firm in Cambridge, MA where she conducted regulatory analyses and natural resource damage assessments for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and several other Federal government agencies. Sarah has also worked on product stewardship issues in a Boston-based not-for-profit and has conducted field studies with the South African National Parks. Sarah holds a BA in Economics and Environmental Studies from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. 
urs gem
Urs Dieterich is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. His focus is on international forest governance and conservation science. At the United Nations Forum on Forests, Urs is a “Focal Point” for the Major Group Children and Youth, creating a link between multi-lateral forest policy deliberations and the related challenges and opportunities for young people around the world. He aims to ensure policy learning on both the global and local level, including two-directional information flows, to achieve more effective implementation and forest policy making. In this regard, he researches how accountability, transparency, and empowerment can give traction to UNFF Major Groups as a means for civil society participation in decision-making processes. Urs received his B.Sc. in forest science and resource management at the Technical University Munich.
Akiva

Akiva Fishman is a Program Assistant for the Forest Policy and Governance program. He is pursuing a Master of Forestry degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he focuses on sustainable forestry management practices and policies. Concurrently, he is completing a Juris Doctor at New York University School of Law with a focus on environmental and international law. Before beginning his graduate studies, Akiva worked for the Environmental Law Institute on a series of books investigating the intersection between natural resource management and post-conflict peacebuilding. While at NYU he has worked with the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency on environmental impact assessment reform and regulation of private forestland, and with the Center for International Forestry Research on a study of illegal logging regulation in Indonesia and the European Union. Akiva holds a B.A. in International and Global Studies from Brandeis University.

Klaus crop
Klaus Geiger is a Program Assistant in the Forest Policy and Governance program.  He is also a Masters of Forestry candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  His studies first focused on forest resource management and now on environmental law, policy, and governance.  Prior to coming to Yale, Klaus was a sustainable agriculture specialist in Panamá with the US Peace Corps for three years. In collaboration with both national and international organizations in Panama, he worked in sustainable development with projects ranging from reforestation and food security to fuel-efficient wood stoves.  Klaus received his B.S. in Forestry from University of Missouri, Columbia.
Desiree web
Rachel Plawecki is a Master of Forestry candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and is currently working as a Research Assistant for the Private Authority and Environmental Governance program. She recently received a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy from Michigan State University, where her research focused on comparing carbon footprints of agricultural production methods and supply chains. Her current interests include public and private forest governance, landscape scale forest management, and stakeholder engagement, especially in rural communities of the American West. Rachel's work experience includes internship positions with the National Association of State Foresters in Washington, D.C. and Sustainable Northwest in Portland, OR. 
CelineLim crop
Celine Lim is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and research assistant with the GEM Initiative. She is interested broadly in tropical forest governance and conservation, from the impacts of extractive industries and forest-dependent livelihoods to policy and market mechanisms such as REDD+. At GEM, she is researching the impacts of legality verification on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Prior to Yale, Celine was a Princeton in Latin America fellow with a local conservation NGO in the Peruvian Amazon, working with rural and indigenous communities on forest conservation and payments for ecosystem services. Celine is from Singapore and graduated with a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College.
Lucia Ruiz web
Sarah Lupberger is a Master of Environmental Management student at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a Program Assistant for the GEM Initiative’s Program Law, Rights and Environmental Governance. She is interested in how decisions are made about managing forests, and the role that collective action efforts can have in achieving reform. Sarah has previously worked at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C. and Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales in Lima, Peru, where she focused primarily on forest and electricity governance. She has a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Chicago, where she conducted research on the role of Mayan cultural identity in biodiversity conservation efforts in northern Guatemala.
alisa web
Alisa Zomer is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her master’s research focuses on the governance dimensions of climate change adaptation and mitigation in cities. As part of the GEM Initiative, Alisa is researching policy diffusion and implementation as it impacts the management and governance of forests around the world. Prior to Yale, Alisa worked at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC on environmental governance issues related to access to information, participation, and justice in environmental decision-making. She has traveled and worked on environmental justice issues in many countries including Brazil, Chile, India, Israel, and Uganda. Alisa has a B.A. in International Affairs and Environmental Resources from The George Washington University. Follow her on twitter @azomer
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