Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
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.
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.
Michael Stone Profile Picture.jpg
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 worked in international forestry issues since completing a Fulbright Fellowship in China at the Chinese Center for Agricultural Policy, part of the Chinese Academy of Science. His research has focused primarily on 1) community forestry, 2) environmental governance, and 3) the relationship between governance, trade and the environment. 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. Recent publications he co-authored include: “Narrating Illegal Logging Across the Globe. Between Green Protectionism and Sustainable Resource Use.” and “Does California need Delaware? Explaining Indonesian, Chinese, and United States support for legality compliance of internationally traded products.” Michael’s publications also demonstrate his longstanding interests in non-state governance and political science methodology. Articles such as “Impacts of the Lacey Act Amendment and the Voluntary Partnership Agreements on illegal logging: implications for global forest governance.” and “Methods and Global Environmental Governance.” show his embrace of both qualitative and quantitative methods where appropriate.
Michael’s dissertation applies these interests by doing an in-depth historical-institutionalist analysis of the global shift towards legality verification policies. Michael demonstrates that there are key variables that explain why the United States, China, and Indonesia shifted to supporting these policies but also explain why others, in his example Malaysia, failed to shift. This research is important for explaining the latest developments in non-state governance and have important practical and theoretical implications. Legality verification will likely be a key issue shaping international trade of timber and environmental governance issues in the coming decades. Michael is working to demonstrate the limits and possibilities of this approach by studying these issues from many different perspectives. Already Michael has published on this topic used historical institutional, macroeconomic, and discourse analysis methods to ground his research on this area. Accordingly his articles are already some of the most cited in this area of scholarly attention. Michael will receive his PhD from Yale in the Fall of 2016. 
Michaela Foster
Michaela Foster is a member of the Governance, Environments, and Markets Initiative and a doctoral student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her research is focused on forest governance and conservation. She is interested in understanding how commodity markets are driving deforestation and on the impacts of land use change on forest based livelihoods. She has specific interest in community based forest management in Africa. She holds a Masters of Science in Natural Resources from North Carolina State University and a BA in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Duke University.
Chelsea Judy
Chelsea Judy is a doctoral student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. As a political economist, her research centers on agricultural development and deforestation/ forest degradation in the tropics, specifically the Amazonian Basin and sub-Saharan Africa. She currently serves as the Director for GEM's program on Land Use Change and Globalization. Prior to coming to Yale, Chelsea earned her Master's in Public Policy from the University of Melbourne in Australia as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar where she focused on the socio-economic impacts of environmental policy on Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Currently, she focuses on income inequality in the developing world and indigenous livelihoods and how capital flows to local communities can ultimately shape land use change patterns. She is particularly interested in how remote sensing data and GIS modeling can detect patterns of resource inequalities and ultimately inform policy decisions designed to effectively tackle deforestation and forest degradation. Her dissertation will focus on exploring these questions.
Hamish van der Ven
Hamish van der Ven is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at The MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. He is also a Research Fellow with the Earth Systems Governance Network and a member of the Environmental Governance Lab at the University of Toronto. His research explores why private actors get involved in global environmental governance and under what conditions they will create credible regulatory solutions to environmental problems.In his book project, Hamish systematically investigates the credibility of transnational eco-labeling organizations in a global and cross-sectoral context. His next major project will examine whether the expansion of non-state governance is diminishing or enhancing the ability of states and international organizations to meaningfully respond to global environmental problems.
Hamish holds a PhD in Political Science (2015) from the University of Toronto and a MA in Political Science (2006) and a BA in History from the University of British Columbia. He is the past recipient of the Oran R. Young Award for best early career paper at the 2014 Earth Systems Governance Conference. For more information, please visit hamishvanderven.com
Chen Xiaoqian
Chen Xiaoqian received her PH.D degree in Forestry Economics and Policy from Beijing Forestry University in 2000, worked in Beijing Forestry University School of Economics and Management since September 2000, and was assigned as Associate professor in 2012. Besides giving lectures to undergraduates and graduate students, Xiaoqian led and participated in forestry, economic, trade, and investment-related domestic and international research and projects over the past 16 years. From September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017, she is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Previously, from September 2011 to July 2016, she led the European Forest Institute (EFI)’s EU FLEGT in Asia’s China office as the FLEGT Advisor in China. From April 2009 to August 2011, Xiaoqian led China’s project under the USAID, funded by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) “Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade” (RAFT) Program as the Forest Policy Advisor. From October 2006 to March 2009 Xiaoqian worked for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) China office as the Green Wood and Sustainable Forest Management Project Manager. From 2008 to 2009, Xiaoqian also worked for FAO Asia Pacific forest office and developed the China country report of “FAO Asia Pacific Forest Outlook 2010.” Xiaoqian also took a Financial and Fiscal expert position for the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s “China’s Six Forestry Ecological Programs and Poverty Deduction” project from January 2004 to March 2005. Xiaoqian has rich knowledge and on ground project management skills in Forestry economics, trade, investment areas in China and Asia pacific region, and has published 4 books and over 25 articles.  

Masters Students

Katie McConnell
Katie McConnell is the program manager for GEM, and a Master of Environmental Science candidate who uses mixed methods to research environmental protection, extractive industries, and land rights in the American West. Before attending F&ES, Katie worked in public health research and legal services in New York City. She received her B.A. in cultural anthropology and environmental studies from Wesleyan University.
Sarah Sax
Sarah Sax is a Master of Science candidate in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. Her primary area of interest is indigenous rights and political ecology, with a specific focus on Latin America. She conducted her thesis research on environmental conflicts due to Palm Oil expansion in the Peruvian Amazon. Previous work experience includes working to help smallholder farms transition to organic agriculture in India and Nicaragua, and working with the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture to assess the impact of drought mitigation strategies on land-users in rural Canada.
Parfait Gasana
Parfait Gasana is an F&ES student expecting a Master of Environmental Management degree in 2018. His particular interest in energy and environmental policy stems from his experiences growing up in Rwanda, East Africa and observing firsthand the impact Western policies played in shaping regional politics. Gasana earned his MS in International Relations from the McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and his undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut. He also served in various volunteer capacities with the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Secretary of State for the State of Connecticut, and the Institute for International Justice and Development.
Catherine Rothacker

Catherine Rothacker is a Master of Environmental Management candidate interested in links among agricultural supply chains, land use change, sustainable development, and ecosystem conservation. Following her first year at FES, she worked as a Markets & Biodiversity Intern at EcoAgriculture Partners, where she advanced private sector engagement with sustainable landscape governance. Prior to Yale, Catherine worked for the Meridian Institute in Washington, DC, where she helped facilitate multi-stakeholder collaborative problem-solving projects related to tropical forests and sustainable supply chains and domestic agricultural conservation policy. Catherine previously served as a Land & Water Ecosystems Intern at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and a Conservation Incentives and Markets Intern at the World Resources Institute. She graduated magna cum laude in Geology and Environmental Studies from Amherst College. 

Chandni Navalkha
Chandni Navalkha is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at Yale F&ES, where her work centers around land tenure, community self-governance, and the roles of formal and informal rights in conservation and land use change. Prior to beginning her Master’s degree, Chandni worked in consulting in New York City and on independent projects in Mexico and Peru. She received a B.A. In economics and cultural studies from Cornell University. 
Valerie Pinkerton

Valerie Pinkerton is a Master of Environmental Management candidate who is specializing in environmental policy analysis. She previously worked at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC on issues of natural resource governance in developing country contexts. She received her B.A. in environmental biology, economics, and political science from Columbia University.

Recently Graduated GEM Doctoral Students

S├ębastien Jodoin
Prof. Sébastien Jodoin is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law of McGill University and a Faculty Associate of the GEM Initiative at Yale University. He contributes to GEM’s research and activities in environmental policy, climate change, forest governance, sustainable development, and corporate social responsibility. Sébastien holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies from Yale University, an M.Phil. in international relations from the University of Cambridge, an LL.M. in international law from the London School of Economics, and B.C.L. and LL.B. degrees from McGill University. Sébastien has worked for the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, the Canadian Centre for International Justice, Amnesty International Canada, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. He has also served as a consultant for a range of international and non-governmental organisations, including the United Nations, the Climate Land Use Alliance, the World Future Council, Equitable Origin, the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, and the International Development Law Organisation. Sébastien has received numerous awards and honours, including the 2012 Public Scholar Award from the Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, a Doctoral Scholarship from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities and Research Council of Canada, and a Public Interest Law Articling Fellowship from the Law Foundation of Ontario. 
Matto Mildenberger

Matto Mildenberger is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research explores the political drivers of policy inaction in the face of serious social and economic threats posed by global climate change. Straddling comparative political economy and political behavior, Mildenberger's work focusses on comparative climate policymaking and the dynamics of US climate opinion. His current book project compares the politics of carbon pricing across advanced economies, with a focus on the history of climate reforms in Australia, Norway and the United States. Other ongoing work explores public environmental behaviors, political ideology, and the relationship between economic and environmental policy preferences. A previous book, Dependent America? How Mexico and Canada Construct US Power (Toronto 2011, with Stephen Clarkson), explored the political economy of North American trade and security relationships. Matto received his PhD from Yale University in December 2015, working under Prof. Cashore. 

Stefan Renckens

Stefan Renckens is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department of the University of Toronto. He teaches courses on public policy, political economy and the environment at the St. George and Scarborough campuses. He is also an Affiliated Faculty member of the Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. His current research examines the evolution and impact of transnational private sustainability governance and the interactions with public governance at the international, regional and domestic level. Current issue areas of interest include renewable energy, climate change, fisheries, forestry, electronic waste, agriculture, and fair trade. In his first book project, Stefan examines and explains the varied ways in which the European Union has regulated transnational private governance, and the implications for the functioning and impact of public and private environmental governance. Stefan holds a Ph.D. (2014) and M.Phil. (2011) in Environmental Politics from Yale University, and Master’s degrees in Political Science (2002), Economic Policy (2003), and Conflict and Peace Studies (2005) from the University of Leuven. His Ph.D. dissertation was awarded the 2015 Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award by the Science, Technology and Environmental Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. For more information, see www.stefanrenckens.com.

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