Pure Earth staff work from our headquarters in New York City and also globally in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
Richard Fuller is an Australian-born, U.S.-based engineer, entrepreneur, and environmentalist best known for his work in global pollution remediation. In 1999, he founded the leading international environmental nonprofit, Pure Earth.
Pure Earth partners with governments, communities and industry leaders to identify and implement solutions that stop toxic exposures, protect health, and restore environments, with a focus on lead and mercury.
In October 2017, he co-chaired the seminal Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, and the subsequent 2022 progress report published in The Lancet Planetary Health, documenting pollution’s global health impact: 9 million deaths annually, more than HIV, TB, and malaria combined.
In 2020, Fuller co-authored another groundbreaking report with UNICEF, “The Toxic Truth: Children’s Exposure to Lead Pollution Undermines a Generation of Future Potential,” revealing for the first time that 1 in 3 children globally are lead poisoned, with over 90% of the impact in low- and middle-income countries.
Fuller has been recognized for his pioneering work receiving the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in recognition of his service to conservation and the environment, Australia’s Advance Award for Social Impact. In 2022, he was named one of the Future Perfect Fifty by Vox, recognizing the scientists, thinkers, scholars, writers, and activists building a more perfect future. Vox noted, “Richard Fuller works to clean up the forgotten industrial pollution that poisons millions of children in the poorest countries of the world.”
Fuller graduated with a degree in engineering from Melbourne University. He is also the founder of Great Forest Inc., a leading waste management consultancy in the U.S., and currently resides in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Andrew McCartorExecutive Director
Andrew (Drew) McCartor is a lawyer and internationally recognized leader in pollution management and environmental health with 15 years of experience designing and leading strategies to reduce public health impacts from toxic chemicals. Drew has managed complex and diverse multi-partner programs across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas focused on pollution assessment, remediation, risk mitigation, health surveillance, research, education, and public policy. As Pure Earth’s Executive Director, Drew oversees the departments of international programs, communications, development, and advocacy, and sets the organization’s strategic priorities.
Caroline BaylorProgram Manager
Prior to joining Pure Earth, Caroline graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice (MDP) with a focus in Latin American studies, Brazilian Portuguese, and sustainable waste management. She also holds a BSc in environmental science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Caroline has experience living and working in Latin America with the Peace Corps, where she worked with Ecuadorian and Panamanian colleagues to start recycling programs and build awareness about solid waste contamination. An East Tennessee native, Caroline enjoys hiking, cooking, and taking steps towards achieving zero waste.
Dustin BeckerInstitutional Grant Development Manager
Dustin is a member of the Development team responsible for prospecting grant opportunities and developing concept notes and proposals in collaboration with Programs and Operations. Dustin has eight years of Business Development and Program Management experience for NGOs, local government, and government contractors. Having worked on projects in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, as well as in high-poverty areas across the U.S., Dustin has a broad knowledge base encompassing the sectors of education, workforce development, immigration, and community development, as well as humanitarian aid. Dustin is a National Geographic State Bee Champion and a graduate of the George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs.
Sarah BergAssistant Director, Communications
As Assistant Director of Communications, Sarah works to promote Pure Earth’s program activities and accomplishments to government stakeholders, partner organizations and funders. Through the creation and distribution of videos, editorial content, and social media assets, she helps to raise awareness of Pure Earth’s mission to solve pollution, save lives and protect the planet. Sarah joined Pure Earth after serving as an AmeriCorps member with a community development corporation that addresses the social determinants of health (SDH) which influence health inequity in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, French, and Public Health from Tulane University, where her studies focused on environmental health and justice.
Angela BernhardtVice President, Communications
Angela leads the communications efforts for Pure Earth. She guides the development and implementation of campaign initiatives, social media and messaging strategy, global media relations and partnerships to direct attention to the global pollution crisis and Pure Earth’s solutions. She has 20 years of experience in communication, education and policy advocacy on a range of environmental and health issues, holding positions in corporations, nonprofits and academia.
Joe ChoAssistant Accountant
Mark EngmanDirector, Policy and Advocacy
Mark is a policy professional and strategic leader with significant experience in Legislative and Executive Branches, and in the nonprofit sector. He joins Pure Earth from UNICEF USA, where he led policy and advocacy strategy in support of UNICEF’s global advocacy priorities. Mark holds Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Colorado College. As the Director of Policy and Advocacy, Mark works with stakeholders to encourage U.S. leadership and support for programs assisting the most impacted countries to address the root causes toxic heavy metal pollution.
Lori FriedDirector, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
Lori leads Pure Earth’s efforts to build and implement an organizational MEL system to track, assess, and learn from its work. Previously, she served as Pure Earth’s Grants Manager, securing funding and managing grant reporting. Prior to joining Pure Earth, she worked with Trickle Up, managing a 10-country refugee livelihoods program; with Winrock International, developing MEL plans for major USG proposals; and with Tetra Tech, supporting access to justice and peace & security projects in Iraq and Liberia. Lori, who grew up in rural North Dakota, has an M.A. in International Affairs from The New School and a B.A. in Film Studies from University of Colorado. Her favorite things include documentary films, juicy memoirs, and chocolate.
Rachael KupkaVice President, Operations
Rachael joined Pure Earth in 2010, and is currently Vice President of Operations. From 2019-2023, she served as Executive Director for Pure Earth’s sister organization, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution where she directed, managed and oversaw the strategy, budget and activities of GAHP. There she was also responsible for developing and furthering GAHP’s relationships, strategy, funding and awareness raising initiatives with bilateral and multilateral agencies around the world. Prior to Pure Earth, she worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Rachael holds a MA in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University, and a Certificate in Conservation from Columbia University. Her interest in environment and environmental health stems from her upbringing in the leatherstocking region of upstate New York, near the Adirondack State Park. She has lived in Brazil, Egypt and Venezuela, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Jen MarraccinoSr. Director, Development
Jen joined Pure Earth in 2011 and brings over 20 years of fundraising experience at non-profits including the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Rockland County YMCA. As Senior Director of Development, Jen works on all aspects of fundraising for Pure Earth with a specialty in creating, managing and growing major events including Pure Earth’s Gala dinner and golf tournament. Jen graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Marketing. She is a mother of four and a community activist focused on causes related to children and education.
At Pure Earth, Rhona works in the Finance Department under the CFO and aids in the organization of special events. In addition to a broad knowledge of accounting software, Rhona holds a BA (Honors) in Interior Design from the Glasgow School of Art. She has an interest in graphic novels, prints, and illustration.
Lavanya NambiarProgram Manager
Prior to joining Pure Earth, Lavanya worked in different resource settings including India, Kenya and the United States. Her main areas of focus include health governance, systems strengthening, and evidence driven policy development. Lavanya holds a Master of Public Health degree in health policy from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering in biotechnology.
Kate PorterfieldSpecial Projects Lead
As Special Projects Lead, Kate works with the Pure Earth team to develop novel ideas related to the global lead agenda, focusing on research and strategic analysis. Kate’s professional background includes public health research and communication and education. She is a double graduate of NYU, holding a Bachelors in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Law, Ethics, History, and Religion, and a Masters in Environmental Public Health Sciences.
Alfonso RodriguezTechnical Director
Alfonso joined Pure Earth in 2016 as Country Director for Colombia and he is currently the Technical Director. Alfonso is Chemical Engineer, Industrial Hygienist Specialist and did his Master’s degree in Soils and Environmental Pollution at the University of Reading (UK). Additionally, he has been certified in General Industry Safety and Health by OSHA, NIOSH to teach instructors in safety and health in underground coal mining and by NEBOSH in hazardous agents in the workplace. He has over 25 years of experience in environmental projects with hazardous waste, sustainability and contaminated sites. The last 10 recent years Mr. Rodriguez has been involved in the mining sector in Colombia and Peru, focuses in mercury contamination promoting novel alternatives for mercury remediation in soil, land reforestation and health risk reduction. Prior to Pure Earth, Alfonso worked as an international consultant and teacher at several universities promoting environmental innovation projects such as the use of biomass and risk analysis in safety, health and the environment of prestigious companies in Colombia and the UK.
Gabriel Sanchez IbarraVice President, Programs
In the last three decades, Gabriel has worked in humanitarian, developmental and environmental programs in more than 25 different countries. Over that period, he occupied the full range of managerial positions from project officer to program director, both in NGOs and governmental institutions. Between 2015 and 2020 he was Head of Regional Programs and then Head of the Emergency Response Unit at Doctors Without Borders (MSF) headquarters in Barcelona. He holds a master’s degree in International Development from the University of Manchester. Previously, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Geography and History from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Dominika SluszkiewiczDevelopment Coordinator
Dominika first joined Pure Earth as an intern in 2021 and has since returned as a full-time member of the team. As Development Coordinator, Dominika works to develop strong relationships with donors and manage fundraising events, including the Pure Earth Gala, International Women’s Day Celebration, and Golf Tournament. She graduated from Binghamton University with two Bachelor’s Degrees in English and Art & Design, and is excited to bring her creativity and passion for shared stories to her position.
Carol SumkinVice President, Development
Carol has devoted the past 25 years to a career in the nonprofit field. Carol specializes in developing and implementing multi-million dollar strategic campaigns that raise diversified resources for nonprofit organizations, including Children’s Health Fund, Montefiore Medical Center and Pure Earth. She has extensive experience developing Boards, writing grant proposals and budgets, managing fundraising events and establishing administrative systems. Carol received a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from the New School for Social Research and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University.
Shishi ZhangFinance Director
Shishi Zhang is a highly experienced and skilled professional with over 10 years of experience in the non-for-profit sector. She is actively involved in the fiscal management of a variety of non-profit organizations, including those focusing on housing, arts and science, and equal rights, etc.
Shishi also has a strong educational background, holding a B.S. in Finance and M.S. in Accounting. She is well-versed in various software systems used for accounting. Her extensive experience in all aspects of financing reporting, budgeting, and financial management, coupled with her analytical and strategic thinking skills, allows her to work closely with senior management, Finance Committee in making important financial decisions and ensuring compliance with audits.
The Pure Earth global team includes many experts from around the world, among them are lecturers, doctors, engineers, researchers and other pollution and public health experts, who bring with them knowledge of the local community. Many have worked with the environment ministries of their countries, and some are founders of local and regional NGOs. Meet some members of our global team below.
Esmond QuansahGHANA: Country Director
Esmond Wisdom Quansah is a development professional with over 10 years experience in the development field. He served in several capacities and spearheaded many interventions for improved wellbeing for marginalized groups and young people. He implemented key programs in livelihoods, gender equality and climate action. Prior to joining Pure Earth, he served as Country Representative/Project Lead for Youth Challenge International, a Canadian INGO in Ghana to support young people in living sustainable livelihoods. Esmond comes with leadership skills in building partnerships, advancing Climate Action issues, engaging stakeholders across government, civil society, and private sectors. He also worked with Ghana Education Service, Right to Play International, and EQUIP HUBs program. He held several other positions which include Training Coordinator, Hub Coordinator/Manager, Project Coordinator, Operations and Finance Manager among others. He holds Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Assam Don Bosco University, Guwahati, India. Esmond is passionate about issues related to marginalized groups, youth empowerment leading to sustainable livelihoods, gender equality and climate action.
Wilson BaakuGHANA : Technical Project Director
Wilson Baaku has over 20 years of professional experience in natural resource governance and mining with a focus on sustainable mineral development, Forest-Smart Small-scale Mining, and responsible natural resource use. He is a natural resource geoscientist and a project management specialist with strong interests in social and environmental issues linked to natural resource development. Prior to joining Pure Earth, Wilson was the lead Stakeholder Engagement Consultant and Water Quality Expert of the Environmental Social Impact Assessment team for the Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam Project in the Upper East and Northeast Regions of Ghana. As a Natural Resource expert, Wilson was part of the World Bank’s ground-breaking research work on the ‘Forest-Smart Mining’ in Ghana. He is a member of the Ghana Institute of Geosciences (GhiG) and has played key roles in natural resource governance, large- or small-scale mining, and Water Sanitation and Health projects across West Africa. Wilson holds a master’s degree in project management from the University of Ghana Business School, a master’s degree in Mineral Exploration Geoscience, and a bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Ghana.
Budi SusiloriniINDONESIA: Country Director
While Budi Susilorini and her local team have assessed hundreds of hotspots in Indonesia, she tells us that there are still many more. Among her projects, Budi is working with Pure Earth in Indonesia to test the “Benguet” method, which eliminates the use of toxic mercury in the gold mining process. Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of gold. Over 300,000 artisanal miners (including many children) release more than 1000 tonnes of toxic mercury every year. She is also working to break the cycle of extreme lead poisoning in Pesarean, Indonesia. Read a full profile of Budi here.
Nicklaus HariojatiINDONESIA: Program Officer
Nickolaus has always been interested in environmental issues. He has a background in forest resource conservation and more than 4 years of experience as a forest firefighter. He joined Pure Earth in 2014, when Pure Earth was carrying out a clean-up project on lead-contaminated land in Cinangka Village, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. As Program Officer, Nickolaus assists the Pure Earth Country Director in Indonesia and conducts Initial Site Assessments of contaminated land based on information from partners such as the Indonesian government, non-governmental organizations, universities, and the communities themselves.
Larah Ortega IbañezPHILIPPINES: Country Director
Larah Ortega Ibañez oversees a variety of projects for Pure Earth in the Philippines, including both research and cleanup. Larah is currently preparing for a large-scale project aimed at reducing heavy metal contamination in fishponds in the river systems surrounding Manila.
Dr. Lynn PanganibanPHILIPPINES: National Consultant
Dr. Lynn Panganiban has been our go-to expert through the years and is now officially on board as our National Consultant for GiveWell project implementation in the country particularly in the area of Public Health and Toxicology. She’s a professor at the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine; one of the pioneers and still is a Toxicology Consultant at the National Poison Management & Control Center, UP College of Medicine-Philippine General Hospital; Member of the Pesticide Expert Panel and Technical Service Consultant of the Center for Cosmetic Regulation and Research of the Food and Drug Administration among others.
Elezabeth "Beth" OmpadPHILIPPINES: Program Officer for Field Operations
Elezabeth “Beth” Ompad has rejoined us officially as Program Officer for Field Operations. She’s been working with PE Philippines in various roles as Junior Investigator, Research Assistant, Senior Investigator, and Project Officer/Coordinator for different periods of time since 2009. She is a Chemical Engineer with backgrounds in Biology, Chemical Engineering and Environmental Science and engagement in research relevant to our advocacy and work.
Sandeep DahiyaINDIA: Director of Advocacy and Communications
Sandeep develops and implements advocacy and communication projects and strategies to engage diverse influencers, decision-makers, governments, private sector companies, NGOs, research institutes, media and public in support of awareness-raising and policy development/change to bring attention to lead pollution and its solutions. Sandeep is an environmentalist, scientist, policy expert and a campaigner. Before joining Pure Earth, Sandeep worked at Purpose developing and implementing a wide range of campaigns on air pollution, clean transport and clean energy. He comes with great experience in Government policy/program implementation & coordination. In the past, he has worked on the Clean India Mission with Tata Trust and the Indian Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. He started his career as a researcher at TERI University and contributed to different air quality and climate change-related research projects funded by government, non-governmental and international organizations.
Emershia SharmineINDIA: Program Manager – Tamil Nadu
Emershia Sharmine is a Public Health Nutrition professional with 14+ years of experience in the development sector. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing technical support for Child Health and Nutrition programs across India, including a UNICEF partnership project. With a master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition and an M.Phil in Research and Development, Emershia is well-equipped to design and implement SBCC programs, foster partnerships, strengthen systems, manage programs, and deliver evidence-based reports.
Dr. Vinisha PoojariINDIA: Program Manager
With a postgraduate degree in hospital administration from Manipal University and six years of experience in the public and private sectors, she has become well-versed in her field. In her work within the public sector, she collaborated with state health departments to improve the skills of health workers. She played a key role in initiatives such as the National Cancer Grid by Tata Medical Center and the cancer screening program by the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR). Additionally, she has taken on several projects related to health policy and digital health, displaying her versatility and expertise in the field.
A Bhaskar RajINDIA: Program Associate
A Bhaskar Raj works as a program associate at Pure Earth, India. He has over 10 years of working experience in the field of sustainable social development, specifically Nutrition, Education, Rural Development, Migration and Human trafficking. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Work, a Master of Philosophy in Social Work and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. His research in the past mainly focused on Self Help Groups, Farmer, Urban slum dwellers, issues of Migration, Human trafficking and Agriculture. Before joining Pure Earth, he worked with Tata Institute of Social Sciences in the Research department and with TATA TRUSTS on Nutrition in Central Kitchen.
Annu SharmaINDIA: Admin & Finance Officer
With over 20 years of experience in both profit and non-profit sectors, Annu Sharma holds a postgraduate degree in Commerce. She has worked with renowned organizations like IDEI-International Development Enterprises (India), The Union (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease), and IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation). Annu’s expertise lies in managing accounting, cash flow forecasting, budgeting, donor reporting, ensuring compliance with statutory regulations, conducting audits, and supervising administrative departments on a daily basis.
Kumar BhaskarProgram Officer
Kumar Bhaskar is working as a Project officer in Bihar. Before joining Pure Earth, he worked on different research Projects as a research associate & junior research fellow. His area of interest is environmental monitoring, environmental pollution and public health. He comes with years of experience in research; government, CSO and industry partnerships and projects management. He completed his Masters’s in Environmental Science from the Central University of South Bihar and a Bachelor’s degree in Environment and water management from Anugrah Narayan College, Magadh University Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India.
Dr. Mahfuzar RahmanBANGLADESH: Country Director
Mahfuzar Rahman is a physician/epidemiologist by training; He has been with Pure Earth since 2020 after successfully completing tenure with UNICEF, BRAC, Columbia University and ICDDRB. His main research interests over the past 20 years have been occupational, environmental and molecular epidemiology, focused in studying various pollutants on health and pollution in producing acute and chronic diseases. Other interests include health systems performance particularly for the poor; universal health coverage; program evaluation; implementation research for successful delivery of evidence-based interventions to improve the quality of care services; and access to safe water and toxic elements in environment. He also serves as a cost analyst of different projects in Bangladesh. He used to work in International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France. While most of his work has related to low-income settings, Rahman has also been involved in research with the GBD in Seattle and Imperial College, London for many years.
Mitali DasBANGLADESH: Communications Lead
Mitali Das leads the communication efforts of Pure Earth Bangladesh. She is a communications professional with more than 9 years of extensive experience in the development, media and communication sectors. She has played a lead role in successfully designing and implementing hundreds of national and local-level campaigns that have reached millions of people. She has expertise in developing communication and branding strategies, social media and website content, IEC and SBCC materials, creative campaign concepts and documentary and animation scripts. She also has experience in report writing, documenting lessons learned, achievements, and best practices of projects. She has worked closely with many international donor agencies, the government’s multi-sectoral departments, UN organizations, media agencies, and partner NGOs. She has a rights-based approach in her work that promotes inclusiveness, gender-sensitive communication, and non-discrimination. She also volunteers with various local and international charitable organizations to provide education to underprivileged children.
Khatuna AkhalaiaGEORGIA: Country Director
Khatuna holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Planning and a PhD in Biosciences. She has more than 15 years of professional experience in Agrochemicals management including hazardous waste management in Georgia and abroad. She has worked with FAO, UNEP, UNDP, WB, EBRD. She helped with the preparation and validation of the 2021-2031 Climate Action Plan (CAP) Waste (solid & water) sector chapter and has experience working on normative regulations on solid municipal waste, toxic waste and chemical substances management issues at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources. She possesses 5 years of Greenhouse management and 10 years of environmental consultancy work in Georgia. She is a trainer of trainers on pesticides and obsolete pesticide management issues and has been a part of different programs and projects aiming at strengthening the capacities and knowledge of farmers to help increase the production of crops in Georgia.
Valeriia KovachUKRAINE: Country Coordinator
Valeriia Kovach, PhD is Pure Earth’s country coordinator in Ukraine. Since joining Pure Earth in 2014, Valeriia has worked to identify polluted sites contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, radio nuclides. Valeriia’s experience includes work with the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in the Department of Environmental Problems, and on many national and international projects connected with rehabilitation and remediation of polluted areas. She has been awarded many national and international certificates, and received her PhD in Ecology in May 2015. Her areas of interest include environmental safety, nuclear safety and radiation protection.
Lizeth Olaya ZambranoCOLOMBIA: Country Director
Lizeth is an Environmental Engineer, with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. She has worked in the areas of consulting, environmental and project management, teaching and research, and has experience in the administrative and technical coordination of projects of a diverse nature and in the implementation of sustainability strategies.
Angie Tatiana Ortega RamirezCOLOMBIA: Project Coordinator
Angie Tatiana Ortega Ramírez is the Project Coordinator Pure Earth – Colombia. She is a Chemical Engineer a Petroleum Engineer and a specialist in project management. She holds a Masters in Environmental Management for Competitiveness and is a doctoral student in Sustainability. She has been a member of the Pure Earth team since 2018. She is currently coordinator of the CSO project for Colombia, administrator of the TSIP database for Latin America and the Caribbean and assistant for Mercury (Hg) projects. She has 7 years of research and teaching experience, experience in the hydrocarbons sector in the field of reservoirs and HSEQ. She has experience in management of environmental remediation projects due to mining – energy impacts in Colombia has been a leader of social and environmental projects in non-profit organizations. She has published academic research on sustainability, especially in the oil industry. She is the director of her foundation “Sueño de Ángeles” in Colombia, where she works with children in a state of vulnerability.
Daniela Alonso MolanoCOLOMBIA: Health Project Coordinator
Daniela is a public health physician with studies in human rights and gender, with extensive experience in research in vulnerable populations and in the implementation of prevention and health promotion programs.
With her outstanding interest in the solution of the country’s social problems, Daniela opens a new research perspective as coordinator of health programs for Colombia.
Claudia GonzalezCOLOMBIA & PERU: Communications Coordinator
Claudia leads communications in Colombia and Peru, bringing her experience in social impact and cultural change projects to raise awareness of Pure Earth’s mission in local communities. Her strategic approach contributed to the implementation of positioning and mobilization initiatives, connecting with diverse stakeholders. Prior to her role at Pure Earth, Claudia worked in an NGO related to the promotion and prevention of occupational hazards and environmental protection, contributing with the implementation of communication strategies that inform and generate a positive impact on community perception and participation. Claudia is a Social Communicator and Journalist, with a Master’s Degree in Communication Management and Public Relations.
Agustin GamaMEXICO: Country Manager
Agustín Gama is currently the Country Director of Pure Earth Mexico – his 30 years of professional experience began at American Express and Reader’s Digest; he has held top executive positions as Executive Director of The American Society of Mexico and General Manager for Diario EL PAÍS Mexico LATAM North. He has also worked in the public sector, where he held several directive positions in the Ministry of Finance and Administration of the Government of the State of Hidalgo. His academic background includes Business Administration and Accounting at the Universidad Anáhuac and Public Administration and Political Science at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He is also an active member of the American Benevolent Society Mexico, American School Foundation Alumni Association, and has participated in international marathons.
Jesús MaldonadoMEXICO: Operations Director
Jesús is a Biochemical Engineer from ITESM and has an MBA from IPADE in Mexico. He has held several positions in the Finance and Microfinance Industries, and has had extensive experience in operations and project management, customer service, and strategic planning. Prior to joining Pure Earth, he worked as a consultant for the food industry, designing and implementing several operational re-engineering projects, as well as continuous improvement programs.
Carmina Jure CaderónMEXICO: Institutional Development Coordinator
Carmina studied International Relations and has spent 7 years dedicating herself to the fundraising and strategic development of different social causes in Mexico. She is passionate about contributing to the social development of the communities and collaborates with Pure Earth in Mexico promoting the Barro Aprobado Program and seeking funds for the development of projects.
Netzy PeraltaMEXICO: Operations Coordinator
Netzy has a degree in Social Anthropology from the Autonomous University of Morelos, a master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the College of Michoacán, and a doctorate from the CUCSH of the University of Guadalajara in Social Sciences. She is a part-time professor at the University of Morelos and has been the Operations Coordinator with Barro Aprobado since 2014. She specializes in local project management and community organizing.
Rodrigo VelardePERU: Country Director
Rodrigo is a biologist and holds a Master’s degree in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Leadership from the University of Barcelona, a Master’s degree in Environmental Health from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, a Diploma in Sustainable Development from the Universidad del Pacífico and is certified in Design Thinking by the Creativity Certification Program.
Rodrigo is passionate about disruptive thinking and the orientation towards innovation and sustainability in the projects he leads. He has experience in academia, government and private sector, highlighting his role as project manager in the Laboratory of Eco-Health and Urban Ecology of the Faculty of Science and Philosophy of the Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia, Policy Manager for The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, Director of Communications and Strategic Relations for Oceana Peru, among others.
France CabanillasPERU: Project Coordinator
Forestry engineer by training, with a master’s degree in environmental management, with more than 14 years of experience in the forestry sector of Peru, working on the problem of alluvial mining in Madre de Dios, Peru, since 2011, investigating issues related to environmental mining management, mercury-free technologies, as well as the restoration of areas degraded by mining in the Amazon.
Dr. Lilian CorraSOUTH AMERICA: Government Relations Advisor
Dr. Lilian Corra is Pure Earth’s government relations advisor for South America.
As a pediatrician/neonatologist, Lilian has done extensive work to raise awareness about children’s health in relation to the environment. She is the director of the Medical Specialist Program on Health and Environment at the School of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires.
She connects with global aid agencies and South American governments on behalf of Pure Earth, which acts as Secretariat for the new Global Alliance on Health and Pollution. She also works with Pure Earth on the Toxics Sites Identification Program in Argentina, which has, in some cases, led local authorities to halt development on contaminated sites. In 2016, she was part of a team of global experts who contributed to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s new series of children’s environmental health training modules.
Jack Caravanos, DrPH, CIHSenior Technical Advisor
Dr. Jack Caravanos is presently Professor at the School of Global Public Health at NYU. He received his Master’s Degree in Environmental Health Engineering and proceeded to earn his DrPH from Columbia University. He is board certified in industrial hygiene (CIH) and prides himself as being a practicing field-based environmental health scientist. Since 2005, Dr. Caravanos has assisted the international NGO, Pure Earth, with its Toxic Site Inventory Program and has traveled to over 20 countries assisting partners in both the private and governmental sector in sampling and assessing environmental health threats from hazardous waste sites and operations. Dr. Caravanos conducted dozens of environmental health assessments of e-waste sites, backyard smelters, gold mining sites and tanneries.
David HanrahanPrincipal Technical Advisor
Hanrahan is an expert in water and wastewater planning, environmental engineering, pollution control and soil clean-up; technical director of Pure Earth; former lead environmental specialist, Environment Department, World Bank
Karti SandilyaSenior Advisor
Gordon Binkhorst, Ph.D.Senior Technical Advisor
Dr. Binkhorst comes to Pure Earth as a contaminant hydrogeologist from the private environmental consulting world. As a Senior Hydrogeologist and Project Manager at ALTA Environmental Corporation in Connecticut since 1998, Gordon was primarily responsible for providing technical oversight and direction on a variety of site investigation and remediation projects, including those under a variety of regulatory programs. Dr. Binkhorst has a comprehensive knowledge of hydrogeologic principles, contaminant fate and transport mechanisms, and assessment and remediation techniques and strategies. Dr. Binkhorst was an Adjunct Professor to Department of Geosciences at the University of Connecticut (UConn) where he taught an upper-level undergraduate class on completing environmental site assessments and served as a member of UConn’s Geoscience Advisory Board.
At Pure Earth, Gordon worked as a Senior Technical Advisor to Pure Earth since 2011, and served as the Vice President of Global Programs in 2020 and 2021 prior to returning to his role as Senior Technical Advisor. Gordon has worked extensively investigating and remediating legacy informal used lead acid battery recycling sites in the Philippines, India and Bangladesh, as well as mitigating exposure to residents living near an abandoned lead mine in Kabwe, Zambia. Gordon has contributed to a number of publications regarding the battery recycling industry and has also been instrumental in studies identifying lead adulterated spices in Bangladesh, India and the Republic of Georgia. Gordon has championed inclusion of blood lead monitoring as part of ongoing health and nutrition surveys for children in Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia and Ghana and has provided technical guidance on identifying lead exposure sources in lower and middle-income countries (e.g., aluminum and ceramic cookware, paints, cosmetics, spices, etc.). Gordon was instrumental in developing, implementing and interpreting Pure Earth’s 2022-2023 Rapid Market Survey, which has included collection, XRF screening and laboratory testing of over 6,000 household items from 25 low- and middle-income countries for total lead, as well as spearheading testing of over 100 aluminum pot and pans for leachable lead.