Team and Board
Anna Cederstav is one of the two AIDA’s Co-Executive Directors. Having worked for AIDA since 1997, she is responsible for program and organizational development. Anna has significant expertise in the environmental impacts of mining and other extractive activities, as well as marine resource management. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. from Yale University. Anna is based in San Francisco, California, where she also manages the Latin America work of the Earthjustice International Program.
Astrid Puentes Riaño is one of two Co-Executive Directors of AIDA. She is responsible for AIDA’s legal efforts and organizational management. Originally from Colombia, Astrid has worked for AIDA since 2003 and from AIDA’s office at CEMDA in Mexico City since 2004. She has significant experience with public interest litigation, especially in the field of human rights and the environment. Astrid holds an LL.M. in Comparative Law from the University of Florida, a Masters in Environmental Law from the University of the Basque Country, and a J. D. from the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia. Astrid has been a member of the Board of Directors of EarthRights International since 2014, and also sits on the board of International Rivers.
Legal and communications team
Carlos Lozano Acosta
Carlos Lozano Acosta is a Colombian lawyer and our senior attorney for the Freshwater Preservation Program. He works with AIDA out of Bogotá, Colombia. He has an LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the University of Oregon, United States, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar. He has worked as a researcher and consultant for Colombian and international NGOs as well as cooperation agencies on issues of public law. He also has participated on teams providing technical assistance to Colombia’s Ministry of Environment on environmental licensing and hazardous waste management.
Andrés Angél is scientific advisor to the Freshwater Preservation Program. A Colombian, he works with AIDA from Bogotá. He has a Bachelor's degree in geology and a Master's degree in Public Policy with an emphasis on GeoGovernance from the University of Potsdam, Germany; his studies there were carried out through a DAAD scholarship. Andrés has experience as a researcher in diverse socioecological conflicts and territorial defense processes, primarily those related to neo-extractivism. He has also worked in the public sector of Colombia in environmental control.
Janet Ávila is the Executive Assistant in AIDA's Mexico City Office. She has a degree in graphic design, specializing in advertising and media, from the Universidad de Londres in Mexico City. For 20 years, Janet was the executive assistant for the Mexican Association of Plastic Surgery. She also has experience in corporate identity and event organization.
Liliana A. Ávila is the Senior Attorney of AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program. A Colombian, she works from the Bogotá office. Liliana is an attorney from the Universidad Externado de Colombia, a specialist in constitutional law, and holds a Masters in Legal Argumentation from the University of Alicante in Spain. She has experience in international human rights law and international systems for the protection of human rights. She's a professor of international law at the Universidad Externado and has worked as a legal advisor on human rights, international humanitarian law, and public health.
Emilia Carrara is the Executive Assistant in AIDA’s San Francisco office. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). Emilia has experience in environmental research with a focus on Tropical Ecosystems, and has collaborated as a research assistant both in the academic and non-profit sector. She combines her strong scientific background and work experience in the organizational and managerial areas to support environmental protection strategies.
Rodrigo da Costa Sales
Rodrigo da Costa Sales is a Brazilian attorney currently working in AIDA’s Human Rights & Environment Program. He has a masters in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame. He has worked at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and with various organizations dedicated to the protection of victims in Brazil.
Dena DeBry is a fine artist and web developer. She runs Buttonwillow Six, a small web development company based in Salt Lake City. To see more, visit http://www.buttonwillowsix.com.
Juana Hofman is the coordinator of Colombia's Network for Environmental Justice. She works from AIDA's Bogota office. She is an attorney from the University of Rosario, where she taught environmental negotiation, was part of the Public Action Group, and coordinated the Public Opinion Observatory. She has a Master's Degree in Local and Regional Planning from the University of Sheffield, England. She is a professor of graduate level courses in environmental territorial management and a consultant in matters of environmental management and environmental law.
Gladys Martínez is our senior attorney for the Marine Biodiversity and Coastal Protection Program, working out of AIDA’s offices in San Jose, Costa Rica. She has helped bring AIDA victories from protecting endangered turtles and coastal areas through litigation and the development of environmentally sustainable policies. Gladys received her law degree from the Universidad de Costa Rica, and holds a master’s degree in Environment, Security and Peace from the United Nations University-UPEACE.
Anna Miller is a media specialist and freelance journalist from Buffalo, New York. She has traveled extensively in Latin America and now counts Colombia as one of her homes. As part of AIDA’s communications team, Anna crafts English language content for the website and social media channels. She graduated cum laude from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
Verónica Muriel Carrioni
Verónica Muriel Carrioni is a Colombian attorney with AIDA's Freshwater Preservation Program. She works from Portland, Oregon. Veronica has an LL.M in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon, United States, where she was part of the International Law Clinic. She has experience negotiating international multilateral environmental agreements. She is also well versed in the practice of environmental, mining, and hydrocarbon law.
Aída Navarro is based in Ensenada, Mexico and supports AIDA’s human resources and communication efforts. A native of Mexico, she has extensive experience coordinating conservation projects in the Baja California Peninsula, including international outreach and media campaigns to promote marine conservation since 2002. Aída holds and MSc in Environment and Development from the University of East Anglia and a B. A. in International Trade from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.
Florencia Ortúzar works for AIDA from Santiago, Chile. She obtained her Law degree (2006) from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and also completed an MSc in Environmental Politics and Regulation (2011) at the London School of Economics (LSE) in England. She joined our team in 2012 and has contributed to AIDA’s work on climate change issues. She enjoys spending time with her pets as well as cooking, camping and nature trekking.
Victor Quintanilla Sangüeza
Marcella Ribeiro d'Ávila Lins Torres
Marcella Ribeiro d’Avila Lins Torres is a Brazilian attorney. She is currently a consultant of the AIDA's Human Rights and Environment Program, working from our office in Bogota, Colombia. Marcella has an LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame, United States. She is well versed in the practice of human rights law, especially economic, social and cultural rights. She has worked at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Wayne Salazar has helped environmental attorneys to define project goals and objectives since 2003. He was Director of Foundation Relations at Earthjustice for ten years before joining the AIDA team in 2013. He led a team that raised $48 million for projects that address marine protection, climate change, biodiversity and public lands conservation, air and water quality, and environmental justice through national and international law. His background in donor development, strategic planning, project development, and communications also includes work with agencies providing poverty law, social service, and art programs. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College.
Ivette Sanchez has been AIDA's accountant since 2008. She holds a degree in Public Accounting from the University of Veracruz. A Mexican, she works from AIDA's San Francisco office. Ivette has worked in the Bay Area as an accountant for various non-profit organizations, and as a consultant in the construction industry. She also has experience preparing tax returns.
Tom Skeele coordinates AIDA's major donor activities. He brings nearly 20 years of experience as executive director of two land and wildlife conservation organizations in the western U.S. In 2010, Tom shifted his focus to an international context, and to sustaining human communities in developing countries. Since then, he has held senior management, fundraising, communications and consulting positions, working on issues ranging from economic development and renewable energy to human rights and women’s empowerment. Tom’s graduate studies were in international policy and practice at George Washington University.
Camilo Thompson is a Mexican attorney with the Marine Biodiversity and Coastal Protection Program. He works with AIDA from Chiapas, Mexico. He has a Masters of Science in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University and a Professional Master's Degree in Leadership for Conservation through Learning from the Colegio de la Frontera Sur. He has studied international environmental law at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and has taken various international seminars with the US Forest Service and the Conservation Leadership Program. He has worked as a consultant for Mexican and international NGOs, primarily related to the integral management of hydrological basins, public policy initiatives on climate change, and sustainable forest management.
Claudia Velarde Ponce de León
Claudia Velarde Ponce de León is a Bolivian attorney with AIDA's Freshwater Preservation Program. She works with AIDA from Cochabamba, Bolivia. Claudia has a Masters in Environmental Management from the Universidad de León in Spain, with a speciality in the management and conservation of natural areas. She has worked on public policy development, protected areas management, watershed management, climate change, food sovereignty, agroecology and environmental health.
Laura Yaniz is a Mexican freelance journalist and social media content editor. As part of AIDA’s communications team, she runs efforts to spread news about the organization’s work on social networks. She has a BA in media and journalism from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Monterrey, Mexico, and a diploma in national security from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). She is interested in social and environmental issues, especially environmental security.
AIDA Board of Directors
Manuel Morales, Ecuador
Executive Director, ECOLEX
Pedro Solano, Perú
Executive Director, Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA)
Margot Venton, Canada
Staff Lawyer, Ecojustice
Chief Financial Officer
Martin Wagner, USA
International Program Director, Earthjustice
Rafael Gonzalez, Costa Rica
President, Justice for Nature (JPN)
Gustavo Alanís, Mexico
President, Mexican Environmental Law Center (CEMDA)
Jerónimo Rodriguez, Colombia
Subdirector of Natural Wealth Program, Chemonics International