Geof Giacomini—Executive Director
Geof joined CNF as Executive Director in 2015. Prior to joining CNF Geof was Country Director with Save the Children in Azerbaijan and Egypt. He has more than 9 years of experience working in the Caucasus. Geof is citizen of the United States and Italy, speaks Russian and a number of other languages, and was educated on the steps of Sproul Hall and has degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Clara University.
Tea Barbakadze—National Program Coordinator Georgia
Prior to joining CNF in 2012, Tea worked in a number of organizations in Georgia over a 15 year career that included, most recently, six years at Georgia’s national parks service (Agency of Protected Areas) as head of planning division. Tea has a degree in Biology from the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.
Arman Vermishyan—National Program Coordinator Armenia
Prior to joining CNF in 2012, Arman worked for various national and international organizations, including USAID, UNDP, MCA-Armenia, ADB, and on various environmental projects as an environmental expert and project coordinator. He has authored several articles, reports and publications relating to different environmental issues in Armenia and is an active member of several committees and working groups. Arman has a degree in Environmental Economics from Yerevan State University.
Joseph Alexander Smith – Communications and Visibility Assistant
Joseph has worked on communications with CNF since 2014, when he started by contributing articles for CNF’s blog. Originally from the United Kingdom, Joseph has worked as a freelance multi-media journalist based in Tbilisi since 2014. Joseph has a regular show on local station Radio GIPA 94.3 FM and is actively involved in various local environmental and urban causes. Joseph has a degree in Oriental Studies from Cambridge University and a Masters of Science in Conflict and Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).
Board of Directors
David led CNF’s successful development from its inception in 2008 until 2015. His innovations in developing CNF’s capital have contributed to the broader development of conservation trust funds and conservation finance.
Prior to joining CNF, David was widely recognized as one of Europe’s leading financial lawyers. During his 28-year career at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (S&C), he advised principally on capital markets transactions of all kinds, including many of Europe’s most important privatizations. David was a driving force behind his firm’s expansion into French and German law during the 1990s, opened its Frankfurt office in 1995, and managed S&C’s organic expansion in continental Europe. He retired from S&C as an active partner in 2007 to pursue his other interests. David also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Georgia, the Republic of Georgia’s leading commercial bank.
A citizen of the United States, David graduated from Yale College, received his law degree from UCLA, and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Frankfurt.
Christoph Heinrich—Vice Chairman
Christoph is the Executive Officer of Conservation at WWF Germany. Prior to joining WWF in 2004, Christoph spent 7 years with the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), holding various positions at both regional and federal levels. Christoph is a German citizen and has a Master in Geography, he also attended law school at the University of Gießen with a focus on environmental and public law.
Until 2011, Ronald was CEO of NYSE Euronext London and Executive Vice President and Head of International Listings for NYSE Euronext. Ronald was responsible for NYSE Euronext’s new London exchange and for all of NYSE Euronext’s European and US markets for issuers from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia. Prior to NYSE Euronext Ronald was Managing Director with Goldman Sachs where he was Head of New Markets Corporate Finance. Over more than 20 years in investment banking, he has held senior positions in the Investment Banking Global Capital Markets and Institutional Equities and Derivatives businesses of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Ronald graduated from Oxford University and the University of Chicago. He is a citizen of the UK and currently resides in London.
Ted Jonas – Board Member
A US-trained and educated lawyer licensed in Washington DC, Ted brings nearly 30 years of relevant experience to CNF’s management structure. Ted was Office Managing Partner at DLA Piper Georgia between 2005 and 2014, facilitating the establishment of the firm’s Georgia office and managing the DLA Piper’s development as the leading international law firm in the country. Ted was a law clerk for the Honourable Joseph W Hatchett, US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (1991-1992), Lead Articles Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal (1990-1991) and a Legislative Aide in the US House of Representatives (1985-1988). Before joining DLA Piper, he was Of Counsel in the Washington, DC office of another global law firm (1999-2004) and was one of the founders of the legacy firm on which DLA Piper’s Georgia practice is based (1996-1999). Ted Jonas is a US citizen, a permanent resident of Georgia and lives in Tbilisi.
co-founder and Chairman of TheBrowser.com
Gabriela von Habsburg
Former Georgian Ambassador to Germany
Principal, Firebird Management
President, Nina Hovnanian Couture
Dr. Hartmut Jungius
Chairman, Caucasus Biodiversity Council
Senior Advisor, WWF-International
Former General Director of ProCredit Bank-Georgia
CEO, Kavkaz Cement
Chairman, Hermitage Museum Foundation
Professor, Adjunct Faculty, New York University Law School
Of Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP