Board Members


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John Smirnow

John Smirnow is General Counsel & Vice President of Market Strategy for the Solar Energy Industries Association (“SEIA”), the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry. He has been a solar energy advocate for more than 10 years, as SEIA’s Vice President for Trade & Competitiveness, Chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, and Member of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee. John also founded the Global Solar Council on behalf of 17 national and regional solar associations and was the Council’s first Secretary-General. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

As a result of this transformation, the end market will become even more mobilized to work with gender-equitable businesses and organizations, building incentive structures into their own supply chain and investing in collaborative approaches to gender intervention. This begins the cycle anew of more empowered households and producer organizations.

Christine Condo

Christine Condo has been involved in community development in Africa and works in non-profit leadership roles with nearly two decades of experience enabling communities, especially women and youth cooperatives to realize their dreams and pursue their entrepreneurial skills.  She is currently the Executive Director of Sustainable Growers in both Rwanda and DRC.

Christine’s career major focus is to support transformative agricultural and rural development projects in general, with particular emphasis on the role of women in the coffee value chain. Her passion is to contribute to sustainable community development through access to finance, mainstreaming gender and youth in rural productivity. Christine has extensive experience working cross-sector and has collaborated on several projects at the national and international levels addressing the barriers and challenges that women and youth face in Rwanda.

Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and is currently pursuing a Masters in Gender study and development.

As a result of this transformation, the end market will become even more mobilized to work with gender-equitable businesses and organizations, building incentive structures into their own supply chain and investing in collaborative approaches to gender intervention. This begins the cycle anew of more empowered households and producer organizations.

Aimee Russillo

Aimee Russillo has over 25 years’ experience in international sustainable development. Russillo works with supply chain actors, NGOs and governments to integrate sustainability into operations, strategic decision making and more effectively managing for impact under real world conditions. She is an expert on social and environmental standards and eco-labelling programs, facilitates the UN based international Technical Working Group on Benchmarking and actively participates as an independent expert in several global benchmarking initiatives. Russillo has a joint MBA and Juris Doctor and is based in the US, having lived and worked in Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Dr. Patricia T. Morris

Dr. Patricia T. Morris is President of the Equilo Foundation which makes available free, open-source data and analytics tools to support the democratization of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) analysis and action planning globally. Dr. Morris is Secretary of the Board of Directors of Equal Origins (The Partnership for Gender Equity), an international non-governmental organization that develops tools and methodologies to support the coffee and cocoa industry’s engagement and investment in gender equity across the value chain.

Dr. Morris is a gender, diversity, and social inclusion expert with more than two decades of professional experience working with international relief and development organizations, global advocacy coalitions, international contracting firms, and higher education institutions. During her 25-year career, she has led dozens of organizations and corporations in institutionalizing gender and diversity policies, advancing women’s and girls’ empowerment, combating gender-based violence, and promoting social inclusion, women’s rights, and gender equality in organizational policies and programs. Her areas of expertise include gender integration, gender audits, GESI analysis and assessments, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives, gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, and gender in peace, conflict, and security. She has directed cutting-edge international development programs and provided expert-level technical assistance for gender equality and social inclusion in the planning, design, and evaluation of international relief and development programs. She has implemented gender mainstreaming initiatives, strengthened national and overseas staff capabilities, built institutional capacity in support of diversity, inclusion, and gender equality, and evaluated international development projects and programs in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and for organizations in the U.S. Dr. Morris has cultivated her expertise in measuring progress towards equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development at the global, regional, national and community levels and is the creator of InterAction’s Gender Audit, an internationally acclaimed and adopted tool for organizational development and institutional transformation.

Dr. Morris is an Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service where she teaches courses on Gender Analysis and Development and Social Inclusion Analysis for the International Development Program’s Skills Institute. Dr. Morris holds a Ph.D. in International Politics from Florida State University, an MA in Comparative Politics with an emphasis on Economic Development from Bowling Green State University, and a BA in International Affairs from Jacksonville University. She is a native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Courtney Hood

Courtney Hood: In her role at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Courtney develops long-term partnerships with governments and multilateral organizations. She has worked for over 12 years in international development partnerships and policy with the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Canada’s development programme, including as part of Canada’s participation in the governing bodies of IFAD, the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Courtneyhas a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria. She has two children that light up her life and keep her busy. Courtney is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nira Johri 

Nira Johri is the Director, Global Diversity & Sustainability for Rich Products Corporation, a $4B global food business, where she leads the enterprise strategy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Sustainability. She built Rich’s first ever long-term strategies for both sustainability and DEI. She also established the company’s carbon reduction goal and built the business case for Rich’s first renewable energy credit purchase. She chairs the organization’s Sustainability Operating Committee and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council. Prior to Rich’s, Nira spent five years building the cocoa industry’s collective sustainability strategy, CocoaAction. Nira previously worked for Unilever and served in the Obama administration.

Throughout her career, she has been a passionate supporter of the development of women leaders and currently serves on Rich’s Our Women’s Network (OWN) Strategic Steering Committee. She is the founder of ‘Women in Policy,’ an affinity group focused on fostering professional development among women at the Pentagon. Nira established the first-ever gender conference on cocoa, bringing together over 100 stakeholders across Africa. She is also a Board Member of the Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable and an Impact Fellow with the Sustainable Food Lab. She was recently recognized by Diversity MBA as a Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leader and completed a certificate in Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership from Harvard University. She holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge and a BS in Marketing & BA in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland.

Eija Pehu

Eija Pehu, Ph.D. has spent more than 40 years working in agriculture, development, and gender. Her most recent role was with the World Bank, for more than a decade, where she served as Science Advisor for the Agriculture Global Practice and the Focal Point on Gender in Agriculture. Prior to joining the World Bank, she was the Professor of Agronomy at the University of Helsinki.

Eija Pehu has also worked closely with the CGIAR (Consultative Group of International Agriculture Research) system, both in joint research programs as well as in the governance and gender mainstreaming of the system. Eija Pehu received her Ph.D. in Horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Helsinki.  She currently oversees a small not-for-profit coffee roasting business and spends her time between Finland and Washington DC.