After the arrival of the new ProAves Executive Director, Luis Alfonso Ortega, the Foundation has commenced a new era for conservation in Colombia. Luis Alfonso’s immediate action was to strengthen and diversify a new Board of Directors. On July 19 2019, a new heterogeneous Board of Directors was elected, which brings together different expertise and visions, that support the mission of ProAves. With great pride, we present a brief profile of the Colombians that make up the new Board:
Pablo Flórez: Forestry Engineer and founding member of the ProAves. Pablo completed his studies on the Yellow-eared Parrot in Jardín, Antioquia in 2002. Pablo is a professional bird and nature guide in Colombia and owner of one of the oldest and most respected birding companies in Colombia, Multicolored Birding Tours.
Juan Carlos Luna: Ornithologist and passionate conservationist, Juan Carlos is a founding member of ProAves and worked to protect the Yellow-eared Parrot and Pangan bird reserve since 2000. Raised in the cloud forests of Nariño, Juan Carlos has 25 years of field experience in ornithology and bird conservation. He is a bird guide and company owner of Birding Colombia.
Sara Inés Lara: Civil engineer and conservationist. Sara has 18 years of experience in conservation across Latin America, working with local organizations and leading initiatives to protect wildlife. She has worked on financial sustainability projects. She was the founding Executive Director of ProAves from 2003 to 2009 and then working with American Bird Conservancy as Vice President of International Programs. Sara has worked with other international organizations and promotes actions to empower women and climate change through Women for Conservation.
Dr. Juan Carlos Verhelst: PhD in Geography, Juan Carlos has been a member of the ProAves Council for more than ten years and an ornithologist for more than 20 years. He completed his master’s and doctoral studies at King’s College, London on the distribution of birds in Colombia. He is the author of the Colombian Bird Atlas that maps the distribution and abundance of avian taxa in Colombia to delineate research and conservation priorities.
Rowens Cristancho: Lecturer biologist on communication, creativity and adaptability to change for sustainable development. He is currently Executive Director for Peru of the Rasmussen Family Foundation. He has worked as a bilingual guide biologist in whale watching with Ocean Tours Perú SAC, Founder and General Director of Iguazu Distribuidora. He is the author of the blog of scientific news on biological principles applied to daily life, entrepreneurship, technologies and learning.