Our People

Zangezur Sanctuary, © WWF Armenia/A.Malkhasyan

Zangezur Sanctuary, © WWF Armenia/A.Malkhasyan

Our People

Caucasus Staff

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 MorrisonDavid Morrison—Chairman
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 HeinrichChristoph 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.


Ronald KentRonald Kent—Treasurer
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 KZP_7220 (1)Jonas – Board Member
A US-trained and educated lawyer licensed in Washington DC, Ted brings over 30 years of relevant experience to CNF’s management structure. Now Senior Counsel with the international law firm Dentons, Ted was Managing Partner at DLA Piper Georgia between 2005 and 2014. In addition to over 20 years of private law practice experience, most of it at the international level, Ted has worked in the U.S. non-profit, federal legislative and judicial sectors. Ted received his B.A. degree in History from Cornell in 1984 and his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1991. He is a US citizen, a permanent resident of Georgia and lives in Tbilisi


Advisory Board

Al Breach
co-founder and Chairman of TheBrowser.com

Gabriela von Habsburg
Former Georgian Ambassador to Germany

Ian Hague
Principal, Firebird Management

Nina Hovnanian
President, Nina Hovnanian Couture

Dr. Hartmut Jungius
Chairman, Caucasus Biodiversity Council
Senior Advisor, WWF-International

Eva-Maria Melchers

Maya Meredova
Former General Director of ProCredit Bank-Georgia

Paul Rodzianko
CEO, Kavkaz Cement
Chairman, Hermitage Museum Foundation

Willard Taylor
Professor, Adjunct Faculty, New York University Law School
Of Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Our People - Caucasus Nature Fund