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Our Team

Atlantic Canada

Community Forests International has a team of eight passionate staff dedicated to saving forests, innovating positive climate solutions, and empowering more equitable communities at home and abroad.

Daimen Hardie

Executive Director

Executive Director

Daimen is a co-founder of Community Forests International and will do anything for the team, working tirelessly alongside colleagues internationally on a shared mission to overcome climate change by unlocking greater social and ecological prosperity in frontline communities. He designs regional climate action strategies for the European Union; establishes regenerative supply partnerships with the world’s leading social enterprises; and champions combined people- and nature-based solutions. Daimen lives off-grid surrounded by his family’s forest in rural New Brunswick.

Megan de Graaf

Acadian Forest Program Director

Acadian Forest Program Director

Megan holds a BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University and an MScF in Forest Ecology from the University of New Brunswick. She worked in a diversity of roles and organizations across the non-profit and natural resource sectors for over a decade before joining Community Forests International in 2015. Megan works to safeguard old forests, restore new forests, and integrate carbon storage and climate change resilience into regional forest management practices. Megan comes from a family of forest workers and farmers, and is a forest and farm owner herself.

Dani Miller

Acadian Forest Program Coordinator

Acadian Forest Program Coordinator

Dani joined Community Forests International in 2019 and supports forest protection and restoration efforts in the Maritimes, promoting climate-adaptive silviculture and developing our Acadian forest ecological database. Dani holds a BSc in Plant Biology from McGill University, which has weaved scientific understanding into her lifelong passion for ecology. She has a diverse professional background that includes research in horticulture and renewable energy, wilderness conservation, energy efficiency education, and sustainable vegetable farming. Dani spends every spare moment exploring Maritime ecosystems, and feels most at-home when nestled in the beauty of the Acadian forest.

Zach Melanson

Program Director

Program Director

Zach is a co-founder of Community Forests International and works across the organization and its partners in Zanzibar to support his colleagues and create meaningful impact for people and the planet. Zach has over a decade of project management, fundraising, and community engagement experience, and is the founder of Plant 4 Pemba, which brings together hundreds of young tree planters every year in Canada and around the world to plant trees and raise funds in global climate solidarity with communities most affected by the climate crisis. A photographer, filmmaker, and sculptor, Zach enjoys creative approaches that help us make meaning and inspire new perspectives on the beautiful and complex worlds around us.

Monica Allaby

Communications Coordinator

Communications Coordinator

Monica crafts a variety of communications, storytelling, and movement building strategies for Community Forests International. She joined the organization in 2018, eager to use her creative strengths to contribute to rural prosperity in the Maritime Provinces. Monica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from McGill University and is currently pursuing graduate research at the University of New Brunswick on the stewardship philosophies of forest landowners in the Maritimes. When she’s not thinking about punctuation or branding, Monica is happiest reading about technology and watching basketball.

Rebecca Jacobs

Digital Community Engagement Coordinator

Digital Community Engagement Coordinator

Rebecca joined the Community Forests team in late 2020 from Toronto, Ontario, and works to support and grow our online community engagement. With a passion for social justice, Rebecca comes from a background in environmental governance, international development, and social geography. She has almost 10 years of experience working in public outreach, marketing, and communications in the non-profit and social enterprise world. When not connecting on social media, Rebecca can often be found rock climbing at her local gym, practicing yoga, or cooking up vegan recipes in the kitchen. To connect with Rebecca, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our newsletter!

Anne Herteis

Grants and Foundations Manager

Grants and Foundations Manager

Anne has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, focusing on issues of gender, social, and environmental justice. She joined Community Forests International in 2016 as the organization’s grant writer — improving the sustainability of our projects in Canada and Zanzibar through fundraising, project planning, and maintaining partnerships. Most recently, Anne has been managing our Acadian Forest Accord and Common Ground projects, helping forestland owners and practitioners access and apply climate smart forestry methods, find community, and improve understanding between settler and Indigenous forestry sectors. Anne has an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University and a BA in Political Science from Mount Allison University.

Dana Lipnicki

Development Manager

Development Manager

A CFRE professional fundraiser by trade, Dana has almost a decade of experience fundraising to support climate action at local, regional and national levels. Dana works diligently to grow the capacity for Community Forests International’s work and is eager to connect with individuals and businesses who share her enthusiasm for substantive, positive change. When she's not fundraising, Dana is likely to be found exploring different trails and writing poems about them. If you want to explore your giving options, please reach out to Dana today.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Community Forests Pemba is our partner organization headquartered on Pemba Island, Zanzibar and managed independently by a team of highly creative professionals with expertise spanning forestry, women’s economic empowerment, and social enterprise development.

Mbarouk Mussa Omar

Executive Director

Executive Director

Mbarouk is founder of Community Forests Pemba (CFP) and the driving force behind the organization’s growing accomplishments. He has gained international recognition for leadership over innovative forest restoration, climate change resilience, and poverty reduction missions empowering over 50 thousand people across his home island of Pemba, Zanzibar to date. Mbarouk is above all else a people mobilizer and when he’s not in meetings he’s on the ground organizing communities and working side by side with field officers to make change happen.

Maryam Bakar Shariff

Office Manager

Office Manager

Maryam keeps it all on track, and has been with the Community Forests Pemba team from the very beginning. She fields questions from the public, keeps information flowing between management and project teams, and works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that everyone else can just focus on doing what they do best. In a recent project sprint Maryam supported material procurement and logistics for the construction of a climate-smart school, two community scale rainwater harvesting systems, and a solar energy hub – to name a few.

Ali Hamad Ali

Agroforestry Officer

Agroforestry Officer

Ali is Zanzibar’s foremost experts in agroforestry and before bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to Community Forests Pemba had worked for 29 years in various high level posts including Head of the Department of Agriculture in Pemba. He is a trusted advisor to thousands of farmers and recently helped design and establish more than 115 hectares of innovative “spice forests” blending cutting edge agroforestry methods with Zanzibar’s longstanding spice growing traditions. Ali is the most modest and dedicated team player, and everyone knows that when things get tough they can count on him to step in and lend an expert hand.

Siti Makame

Agriculture Officer

Agriculture Officer

Siti breaks down barriers, and has directly trained and mentored hundreds of women to launch their own profitable agricultural enterprises. She has singlehandedly sparked the rapid spread of permaculture home gardens throughout Pemba and has presented her work internationally at high-level political forums including Adaptation Futures. Siti is a champion of women’s economic empowerment and a true movement builder, her personal accomplishments are only matched by the accomplishments of the students she continues to empower everyday.

Rehema Abdulrahman Alawy

Clean Technology Officer

Clean Technology Officer

Rehema is driven learner, able to study and master technical problems and then transfer this valuable knowledge to others. She is one of Community Forest Pemba’s most loyal team members and will work rain or shine to get the job done. Rehema has helped develop new cooking stove technology appropriate to Pemba and her students have already converted 1,738 households to fuel-efficient stoves to date. This year Rehema is piloting several charcoal alternatives and improved charcoal productions systems to reduce pressures on Zanzibar’s threatened mangrove forests.

Omar Msellem

Enterprise Development Officer

Enterprise Development Officer

Omar is dedicated to assisting Pemban entrepreneurs create and grow local businesses that empower their communities and restore their environment. He is also an empathetic diplomat with an ability to understand the views and considerations of diverse people, and help to bridge the gap between different perspectives. Omar has helped establish dozens of community-based savings groups and is currently overseeing delivery of Community Forests Pemba’s gender-responsive enterprise curriculum as well as mentoring the newly established Pemba Spice Producers Cooperative (PROSPER), a farmer-owned apex business with over two hundred members and growing.

Naushat Salim

Financial Officer

Financial Officer

Naushat excels at process and planning, and brings her invaluable attention to detail to ensuring Community Forests Pemba’s resource engine remains on budget and in top health. She is also a deep thinker who is constantly finding ways to improve the organization’s work culture so that the whole team becomes stronger. Naushat recently oversaw financial tracking and reporting on a complex, multi-year climate action project and impressed KPMG auditors with a minor 0.18% final spending variance.