ACT-Europe’s board consists of conservation professionals and other experts whose experience bolsters ACT’s field operations. The Board of Directors meets three times a year, comprising one in-person meeting and two virtual meetings. Board members are uncompensated, except for travel cost reimbursements. The current board roster follows.
Johan Van de Gronden
Johan van de Gronden
Followed my heart and stronger intuitions during most of my career. Graduated in the humanities (Philosophy, Leiden University, 1988), I spent a good deal of my early professional years in public procurement and logistics management. I moved on towards capacity development and mainstream development cooperation before I joined the conservation movement. Duty stations outside the Netherlands, my home country, included Paramaribo, Johannesburg and Copenhagen. I served such diverse organizations as the Dutch Foreign Office (Paramaribo and The Hague), Coopers & Lybrand Management Consultants, IPA (Managing Director), UNDP (Deputy Director Nordic Office), SNV (Board of Directors) and PUM Netherlands senior experts (CEO 2016-2018). From 2006 -2016 I served WWF as CEO of the Dutch office in Zeist and as a member of WWF's international Network Executive Team. In June 2018 I had the privilege to join the Dutch Cancer Society (DCS) as chief executive, the country's leading NGO with over 1 million financial supporters and 100.000 volunteers, based in Amsterdam. Traveled widely in all my jobs, from the world's biggest slums and most destitute places to breathtaking wilderness areas untrammeled by man.
Author of a collection of essays on man and nature ('Wijsgeer in het wild') released May 2015 by Athenaeum Publishers (http://www.singeluitgeverijen.nl/athenaeum/). Married with two daughters. In a non-executive role I serve on the supervisory boards of IUCN-NL (Chair), the Early Music Foundation / Organisatie Oude Muziek (Chair) and the Amazon Conservation Team Europe (Chair), as well as on the Advisory Board of DOB Ecology. I enjoy playing tennis.
Allround financieel professional, ambitieus, met passie voor haar werk bij maatschappelijk relevante organisaties.
Financiële topfunctie met breed takenpakket gericht op de bedrijfsvoering. Topfunctie waarbij sprake is van zware, financiële problematiek, een complexe (organisatie)structuur en ingewikkelde wet- en regelgeving.
A broad background in international conservation and environmental management in developing countries focused on a range of topics (forests and freshwater conservation, sustainability, environmental impact assessment, capacity building), working mostly with non-profit organisations. Consultancy work includes conservation strategy development (Amazon freshwater ecosystems; jaguars) and wildlife assessments (illegal wildlife trade). My skills includes programme design, planning, management and evaluation, conservation policy, organisational development and capacity building. Solid experience in managing the interface between programmes, communications and fundraising within an institutional context. Strong team building, management and coordination skills.
Christian Ruck earned his Bachelor’s in Economic Science at Germany’s University of Augsburg, followed by a one-year study at the Sorbonne University, Paris, where he earned a Diplôme Superieur d‘Université de la Planification. Subsequently, Christian conducted his dissertation at the University of Augsburg about the economic effects of national parks in developing countries, including several field studies in Africa, Asia, and South America. Christian served as a member of the German Parliament between 1990 and 2013. Subsequently, he worked for the German development bank KfW as Director of their office in Cameroon and Senior Project Manager in Tanzania. Since 2020, he is working for the German international cooperation agency (GIZ) as facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership on behalf of the German government.
has led ACT and guided its vision since 1996, when he co-founded the organization with his fellow conservationist, Liliana Madrigal. He is a renowned ethnobotanist who has spent almost three decades studying traditional plant use with traditional healers of tropical America.
Dr. Plotkin has previously served as Research Associate in Ethnobotanical Conservation at the Botanical Museum of Harvard University; Director of Plant Conservation at the World Wildlife Fund; Vice President of Conservation International; and Research Associate at the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian Institution.
Among his many influential writings, Dr. Plotkin may be best known for his popular work Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice (1994), which has been printed continuously and has been published in multiple languages. Other works include the critically acclaimed children's book The Shaman's Apprentice - A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest, illustrated by Lynne Cherry, and Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets. His most recent book, The Killers Within: The Deadly Rise of Drug-Resistant Bacteria, coauthored with Michael Shnayerson, was selected as a Discover Magazine book of the year.
In 1998, he played a leading role in the Academy Award-nominated IMAX film Amazon. Dr. Plotkin's work also has been featured in a PBS Nova documentary, in an Emmy-winning Fox TV documentary, on the NBC Nightly News and Today Show, CBS' 48 Hours and in Life, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Elle, People, The New York Times, along with appearances on National Public Radio. Time magazine called him an "Environmental Hero for the Planet" (2001) and Smithsonian magazine hailed him as one of "35 Who Made a Difference" (2005), along with Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, and fellow New Orleanian Wynton Marsalis.
Dr. Plotkin has received the San Diego Zoo Gold Medal for Conservation; the Roy Chapman Andrews Distinguished Explorer Award; an International Conservation Leadership award from the Jane Goodall Institute; and, with Liliana Madrigal, the Skoll Foundation’s Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2010, he received the honorary degree of "Doctor of Humane Letters" from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Plotkin was educated at Harvard, Yale and Tufts University.
Arnaud Anselin is a graduate of France’s École Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts, and an agronomy graduate of the nation’s Institut National Agronomique Paris Grignon. After this initial training in agricultural sciences, environment and forestry, he worked for six years at France’s National Forest Office (ONF). Between 2006 and 2008, he worked at the European Commission delegation of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), where he was responsible for Forest, Biodiversity and Water programs. In 2008, he joined the French administration in charge of environmental issues in French Guiana. Through 2017, he was responsible for biodiversity, sites and landscapes within the Department of Environment, Land Use and Planning. Since then, he has served as Deputy Director of French Guiana’s Parc Amazonien de Guyane, where he is in charge of international cooperation and averting illegal goldmining, among other issues. He has close links with ACT staff in Suriname, as well as with other partners across the Guiana Shield.