Next Generation Leaders


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I am a Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, based in the US, focusing on sustainable resource supply chains. Together with my colleagues, I am currently developing methods and tools to make the monitoring of supply chains easier and less costly, especially for marine food products. Previously, I led a microfinance initiative in Senegal, worked on strategies for promoting clean technology in East Africa, and developed an audit program for forest management and supply chain certification programs. I believe in focusing on immediate solutions and I’m convinced that new technologies can play a key role in improving the sustainability performance of resource supply chains. 

A supply chain monitoring expert applying the latest technologies

Caitlin Vavasour

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I credit growing up in Portland in the Pacific NW for three traits that have been formative in my life: a deep love for the environment, a curiosity to explore and ask questions, and not being deterred by tough weather (both physically and metaphorically). I merge my passion for asking tough questions and working for environmental sustainability into my PhD focus: Plastic waste management in the Global South. I am currently focusing on the case study of the interlinking social factors that contribute to plastic waste/pollution in Colombo Sri Lanka, one of the hotspots for plastic waste in South Asia.
I began asking questions about plastic waste and (un)sustainable development trajectories as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa (2005-07; and also a PC Response Volunteer in Guinea 2010-11). What does long-term sustainability mean for a community? How can we change the development discourse to favor social and environmental balance? How can communities in far corners of the globe maintain their culture and environment in the face of development pressures? These questions led me to work and volunteer over the past 15 years in such places as Nepal, Bhutan, Trinidad & Tobago, Vietnam, Honduras, Mexico, India, Hawaii (permaculture), and Japan. 

PhD student on plastic waste management in the Global South

Katie Conlon