Lisa E. SachsDirector
Lisa Sachs is the Director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment. She joined the VCC in 2008 and became Associate Director in 2009 and Director in 2012. Since joining the VCC, she developed the workstream on natural resources and sustainable development, developing a robust research portfolio and overseeing advisory work in Mozambique, Guinea, Tanzania, Malawi and Timor-Leste on resource-based development. Her academic research focuses on extractive industries, foreign investment, corporate responsibility, human rights, and integrated economic development. She is a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network thematic group on the Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources. She received a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, where she was a James Kent Scholar and recipient of the Parker School Certificate in International and Comparative Law.
Kaitlin Y. CordesLead Law and Policy Researcher
Kaitlin Y. Cordes leads the VCC’s work on investments in land and agriculture. In addition, she focuses on the intersection of human rights and international investments, including the social impacts of FDI. Prior to joining the VCC, she worked with the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch (focusing on farmworkers in South Africa) and served as an advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (concentrating primarily on large-scale land acquisitions, contract farming, and the rights of agricultural workers). She is the co-editor of Accounting for Hunger: The Right to Food in the Era of Globalisation (Hart, 2011).She holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar, a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar, and recipient of the Valentin J.T. Wertheimer Prize and a Parker School Certificate in Foreign and Comparative Law. She has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University.
Paulo CunhaAssociate Director of Operations
Paulo Cunha joined the VCC in April 2013 from the Earth Institute's Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), where for over five years he was the senior officer responsible for business operations and administration of the project, as well as coordination of a number of MCI’s sustainable development and investment activities. Previously, he served as the Project Manager for the Earth Institute’s advisory project in São Tomé and Príncipe (STP), working with Columbia Law School to provide technical and legal assistance to the country’s Parliamentary Oil Commission. He coordinated the project’s work on oil revenue management, extractive industries transparency and development planning. He has also worked as a researcher or consultant with the Revenue Watch Institute, the Swiss Network for International Studies, the United Nations Development Program and the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and has previous experience in the human rights and international law fields. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Economic and Political Development from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).
Barry GreenEnvironmental Health and Remediation Specialist
Barry Green’s area of interest is economic compensation for environmental damages in large scale mining in developing countries. This interest is derived from extensive professional experience in the environmental compliance/remediation field. He has previously taught introductory economics, and engineering economics at Michigan Technological University. His international experience includes positions with the United Nations Development Program in Papua New Guinea, and Uzbekistan, short-term relief in Nigeria, environmental work in Hungary and Croatia, research in Chile, economic risk assessment in Guatemala, and three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador and St. Lucia. He has an M.S. in Environmental Science-Waste Management/Resource Recovery from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, an M.S. in Mineral/Resource Economics from Michigan Technological University, and a Ph.D. in Economics Environmental Science and Community Development from Washington State University.
Lise JohnsonLead Investment Law & Policy Researcher
Lise Johnson’s work at the VCC centers on analyzing treaty-based investor-state arbitrations, and examining the implications those cases have for host countries' domestic policies and development strategies. In addition, she concentrates on key institutional and procedural aspects of the legal framework, including efforts to increase transparency in and legitimacy of investor-state dispute settlement. She has a B.A. from Yale University, J.D. from University of Arizona, LL.M. from Columbia Law School, and is admitted to the bar in California. Prior to joining the VCC, she was a legal consultant for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and a fellow at the Center for International Environmental Law. She also spent four years as a litigator at the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, representing clients in a variety of environmental, commercial, and regulatory matters.
Nicolas MaennlingEconomics & Policy Researcher
Nicolas Maennling is a development economist with experience in the public and private sectors. From 2011-2012, he worked within the Ministry of Finance in Timor-Leste as part of the Earth Institute’s advisory project to the Government, advising on issues such as inflation, macroeconomic forecasting and fiscal sustainability. Previous to his employment at the Earth Institute, he spent three years in Mozambique, first as the resident ODI fellow in the Ministry of Industry and Trade working on the design and implementation of Mozambique’s industrial policy, and then as a consultant for a private bulk commodity shipping company (LBH Group) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID) on the resource extraction projects in northern Mozambique. He received a BSc in Economics from the University of Birmingham (UK) and an MSc in Economics from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jacky MandelbaumLead Law & Policy Researcher
Jacky Mandelbaum's work focuses on optimizing legal frameworks for promoting sustainable development from extractive industry investments, with the objective of balancing the country's interest in capturing the benefit of the resources while remaining competitive. She is undertaking research and provides advice on issues related to transparency, capital gains tax, local content requirements and competitive bidding. Jacky completed her law degree at the University of Melbourne and prior to joining the VCC, was a senior associate at a leading Australian law firm, legal counsel at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, and acted in an advisory capacity for Malawi's National Commission for Science and Technology.
Nancy SiporinExecutive Coordinator
Nancy Siporin received a BA (with honors) in Communications, Arts and Sciences from Queens College, New York. After numerous years in the advertising industry, where she served as Manager, Network Television Programming at a large ad agency, she went on to work in television production, in areas ranging from broadcast operations to publicity, before eventually becoming a casting director and owner of an independent casting company. Her diverse background also includes serving as Senior Recruiting Manager for a medical market research company, responsible for recruiting physician specialists for both qualitative and quantitative studies.
Sophie ThomashausenLaw and Policy Researcher
Sophie Thomashausen's work at the VCC focuses on optimizing legal frameworks to promote sustainable development from public-private partnerships and infrastructure-related investments around the extractive industry. She is undertaking research and provides advice on issues related to extractive industry, water, public-private partnerships, corporate responsibility, human rights, and local content. She received an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University, an M.A. in law from Cambridge University, England, and an LL.M. from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. She is admitted to the bar in New York State (2013) and England and Wales (2007). Prior to joining the VCC, she was a law fellow at the Public International Law and Policy Group. She also spent seven years at the international law firm Allen & Overy LLP in London and Sao Paulo, five years of which were spent as an associate in the Project Finance group working on, among other things, infrastructure projects in the Middle East and Africa. From 2010- 2012, Sophie also worked on a number of law capacity-building projects in Rwanda.
Perrine ToledanoLead Economics & Policy Researcher
Perrine Toledano has worked as a consultant for several non-profit organizations (World Bank, DFID, Revenue Watch Institute) and private sector companies (Natixis Corporate Investment Bank, Ernst and Young). Her experience includes auditing, financial analysis, IT for capital markets, public policy evaluation, cross-border project management and natural resource contract modeling. In terms of the latter, she has built financial models for many mineral and oil contracts in order to assess how fiscal and non-fiscal benefits are shared between countries and industry, discuss competitiveness and fairness, and envision changes in the fiscal framework based on sensitivity analyses of the fiscal and market variables. Specializing in natural resources investments, she is researching and advising on issues such as transparency, competitive bidding, and optimal legal clauses for development benefits. She is also leading work on economic diversification, including leveraging extractive industry investments in rail, port and energy infrastructure for the broader development needs of the country as well as optimizing direct and indirect local job creation from the investments. She has a Masters of Business Administration from ESSEC (Paris) and a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University.