New management team: innovation for continued growth


As of 2018, the Forever Costa Rica Association (FCRA) has a new management team in charge of leading the organization’s initiatives and strategically putting into practice its mission and vision in order to achieve the goal of conserving the country’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems in perpetuity.

Its members are experienced professionals who will provide a broader and more innovative panorama through the combination of their different areas of knowledge. The new team is made up of the following persons:

Zdenka Piskulich, Executive Director

She has more than 20 years of experience concerning environmental issues, especially in fundraising and planning of high-impact programs. She has worked with recognized national and international organizations such as CEDARENA and The Nature Conservancy. She has also published several books on environmental-policy instruments.

She participated in the negotiations for the First and Second Debt-for-Nature Swaps between the governments of the United States of America and Costa Rica. To date, she has helped raise more than USD 100 million for conservation in our country.

She has a law degree from the University of Costa Rica and a master’s in international development from American University in Washington, DC.

Pia Paaby, Conservation Programs Manager

Her work has focused on tropical aquatic ecology and the management of natural resources. She has also assisted institutions in organizational strengthening, evaluation of projects and the design of strategies for conservation of continental biodiversity. She has worked in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia.

She has collaborated in development of the identification of gaps in marine and terrestrial ecosystems in Costa Rica and conducted studies on climate change and its effects on water resources, freshwater ecological systems and biodiversity in general, as well as on the analysis of potential adaptation measures that enable national and local governments to maintain the desired level of development.

She holds a doctorate (PhD) in tropical ecology and limnology from the University of California, Davis

Marcela Vargas, Innovative Programs Manager

She is a specialist in political advocacy and lobbying, program management, and communication. She also has experience in development of proposals for mobilization of funds. Her experience encompasses the Central America region and the Caribbean, as well as South America. She has significant history in development of relations with decision makers at national, regional and international levels. She has participated in high-level forums and United Nations processes.

Her academic training is in communication as well as having master’s degrees in business administration and international relations.

Jean Paul Rugama, Financial Administrative Manager

He has extensive experience in the private sector as the person responsible for financial performance, administration of funds and accounting control, as well as in analysis of organizational strengths and the search for alternative ways to generate funds using financial instruments.

In addition, he has served as an investment supervisor, coordinator of different financial committees, the person in charge of budget development and the leader in external audit processes.

He has training in business administration, finance and accounting.

Thus, the FCRA reaffirms its commitment to continually update in order to stay at the forefront of the environmental funds sector in the region.

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