TFD’s Secretariat is located at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.  Read more about our previous former staff here

Gary Dunning
Executive Director

Gary DunningGary is the Executive Director of The Forests Dialogue (TFD), an organization based at Yale University in New Haven, CT, USA. TFD was created in 1999 to provide global and regional leaders in the forest sector with a neutral, multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD) platform and process focused on developing mutual trust and a shared understanding while working towards collaborative solutions to the challenges in achieving sustainable forest management and forest conservation around the world. Gary is the first Executive Director of TFD’s Secretariat, since bringing it to Yale in 2000.  Gary works with a diverse 25 person strong, international Steering Committee to set priority on key forest related issues and develop multi-stakeholder dialogue-based initiatives to address those issues.  He oversees a small, Yale based staff.

Gary has been working on forest related issues for over 25 years and leading MSD’s since 1995.  Gary was the founding Executive Director of the Yale University’s Global Institute of Sustainable of Forestry and helped to create and lead the Yale Forest Forum. He was also the National Roundtable Coordinator for the Seventh American Forest Congress and the US Liaison to the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development. Gary was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya where he taught agroforestry and forest extension techniques at the Kenya Forestry College in Londiani.  He holds a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University in California.

Lisa O’Brien
Program Administrator

Lisa O'BrienLisa O’Brien joined The Forests Dialogue (TFD) in the winter of 2008.  She has worked for Yale University for over 15 years.  Prior to joining TFD she worked in the financial offices of the Yale Law School as a Financial Assistant and for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (FES) as an Assistant Business Administrator.  During this period, she also worked on various accounting projects for The Urban Resources Initiative (URI) based at Yale FES. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters, gardening, skiing, hiking and cooking.  She received her B.S. in Business Management from Southern Connecticut State University.


Bethany Linton
Program Manager

Bethany Linton is a 2020 Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a focus on African land use management. She earned her BA at Brigham Young University in Political Science and International Development, with a research focus on the political economy of gender in East Africa. Following her undergraduate studies, she joined the office of Senator Coons, then the co-chair of the sub-committee on African Affairs, conducting environmental and foreign affairs research. Later at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), she worked on programs in Cabo Verde and Sierra Leone to assess environmental and social performance projects for poverty reduction through economic growth. Her thesis work as a Land Use Dialogue Fellow in Northern Uganda partnered with IUCN for a project on gender inclusion in multi-stakeholder decision making for sustainable land governance. Bethany is currently working for The Forests Dialogue as Program Manager.


Liz Felker
Senior Associate

Liz Felker is a Master of Environmental Science candidate from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her academic interests include the social dimensions of environmental management, especially with regard to land and resource access, and environmental justice. She currently assists Professor Amity Doolittle on monitoring and evaluation of TFD’s Land Use Dialogue platform. Through Yale’s Landscape Lab, she also helps maintain a temperate agroforest. Prior to Yale, Liz worked as a research consultant for CIFOR in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and on a production vegetable farm in Nashville, TN. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management with a minor in Forest Management from UC Berkeley.

Lysa Uwizeyimana
Program Associate

Lysa Uwizeyimana is a 2020 Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She holds a B.Sc in Environmental Engineering from Syracuse University, with a research focus on the mobility of mercury in the Adirondacks forest mineral soils. She is currently pursuing a specialization in climate change mitigation and adaptation with a strong focus on carbon accounting and target setting. Following her undergraduate studies, she worked as an environmental consultant for a global environmental and social consulting firm in Rwanda. One of her major projects was helping draft the strategic environmental assessment of the mining sector in Rwanda with the goal of formulating recommendations for the Ministry of Environment. This year, she joined The Forests Dialogue (TFD) as a program associate where she has organized a land use dialogue around the restoration of a degraded landscape and hippopotamus reserve in Mangai, DRC.

Renata Lozano
Program Associate

Renata is a 2019 candidate Master of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Tec de Monterrey in Mexico. Renata is currently pursuing a specialization in Environmental Policy Analysis with a strong focus on sustainable landscape initiatives. Before coming to Yale, Renata was the Climate Change Advisor in Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in the International Affairs Department, where she worked on international environmental agreements, particularly within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. For two years, she was the Project Manager in Policy Advocacy at a Mexican non-profit organization called ‘Reforestamos Mexico’. Renata coordinated the Landscape Restoration Initiative under the Bonn Challenge, as well as projects related to Global Forest Watch and forest legality policies in alliance with the World Resources Institute. She started her professional career as a researcher in environmental economics, first at the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change and later joined the Centro Mario Molina.

Beatriz Machado Granziera
Program Associate

Beatriz is a 2020 candidate Master of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she is currently pursuing a specialization in Environmental Policy Analysis. She holds a J.D. and a Master Degree in Environmental Law from Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo and in 2009 was a visiting student at the University of California at Berkeley (UC-Berkeley).  At The Forests Dialogue (TFD), Beatriz works as a Program Associate, supporting the organization’s Land Use Initiative, starting with a Dialogue in Wassa Amenfi, Ghana. Before coming to Yale, Beatriz spent 4 years advising the State Secretary of the Environment in Sao Paulo, where she coordinated the Sao Paulo State Biodiversity Fund for Protected Areas and the Sao Paulo State Solid Waste Management Committee.

Arianna T. Nuri
Program Associate

Arianna is a 2020 Master of Forestry candidate originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, California. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and a minor in Forestry and Natural Resources. During her undergraduate career, she specialized in agroecology and food sovereignty issues, while simultaneously pursuing freshwater ecology research. Prior to coming to Yale, Arianna worked at the Pacific Northwest Regional Office of the USDA Forest Service, where she contributed to science communications in addition to the agency’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. As a Master of Forestry candidate at Yale, Arianna is particularly interested in forest health and resilience, as well as learning key strategies in multi-stakeholder engagement and environmental justice. At TFD, she supports the Land Use Dialogue and Communications. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, yoga, and exploring all the East Coast has to offer.

Khin Htet Htet Pyone
Program Associate
Khin Htet Htet Pyone is a 2020 Master of Environmental Management Candidate at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a graduate fellow of Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. She is specializing on Ecosystems, Land Management and Conservation with a focus on landscape management and community based conservation. She received Bachelor of Science in Forestry from University of Forestry and Environmental Science in Myanmar. Prior to Yale, she spent 3 years working with local forest and Land Governance organization called EcoDev/ALARM, USAID Land Tenure Project and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Myanmar. During this period, she worked on stakeholder engagement for New National Land Use Policy formulation, documenting land uses and environmental issues, customary land tenure recognition and capacity building programs for civil society organizations. Currently, at The Forest Dialogue (TFD), she works as a Program Associate on the Land Use Dialogue initiative for Myanmar and Indonesia. 
Luca Guadagno
Program Associate

Luca is an incoming Master of Environmental Science Candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Initially inspired by conducting research on pastoralist-wildlife conflict in Tanzania with SFS, his interests have grown to encompass the interface between ecosystems and growing human populations. Luca is hoping to study how we can craft inclusive policy that mitigates climate change and environmental degradation at the local level. Prior to Yale, Luca worked as a research assistant looking at human-elephant conflict in Southern Kenya with the Elephants and Bees Project and as a field science educator at both the High Mountain Institute and the Teton Science Schools. He received his B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Tufts University. 
Paul Hatanga
Program Associate

Paul Hatanga is a candidate of Master of Environmental Management, 2020, specializing in Conservation Finance and Landscape Management. Paul has more than 10 years of work experience in wildlife conservation, community based natural resource management and project management. Before joining Yale, he worked with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) leading a USAID funded project that established a National Biodiversity Trust Fund in Uganda. He has previously worked on multi-donor projects financed by Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP, UNEP, DFID and USAID. At TFD he supports multi-stakeholder landscape dialogues in Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. He is also helping the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative to track latest scholarship on forest restoration. He is focusing his research on environmental impact mitigation of large scale infrastructure projects in developing countries. Paul earned a BSc. in Forestry from Makerere University, Kampala-Uganda, and post graduate certificates in Project Management and Conflict and Development from Uganda Management Institute and The Open University (UK) respectively.