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A view down to the forest floor from within the rainforest canopy.

Board of Trustees

We're led by a knowledgeable board of trustees dedicated to protecting rainforest and fighting climate change. Alongside our Director and Senior Leadership Team, the board leads Cool Earth's team across three continents in delivering the day-to-day activities of our organisation.

Johan Eliasch

Chair and Co-founder

Johan Eliasch

Johan Eliasch, co-founder of Cool Earth, is no stranger to radical thinking and rainforest action.

In 2007, together with British politician Frank Field (Lord Field of Birkenhead), Johan set out to disrupt the existing outdated (and often out of line) conservation model to put local and indigenous people back in control of their rainforest. At the time, recognising rainforest as not just a home but life and livelihoods to millions of people, rather than a “pristine, Eden-like” ecosystem, was significant.

The well-worn slogan “Save the Rainforest” should have always been “Back the People” and thanks to Johan and Frank’s vision, hundreds of thousands of acres protected by people best suited to do so.

That was then, this is now.

Johan continues to tackle deforestation on many fronts, from advising the British Government (The Eliasch Review) to serving on the board of the World Peace Foundation, to driving climate protection in his most recent appointment as President of the International Ski Federation.

Lord Field

Co-founder and Trustee

Lord Field

Bringing over 50 years of campaigning experience to our board, Lord Frank Field is well-equipped to help Cool Earth achieve its mission.

As co-founder of Cool Earth, he is deeply committed to halting deforestation in rainforests.

In 2007, together with Swedish businessman Johan Eliasch, Frank set out to disrupt the existing outdated (and often out of line) conservation model to put local and indigenous people back in control of their rainforest. At the time, recognising rainforest as not just a home but life and livelihoods to millions of people, rather than a “pristine, Eden-like” ecosystem, was significant.

With 50 years of campaign experience, Frank Field has done more to improve the lives of children in poverty and low-paid workers than any of his former parliamentary colleagues. In 2007 he turned his attention to climate change and launched Cool Earth.

Johan Rockström

Trustee

Johan Rockström

Johan’s research as joint director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and role as Chief Scientist with Conservation International continues to be a global call to arms.

Having led an international group’s work to identify planetary boundaries, he has committed his career to lead the way on all things climate science, sustainability, and ensuring environmental thresholds are not crossed.

Read more about Johan’s career here.

Gillian Burke

Trustee

Gillian Burke

Gillian is a passionate conservationist and wildlife champion. With a degree in Biology from Bristol University and a distinguished career in natural history filmmaking, Gillian’s variety of experiences makes her an ideal board member to drive Cool Earth’s rainforest conservation work.

Tony Juniper

Trustee

Tony Juniper

“Cool Earth, very much signals the possibilities in terms of working with the people who literally are on the front line of deforestation.”

Author of several award-winning books, Tony has worked on efforts to conserve tropical forests for nearly 30 years.

His experience on the frontline of the fight to save the world’s most precious resources has inspired many to do the same.

Baroness Jenkin

Trustee

Baroness Jenkin

Baroness Anne Jenkin of Kennington is a PR consultant and member of the House of Lords. She’s campaigned to increase the number of female MPs and was made a life peer in 2011. She co-chairs the Conservative Friends of International Development and is passionate about reducing waste.

Mark Ellingham

Trustee

Mark Ellingham

Mark pretty much invented independent travel when he launched the Rough Guides in 1982. As well as helping us all “make the most of your time on Earth”, he has published the most interesting books on saving the planet and the best ones on world music.

Lord Deben

Trustee

Lord Deben

John Gummer, Baron Deben is a former MP for Suffolk Coastal and a member of the House of Lords.

He’s the chairman of the UK’s Independent Committee on Climate Change and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards in 2022.

He also chairs the sustainability consultancy Sancroft International. He was instrumental in the passing of the Climate Change Act in 2008.

Cool Earth USA Board of Trustees

Established in 2009, our board of US trustees oversees Cool Earth's charitable activities in America.

Matthew Owen

US Trustee

Matthew Owen

As Director of Cool Earth and Trustee of Cool Earth Action USA, Matthew’s dynamic leadership has led our organisation from strength to strength in the last fifteen years, from one community partnership in Peru to forty projects in tropical rainforest across the globe.

With a background in development and financial analysis, Matthew is passionate about working with rainforest communities to combat climate change. His experience makes him uniquely positioned to inspire and guide the Cool Earth team in the US & UK.

Stephen Brodbar

US Trustee

Stephen Brodbar

Stephen is passionate about environmental conservation and education and leads a professional development consultancy in New York City that designs curriculum and professional learning programs for teachers throughout the United States. He serves as a member of various advisory committees, including the STEM Nobelist Mindset Program, a partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences and the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Stephen’s visit with our program in the Asháninka corridor left him with a renewed sense of how education can play a role in addressing climate change and inspired him to found the Cool Earth Teacher Fellowship, a program that supports the professional development of teachers through expeditionary learning experiences in the Amazon Rainforest.

Jed Freedlander

US Trustee

Jed Freedlander

Jed led the effort to organise and form the US entity of Cool Earth in 2009 and has been a trustee ever since. Jed is a developer of long-term public-private partnerships for infrastructure and focuses on energy efficiency, sustainability and resiliency. Based in New York City, Jed also serves on several boards and advisory committees of non-profits, including the Morgan Library & Museum.