Board of Directors

Founding Board Members

Shontaye Abegaz Shon Abegaz (United States)
Born in the United States, Shon has lived in Europe, Africa, and North America. An advocate for human security, capacity building, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Shon serves as Media Liaison for TASAI Inc. and Executive Director of the International Institute for Human Security, a peacebuilding organization focused on knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer related to key facets of human security.

Before her current positions, she was the Managing Director and Chair of the Executive Committee for the Swiss-based Forum Just Governance for Human Security. Under her leadership, the annual conference attracted individuals from over 60 countries to engage in dialogue centered on human security. Shon was also the creator of HumansecurityX, a parallel certificate training program that offered a deeper exploration of global human security concerns. Shon is an active member of several international civic and professional organizations. She was featured as a 'Living Book' as part of the Human Library held at the United Nations-Geneva for Geneva Peace Week. Her contribution centered on her work pursuing the 2030 Global Goals as a bridge-builder and a global citizen.

Maxwell Gomera Maxwell Gomera (UK/KENYA)
Maxwell Gomera is a Director of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Branch at UN Environment and a 2018 Fellow of Aspen New Voices. He is an expert on public investments in agriculture and nature. Maxwell Gomera is a a resource economist with extensive experience in bio-diversity conservation, commercialization of natural products and community based natural resources management. Maxwell has worked with governments and communities on integrating policy and field levels, resource economics, community tourism development and natural products development. Maxwell has served on many international boards and working groups, including being co-chair of the International Working Group on Mining and Metals that produced a mining and metals supplement to the Global Reporting Initiative - and currently is on the Board of the Community Conservation Fund for Africa (CCFA). Maxwell Gomera has a Master of Science in Natural Resources Management from the University of Western Australia. Twitter: @GomeraM

Pamela Tan Pamela Tan (United States)
Pamela Tan is the Deputy Director of Admissions at Cornell University. Her higher education experience includes serving as: the Director of Admissions of Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; a member on the Committee for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with the Council of International Schools; a director at The College Board; and co-chair of the Association of Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of the Ivy League and Sister Schools.

Dr. Peter Matlon Dr. Peter Matlon (United States)
Peter Matlon has worked in international development for more than 35 years as a teacher, researcher, research manager and donor. He lived and worked in West and East Africa and Asia for 25 years with several organizations, including two international agricultural research centers, the United Nations Development Program, and The Rockefeller Foundation. In 2007 he retired as Managing Director with Rockefeller, based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he directed all Foundation programs throughout Africa. During his career, he also served on a number of global advisory panels including the United Nations Millennium Program Hunger Task Force and the InterAcademy Council Panel on African Agriculture. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in Cornell University’s Applied Economics and Management Department, former Board Chair of the CGIAR agricultural research center AfricaRice, and serves on the boards and advisory committees of several other US and African institutions. Matlon earned a PhD in agricultural economics from Cornell University in 1977, a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University in 1971, and a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1967. He and his wife, Joyce Cacho, live in Washington DC.