Manuel Oliva

Chief Executive Officer

Manuel Oliva has over twenty-five years of experience working on a broad range of climate change and natural resource conservation issues across different sectors (e.g., agriculture, energy, urban, rural), and in collaboration with diverse global partners (e.g., local and national governments, private sector, local communities). Manuel has served in leadership positions for such organizations as the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Conservation International and the city of Washington D.C.

Manuel has managed diverse professional staff, and has led the successful development of innovative climate change policies and on-the-ground projects at the international, national and local levels. In addition, Manuel has extensive experience building strong relationships with a wide-range of partners and communities to craft climate change mitigation and resiliency strategies that emphasize natural resource conservation and address critical social justice issues:

  • At the Foreign Agricultural Service (a department of the USDA), Manuel oversaw the design, implementation, and evaluation of a $100 million portfolio of global agricultural capacity building projects, in collaboration with international public and private sector partners.
  • As the Chief of Compliance and Enforcement for Air Quality for the city of Washington D.C., Manuel served as a senior advisor to the Sustainable D.C. initiative, including development of the city’s climate mitigation and adaptation plans.
  • As the Director of US Climate Policy for Conservation International, Manuel organized coalitions of private sector and civil society partners, such as American Electric Power, Dell Computers, and the Environmental Defense Fund, to strengthen climate change advocacy efforts and develop low carbon business practices with strong social safeguards.

Manuel has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland and is a native Spanish speaker. Growing up in the lush highlands of Guatemala, Manuel developed a passion early on for nature, as well as strong coffee. Manuel is an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, and a very amateur painter.