Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre

Our people

The Climate Centre is governed by a board composed of Jagan Chapagain, Under Secretary General of the IFRC, Marieke van Schaik, General Director of the Netherlands Red Cross, and independent chairman Ed Nijpels.

The Climate Centre is a virtual global team (photos from our 2018 team retreat in the Netherlands), led by director Maarten van Aalst, with staff and specialist advisers based around the world, and a hub in The Hague at Netherlands Red Cross headquarters.

More information on our regional focal points can be found here


Maarten van Aalst, Director

Maarten van Aalst oversees our support for climate risk management across the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and its links with scientific and policy communities on climate change, disaster risk management and development planning.

He is a professor at the University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observations (ITC), holding the Princess Margriet chair in spatial resilience; he also holds an adjunct appointment at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University.

He is a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and serves on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Leadership Group of the UN Climate Resilience Initiative (known as A2R), the Partners for Resilience alliance, and the advisory boards of several international research programmes on climate risk management.

After completing a PhD in atmospheric science, Maarten worked on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management with the World Bank, regional development banks, the OECD, and several governments.

Fleur Monasso, Manager, Capacity Strengthening and Partnerships

Fleur joined the Climate Centre in 2005 and is responsible for the management of its programmes.

She is involved in Partners for Resilience and iniatives on capacity building initiatives, including the Climate Training Kit.

Fleur began to specialize in the international public sector while studying international relations at the University of Amsterdam.

She first became involved with the Climate Centre as a volunteer, giving presentations on climate change and its consequences to branches of the Netherlands Red Cross. 

Pablo Suarez, Research and Innovation

Pablo got involved with the Climate Centre as a technical adviser in 2005. He now directs our initiatives linking applied knowledge with humanitarian work, as well as new approaches to climate risk management.

Examples include participatory games for learning and dialogue, and the forecast-based financing pilots in Togo and Uganda.

Pablo holds a first degree in water engineering, a master’s degree in community planning and development, and a PhD in geography.

He has advised humanitarian and development organizations in more than 50 countries, and also researches and teaches at the University of Lugano, University College London, and Boston University. 

Erin Coughlan, Climate Science

As manager of the Climate Science Team, Erin oversees our support on climate science for risk management.

She leads climate support to forecast-based financing initiatives around the world, developing triggers for early action before disasters happen.

Erin also leads operational science research on forecast verification and application, as well as long-term strategies for climate risk management.

She is a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and serves on the steering committee of the Global Flood Partnership.

Erin holds an adjunct appointment at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University and has a PhD in climate science focused on disaster risk management. 

Carina Bachofen, Policy and Partnerships

Carina leads on developing strategies to influence policy and supervises partnerships with governments, the UN system and multilateral agencies. She oversees the Climate Centre’s global policy team and shapes its advocacy on risk and resilience.

For six years she has led preparation for the annual Development and Climate Days alongside UN climate talks, and as a member of the management team helps shape strategic orientation, overseeing operations and leading on donor engagement.

Carina has 15 years experience working at the interface of climate, development and disaster preparedness. She has served at the World Bank, jointly authoring its landmark Economics of Adaptation report and leading the social component of work in Mozambique and Bolivia, as well as at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Carina holds a MSc in global politics from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from McGill University. She speaks English, Spanish, German and French and has extensive project experience in Latin America and Africa.

Knud Falk, Technical Adviser

Since 2010 Knud has worked with the Climate Centre in supporting the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement on climate-related programme development and resource mobilization.

He is also involved in Partners for Resilience projects in India, co-developed the Climate Training Kit, and assists in the development of training courses for National Societies.

Knud is an expert in the fields of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and ecological monitoring.

He has also worked for the Danish National Science Foundation, the Danish Polar Center and the Danish Red Cross.

He has a PhD in Arctic ecology from the University of Copenhagen and experience as a teacher and scientist at several other universities.

Janot Mendler de Suarez, Consulting Technical Adviser

Janot has been contributing to applied research since 2010, developing serious games for programmes in Africa, helping to train the PfR country team in Mali, and jointly editing Games for a New Climate with Boston University’s Pardee Center.

She is currently working with the Togo Red Cross and the country’s meteorological and hydrological agencies and the German Red Cross on the forecast-based financing pilot, and with Plan International to design a game on climate adaptation for young people in Asia.

One of the brains behind the Global Environment Facility’s International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network, Janot piloted a distance MSc programme for the Royal Holloway, University of London.

She has consulted for UNIDO, the Rockefeller Foundation, WFP, Oxfam America, START, the American Red Cross, the World Bank and USAID.

Mawanda Shaban, Technical Adviser

Joining the Climate Centre in February 2015, Shaban provides technical advice, policy support and capacity building on National Adaptation Programmes in Armenia, Georgia, Kenya, Malawi and Nepal.

He supports humanitarian diplomacy on climate policy, linking with the IFRC secretariat and Partners of Resilience.

Shaban was formerly in charge of disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation at the Uganda Red Cross Society, working to engage local structures, national governments and regional bodies on climate risk management and policy dialogue.

Overall he has nearly a decade’s experience in programme management and implementation.

Sanne Hogesteeger, Programme Coordinator 

Sanne joined the Climate Centre in 2015 and has been the programme coordinator for the Partners for Resilience programme. She is currently making a transition to the Anticipatory Action team.

Sanne took her first degree in cultural anthropology and development sociology at the University of Leiden and an MA in international humanitarian action at the University of Groningen.

During her master’s programme, she interned for the Climate Centre based at the IFRC Africa zone office, where she worked on climate training for National Societies.

Margot Curl, Learning Coordinator

Starting with the Climate Centre in 2015, Margot is responsible for the promotion of learning and uptake, technical advice and relationship management. She leads the centre’s work on games and interactivity.

Margot specialises in designing and delivering capacity building and learning tools on climate-smart development, adaptation and risk reduction, and has extensive experience in Asia and Africa. 

She also has over a decade of experience in programme management and implementation and has previously worked for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Red Cross, UNHCR, and Save the Children. 

Margot has an advanced master’s degree in international development studies from the University of Nijmegen, an MA in international humanitarian action from the University of Groningen, and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and law from University College Utrecht. She speaks English, French and Dutch.

Rebeka Ryvola, Learning Adviser

Rebeka’s first experience with the Climate Centre was as a researcher in 2012 running a film workshop at COP18 in Doha.

She now co-leads the interactivity team and works across the centre’s programmes to find new ways to reach more of the world’s most vulnerable people.

In addition to helping foster a culture of creativity, innovation and experimentation, she supports the team with the interpretation of technical information, the generation of educational and programmatic content, and the creation of visual tools for learning and advocacy.

Rebeka has a bachelor’s degree in global resource systems from the University of British Columbia and a master’s in environmental management from Yale University.

Bettina Koelle, Senior Learning Specialist

Bettina Koelle joined the Climate Centre in 2013 and is also now Southern Africa focal point. 

She has worked with stakeholder groups from small-scale farmers in the South African dry lands to policy-makers and business representatives.

A geographer by training with an MSc from the Free University of Berlin, she is passionate about exploring linkages within complex systems and helping people navigate challenges through learning and dialogue.

Bettina’s roots lie in community development and adaptation work in Southern Africa, and her ambition is to link grass-roots insights and ambitions to global policy.

Working on climate change and adaptation for the past 15 years, she has also increasingly engaged on urban issues – facilitating the use of climate information for long-term decision-making in cities. 

Eddie Jjemba, Urban Resilience Adviser

Eddie supports urban programming and resilience initiatives in Africa.

These include facilitating participatory games, dialogue and training sessions aimed at addressing climate risks for cities.

Before joining the Climate Centre, Eddie managed projects focused on experiential learning and urban disaster risk management in Uganda.

He holds a master’s degree in climate and society from Columbia University, New York.

Roop Singh, Climate Risk Adviser

Roop provides technical support to disaster managers and adaptation practitioners to access, interpret and use climate risk information for decision-making, as well as supporting learning around climate risk management. 

She is the operational lead for our work on extreme event attribution with the World Weather Attribution partnership, increasing the relevance of attribution findings for climate change adaptation.

Roop also supports the Climate Centre’s urban portfolio with a focus on heat risk. 

She has master’s degree in climate and society from Columbia University and a BSc in atmospheric science from Cornell University. 

Juan Bazo, Climate Science Adviser

Juan joined the Climate Centre in 2015. He provides technical support for the interpretation and use of climate information for forecast-based financing in Peru, Ecuador and elsewhere in the Americas.

He has experience in research on climate variability and change, and seasonal and sub-seasonal forecasting and how it links with disaster risk reduction.

He has worked for weather and climate research institutions and universities, including the Peruvian Meteorological and Hydrological Service, the University of Sao Paulo, the University of Vigo in Spain, and the APEC Climate Centre in the Republic of Korea.

From his base in Lima he focuses on the design of FbF programmes and develops new methodologies for acting in anticipation of disasters, helping National Societies reduce the impacts of climate extreme events. 

Juan has a PhD in climate science from the University of Vigo and has taught at other major universities.

Hassan Ahmadul, Technical Adviser

Ahmadul Hassan joined the Climate Centre in 2015 as technical adviser for forecast-based financing in Bangladesh. 

He is a widely published expert in the fields of water-resource planning, early warning, disaster management, climate change, vulnerability assessment, and resource modelling.

He graduated from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1983 and did his PhD in natural resource management in 2010. 

Ahmadul was team leader on the assessment of adaptation and vulnerability for Bangladesh’s Second National Communication, involved in investigating the impacts of sea-level rise on different livelihoods groups in coastal areas, including gender issues.

Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Technical Adviser

Andrew joined the Climate Centre as a technical adviser in 2014 and specializes in climate risk management. 

He is also a staff research associate and lecturer at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, focusing on remote sensing and early warning.  

Andrew graduated from the university’s master’s programme on climate and society, and interned for NASA researching the application of satellite data to monitoring inundation in East Africa.

Andrew previously studied finance at Fairfield University and meteorology at Western Connecticut State University.

Cecilia Costella, Senior Technical Adviser 

Cecilia helps to guide the Climate Centre’s efforts to ensure climate risk management is embedded in social protection.

She has over a decade of relevant experience and has worked for the World Bank, the World Food Programme, universities and civil society organizations, with a focus on Africa and Latin America.

In these roles she has engaged in policy dialogue and provided technical support to governments and other partners, as well as supported the design and implementation of social programmes.

Cecilia has also developed strategic, research and knowledge agendas in social protection, climate and disaster management, and has experience in designing and facilitating participatory planning, games and training.

She holds one master’s degree in public administration from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and a second in development management from Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany.

Catalina Jaime, Senior Risk Adviser

Catalina coordinates the strategic development of the forecast-based financing concept worldwide, as well as providing technical support for the design and implementation of FbF projects by National Societies.

She also leads on knowledge management for the UK-supported Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience programme, working with stakeholders on science and solutions to improve risk assessment, preparedness, early action and resilience.   

She has 15 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector, with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, UN agencies and others.

Her background is in industrial engineering, and she has a master’s degree in humanitarian action, specializing in disaster risk reduction.

Marije Taat, Adminstration, Human Resources

Marije has been working with the Climate Centre since 2013 and has managed the introduction of new systems and processes in our offices in The Hague.

She is the important team focal-point for security and human resources, and works in close collaboration with the Netherlands Red Cross and the IFRC. 

She supports donor contracting, financial reporting and communications.

Marije has many years’ experience in office management and as an executive-level personal assistant prior to the Climate Centre; she studied languages and cultural studies at Utrecht University.

Clemens Gros, Consulting Technical Adviser, Monitoring and Evaluation

Clemens started consulting for the Climate Centre in 2017 and now works across our technical and country portfolios to monitor, assess and strengthen the quality and impact of our programmes.

He establishes systems for monitoring and evaluation, designs and conducts evaluations, develops survey tools and analyses data to help Climate Centre experts and country teams make informed, evidence-based decisions.

Clemens has over ten years’ experience in monitoring, evaluation, research and data analytics across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Before becoming an independent consultant, he was on staff for the World Bank and UNICEF in country offices and headquarters.

Clemens also consults for the World Bank, UN agencies and the private sector. He holds master’s degrees in political science and economics from Columbia University, New York, and the University of Tübingen, Germany.

Irene Amuron, Technical Adviser

Irene joined the Climate Centre in 2016 as a technical adviser on forecast-based financing, having pioneered the concept in her home country of Uganda in her previous role as manager of disaster risk reduction with the Red Cross there. 

She now provides technical guidance to National Societies interested in setting up their own FbF programmes. 

Irene has more than a decade of experience in emergency response and disaster risk reduction, and holds a master’s degree in public health leadership.

Meghan Bailey, Technical Adviser

Meghan supports forecast-based financing, social protection and research initiatives around the world.

As a graduate student of early warning early action, since 2011 she has been involved with the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in developing anticipatory action ahead of disasters.

Her main areas of focus are the design of FbF programmes, feasibility assessments for acting in anticipation of disasters, scaling up FbF, integration of climate risk management into social protection programmes, and helping National Societies reduce the impacts of weather- and climate-related disasters.

Before joining the Climate Centre, she worked for the Aga Khan Foundation and the Canadian government.

Meghan holds an MSc from the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, and is based at its physics department as an academic visitor, where she collaborates with researchers to integrate climate science and humanitarian practice.

She also completed her PhD in geography at Oxford, studying environmental change and food insecurity in north-west Ghana.

Matilda Nahabedian, Grant Management Officer

Matilda has extensive experience in project coordination and fund-raising at organisations such as Oxfam Novib and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.

Her most recent role was as a Portfolio Officer for French-speaking countries with the Netherlands Red Cross.

Originally from Bulgaria, Matilda has lived in the Netherlands for 18 years. She also speaks Dutch, English, French and Russian and has a master’s degree in European public affairs from Maastricht University.

Aditi Kapoor, Climate and Resilience Adviser

Aditi joined the Climate Centre in 2016. She provides  technical support and capacity strengthening on climate  change and integrated risk management to National  Societies and civil society groups in India and other South  Asian countries.

Aditi has specialized in evidence-based policy research and engagement on issues related to agriculture and livelihoods, climate and disaster risk reduction and resilient development. She has always had a special focus on gender and inclusion in her work.

Beginning her career as a journalist, she led Oxfam’s climate change work in India and has consulted for several international and UN agencies. She has published media and journal articles, written training manuals and policy documents, including for government departments in India and Nepal.

Aditi co-founded Alternative Futures, a think tank in India, and is currently pursuing her PhD in climate change adaptation, agriculture and gender from Punjab University, Chandigarh.