The Higher Ground Team
Karl Schultz, Founder and Executive Chairman
Karl has worked on environment and development issues since 1991, including for the Peace Corps in West Africa and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's climate protection division where he managed the agency's international and domestic coal and climate programs. Over the past decade he has focussed on climate, markets, and policy issues and founded energy and environment consultancies Climate Mitigation Works and Energy Edge. He also co-founded the clean energy venture Green Gas, and now focuses primarily on climate finance and adaptation economics. He is the creator of The Higher Ground Foundation's vulnerability reduction market concept. Karl is responsible for strategic oversight of Higher Ground, research and development, and is Higher Ground’s senior spokesperson.
Linus Adler, Co-Founder and Technical Manager
Linus is a Climate and Energy Analyst responsible for management and analytical modeling and databases development. He has been involved in all phases of the consultative process, collaborating with sources and authorities within the climate and energy fields to develop insights and analysis on carbon credit baseline setting, down-scaled climate outputs for impacts assessments, and proposed frameworks for energy investment decisions. For Higher Ground, Linus is contributing technical analysis and modeling of the impacts of climate change on societal and economic well-being to establish baselines, monitoring and additionality criteria.
Roland Mader, Co-Founder and Advisor to the Executive Chairman
Roland is a successful entrepreneur and has been working as an executive in the clean energy and oil and gas industries for more than 15 years. He is the founder and owner of Bewertungsraum, an advisory firm focused on company valuations, financial forensics and risk analysis. Prior to that, he initiated and co-founded Green Gas International where he was Managing Director and a member of the Executive Committee for more than 5 years, growing the company from the start-up phase to a profitable company with EUR 60 million turnover and 450 employees. Roland is currently also managing director of Werthland, a sustainable apple processing company. Among other roles, Roland advises Higher Ground on management and commercial aspects, and the strategic growth of Higher Ground.
Andrew Auruku, Fundraising Manager
Andrew is a public health and supply chain specialist who has an international diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from Fordham University-New York and a bachelors of Laboratory Technology, with experience spanning over nine years in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is interested in and has expertise in climate change. Andrew has a long track record of international experience within professional companies operating in countries such as Uganda, Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Liberia and is acquainted with best professional practices. He also has intensive experience working with donors that fight diseases such as TB, HIV, and malaria and promote reproductive health, including USAID, the Global Fund, and CDC/PEPFAR. For the Higher Ground Foundation, Andrew supports the resource mobilization process by providing accurate and efficient fund research, identifying, tracking, and pursuing new business opportunities, and supporting donor relations.
Anubhav Dimri, Validation and Verification Standards Coordinator
Anubhav is a qualified lead auditor and internal technical reviewer for GHG offset projects for more than 7 years. He has undergone extensive training in the validation and verification of carbon offset projects including active role in accreditation process for VVBs and DOEs. Anubhav has been trained in ISO standards ISO 9001, ISO 50001, ISO 14001, ISO 19011 and ISO 14064. Anubhav has been actively involved in the validation and verification of more than 200 climate change offset, GHG accounting and Energy Efficiency projects.
Blake Gentry, Indigenous Communities Coordinator
Blake Gentry is a program and policy consultant in indigenous community health, development, and climate change with 20 years of experience. He currently serves as the Policy Advisor to the Traditional Govt. of the O’odham in Mexico Tribe, and has directed and coordinated activities with the United Nations Association of Southern Arizona and the Interactivity Foundation. He has worked with indigenous from over fifty unique indigenous nations and or individuals principally from Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, United States, and Canada. Blake is a member of the Cherokee Nation. His research and writing focuses on internal Chinese migration, indigenous rights, and climate change and can be viewed at: . For the Higher Ground Foundation, Blake is serving as the Chief Author and Review Coordinator for the “Standards for Indigenous Community Consultation” under the VRC Standard Framework Experts Review.
Dewan Quadir, Scientific Advisor
Professor Dewan Quadir is Chairman of the Physics Department at Uattara University in Dhaka, Bangladesh and a monsoon climatologist with more than 30 years experience. His work includes climate modelling, in particular for the South Asian region, climate impacts assessments, and adaptation developments. He has worked for a variety of organizations including SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC), and Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization. He has a Ph.D. in meteorology and climatology from Moscow State University, and post-doctoral work at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Lousiana State University in USA, and Reading University in the UK. Dr. Quadir serves as Higher Ground's climatologist and focuses on performing and assessing downscaled climate modelling results including assuring their applicability and sufficient confidence levels for generating VRCs.
Jonathan is an independent consultant to the insurance industry, providing fee-based services to trade and political risk insurers, as well as to commercial clients. His experience spans more than 30 years in the UK and abroad, including 5 years specialising in underwriting risks arising from the carbon and renewable energy finance markets. Jonathan brings expertise in insurance and risk, along with carbon markets to Higher Ground and serves as “devil’s advocate” in strategy deliberation.
Mukesh is an Instructor in Environmental Sciences at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Having recently been awarded a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University, Mukesh has a background in energy and natural resource policy and sustainability transition. He has a particular interest in complex systems and has worked with NGOs, academia, and the corporate sector on studying energy and sustainable development in order to help develop a truly multidisciplinary outlook. He also has experience in translating research into policy-relevant outputs. Mukesh’s view that effecting sustainability transitions will require treating mitigation and adaptation activities in constant feedback led to his joining the Higher Ground Foundation, where he was on the Secretariat guiding the Experts Review of the VRC Standard Framework.
Musfera Jahan ("Shormy")
Musfera Jahan ("Shormy") is a professional urban planner with 8 years’ experience in physical, land use, and master planning. She is currently involved in a World Bank project related to risk sensitive land use planning for Dhaka City, with the main goal to make Dhaka resilient to earthquakes and flooding. She has expertise in geographic information systems (GIS) analysis and map preparation, along with a number of skills obtained through earning her master’s degree in Disaster Management and Vulnerability studies, including climate change adaptation and mitigation planning, vulnerability assessment and mapping, and remote sensing. For the Higher Ground, Shormy is developing a VRC methodology and tool for urban sector adaptation projects.
Dr Shohrab Sarker is a both human and physical geographer with research interests and expertise in environmental (including climate) change impacts and societal response, climate induced migration, climate adaptation, climate refugees, conflict and forced migration, urban poverty, hydro-climatic variability and climate modelling. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Geography from the University of Sheffield, UK. He has also experience of mixed methods research (both quantitative and qualitative), with applied skills in GIS and remote sensing. Based in Bangladesh, Shorab provides expert guidance on vulnerability assessment across sectors and validating climate model outputs.
Theeranai (Bek) Charaschanya, Intern
Theeranai (Bek) is a junior currently pursuing Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. He is an intern that is focused on the application of cost-benefit analysis methods on different target sectors. This will eventually prove beneficial towards the development of future VRPMs.
We wish to thank our volunteers and the many people that graciously have been helping us; dedicating their valuable time and efforts to develop Higher Ground. Our special appreciation goes to those who have contributed time and expertise:
Neil Walmsley, Brendan Tapley, Fawn Glen Sarah Docherty, Maria Lasa Aresti
Margaux Wehr, Joseph Pearson, Jennifer Baldwin, Jennifer Steeves, Zubair Zakir, Lydia Gomez Gonzalez, Sanjib Saha ("Tapu"), Marie Schön, and many others!
Furthermore, thanks to...
Raymond Yu @www.dongrunmedia.com for designing our corporate identity, such as our company logo and corporate colour scheme.
Dechert LLP, London for helping us to understand the legal and administrative requirements for a charity in the UK.
We also wish to thank the numerous experts, advisors, and friends, for sharing their knowledge and experience in helping making the climate Vulnerability Reduction Credit standard ever better.
Thank you for your continued support.