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The Higher Ground Team

Karl Schultz
Linus Adler
Roland Mader
Andrew Auruku

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.

Jonathan Young

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.

Laura Helmke-Long

Laura Helmke-Long is a doctoral candidate at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs researching climate change, sustainability, justice and equity concerns, and how communities can best protect vulnerable residents from environmental harms. She has extensive experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods, STATA and R data analysis tools, and text analysis.  Laura has ten years of experience working for the public sector in various capacities, including for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as a contractor to the U.S. State Department. For the Higher Ground Foundation, Laura provides advice and assessment regarding the environmental and social equity/justice concerns related to the VRCs and HGF’s broader adaptation efforts.


Dr. Paul Forte (PhD)

Paul’s main interests focus on the development and application of whole system methodologies in health and social care, including work on capacity planning; care pathway redesign; performance management; and service evaluation. He has extensive international experience with project management and training courses, including facilitating “Futures Literacy Laboratories.”  Paul co-founded The Balance of Care Group consultancy, and holds adjunct positions at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the School of Management, University of Bath.  For Higher Ground, Paul leads the health and futures literacy portfolios.

Shohrab Sarker

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.


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, Enrico Ponte, 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, Dewan Quadir, Musfera Jahan, Rachel Wanyoike, Raymond Yu, Dechert LLP, Mukesh Gupta, Chiara Ambrosino, Bharat Vasandani, Theeranai (Bek) Charaschanya, Edward Persson, Ann Goodman, Elizabeth Purnell, and many others!

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.

Blake Gentry
Anubhav Dimri
Jonathan Young
Laura Helmke Long
Paul Forte
Shohrab Sarker
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