Meet the Team

Jean Kim Chaix, Director

Before launching The Charcoal Project in 2009, Kim spent two decades as a television reporter documenting international current events and the intersection between population and the environment.

Kim gave up reporting in 2004 to join The Nature Conservancy in New York where he ran the organization’s strategic marketing and communications division. At the Conservancy he chaired a task force on the integration of Climate Change, conservation science, and public policy.

Kim and his partner, Nina Grigoriev, started The Charcoal Project in response to the lack of energy efficient solutions available for the world’s 3 billion people who depend on wood, charcoal, and animal dung as their primary source of fuel. Kim holds an undergraduate in biology and is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family.


Sylvia Herzog, Chief Operating Officer

Sylvia joined The Charcoal Project in 2010 because of a strong interest in finding renewable energy solutions to combat global warming and deforestation. She has focused on managing TCP’s on-the-ground projects and the development of new projects, like the Harvest Fuel Initiative. Sylvia also oversees the day-to-day operations of TCP and contributes to TCP’s policy work.

In the past, Sylvia has worked in various positions in banking and finance, including private placements and relationship management. She has an MBA, a Master of Public Policy and a BA in Economics, all from the University of Michigan. She currently resides with her family in Westchester County, New York.


Nina Grigoriev, Advisor

Nina implements The Charcoal Project's communication strategy and provides direction for the organization's online fundraising. Nina currently works at the Guttmacher Institute with developing-country partners to communicate results of studies related to sexual and reproductive health. Prior to joining Guttmacher, Nina worked for more than five years as the marketing director of several online advertising and technology firms in New York City, including AOL, Tacoda, and Unicast. Nina is fluent in Russian and speaks advanced conversational Spanish. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management and Human Development from Cornell University and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.



Board of Advisors

Emmanuel de Merode Ph.D., is Chief Warden of Virunga National Park for the Congolese Wildlife Authority. Illegal charcoal production using the park's forest resources poses the greatest threat to the 720 gorillas left in the wild in Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Providing sustainable alternative biomass fuels for the communities surrounding the park is therefore a top priority. By mid 2011, Emmanuel hopes 300,000 people will be using biomass briquettes instead of wood and charcoal, and at least 7,600 people will have permanent jobs as a result of the project.


Rogério Carneiro de Miranda has 20 years of experience in the field of biomass energy, forestry, household energy and organizational development. From 1992 to 2004 Rogério has worked as a resident and visitor in many Latin American countries assessing and implementing projects for rural and urban energy development needs, and from 2005 to 2010 based in Washington, USA as senior biomass energy expert for international organizations working in Africa and Latin America. Rogério has received multiple awards in recognition of his work, including the UK’s ASHDEN award on sustainable energy, Brazil’s national Home Planet award, and USAID’s award of Appreciation. He has also been successful in creating local institutional capacity to modernize wood energy in different countries of Latin America, by formally organizing local biomass energy stakeholders, NGOs and SMEs to embrace new initiatives, such promoting efficient stoves and kilns, modernizing charcoal production, reforestation & forest management programs, and policy reforms.


Tuyeni H. Mwampamba, Ph.D., is a Tanzania native and UC Davis graduate currently doing post-doc research in Mexico. She is the author of an influential study on urban charcoal consumption in Tanzania and its implications to present and future forest availability. Her hands-on research also extends to Tanzania's forest carbon sequestration capacity and the implication for the carbon market, community, and forest conservation. She is presently researching payment programs for ecosystem services generated by communities in Mexico.


Alex Stojanovic is founding partner at 5H&Co a New York City-based Urban Planning, Architecture and Design firm. Alex graduated from ETH Zurich in Architecture and has a post graduate degree in Developing Countries. Alex has lived and traveled extensively in Latin America, South Asia and Africa, and has worked on development projects in Nicaragua and India, where he studied the effects of unplanned urban habitat transformations. As an architect and urban planner, Alex is focused on exploring innovative solutions to urban design/management and ecological/economical sustainability problems.


Tim Tear, Ph.D., is The Nature Conservancy's Africa Program Science Director and has been working in conservation for 25 years. In the 80s and 90s, Tim worked in Eastern Africa on national park management in Kenya, Southern Sudan, and Tanzania. Tim joined The Nature Conservancy in 1998. From 2005-2008, Tim worked for the Conservancy's global conservation programs, leading an effort to establish conservation measures across the organization. His most recent scientific publications include evaluating the impacts of air pollution on biological diversity in the Eastern United States, improving resource management in the face of climate change, and setting objectives in conservation.


David VanLuven, is a private consultant in New York specializing in environmental fund raising, policy, and analysis. His work has focused on integrating people into biodiversity conservation efforts, particularly in the context of climate change. He has a joint M.S. from Tufts University in Biology and Environmental Policy, and a B.A. from Middlebury College with majors in Arctic/Alpine Ecology and Religion.