Gender equality and social inclusion


Marlène Elias
Marlène Elias is a Gender Specialist at Bioversity International and Gender Research Coordinator for the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). She leads gender research and supports gender integration in Bioversity’s work on forest genetic resources, with an emphasis on strengthening the capacities of Bioversity staff to conduct participatory, gender-responsive research that will deliver positive and equitable benefits to men and women beneficiaries. Marlène has a BSc in Biology and Environmental Sciences, and an MA and PhD in Geography. Rooted in a feminist political ecology approach, her research focuses on gendered dimensions of forest management and restoration, local ecological knowledge, and forest/agrifood value chains, predominantly in West Africa and South and Central Asia. Marlène is based in Rome, Italy, and can be reached at
Markus Ihalainen
Markus is CIFOR’s gender co-coordinator at CIFOR and works on the integration of gender across CIFOR and FTA’s research portfolios. His research is currently focused on examining the gendered socioeconomic dimensions of timber and charcoal value chains in Africa. Markus is also involved in the coordination of the gender integration work between FTA’s institutions. Markus holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and a Bachelor in Geography from the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Before joining CIFOR, he worked in Namibia on gender and LGBT-issues. Markus is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and can be reached at
Iliana Monterroso
Iliana Monterroso is a scientist and co-coordinator of Gender and Social Inclusion Research at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). She works as part of the team that coordinates the implementation of the FTA strategy to strengthen partner organizations and scientists to address gender across their research and ensure continuous learning and improvement. Iliana has a BSc in Biology and an MSc and PhD in Environmental Sciences. She has extensive experience in facilitating multistakeholder platforms involving indigenous peoples, Afrodescendants and grassroots organizations, government and civil society institutions. Her research focuses on gender, tenure, environmental governance and socioenvironmental conflicts predominantly in Latin America. Iliana is based in Guatemala, and can be reached at
Ana Maria Paez-Valencia
Ana Maria supports work by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the FTA Gender unit in developing an operational framework for effectively integrating gender and inclusion into FTA and ICRAF’s work. Before joining CGIAR she worked with the Statistics Division and the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), supporting the capacity development strategy for member countries on production and use of gender-disaggregated agricultural data and addressing gender and social equality in agricultural and food security programs. She has nine years of work experience on the design, planning, execution, and monitoring and evaluation of development projects, particularly on indicators design with a gender lens. Ana Maria is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and can be reached at
Emily Gallagher
Emily is part of the Equal Opportunities, Gender, Justice and Tenure (EGT) team at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) – Nairobi Hub. Her anticipated projects will contribute to the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Flagship 5’s ongoing research on the social, economic and gendered effects of agri-business investments in forested landscapes, as well as the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets’ (PIM) continuing work on natural resource property regimes and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems’ (WLE) concern with water enclosures as part of large-scale land acquisitions. Emily’s geographic areas of interest will comprise the agricultural growth corridors of Eastern Africa, focusing on the differential access and integration of women and men into various types of smallholder-inclusive agricultural investments in Tanzania. Emily holds a PhD in geography from the Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, USA, and a MS in Horticulture from Cornell University, USA. Her prior research has focused on landscape perceptions and preferences in agriculture-forest mosaics, rural development, and the political ecology of renewable resource management.