Our team

Team members

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Andy Parker

Chief Executive Officer

Andy has been the main architect of Degrees/the SRM Governance Initiative since its launch in 2010, responsible for the focus on the Global South, the programme of engagement workshops, and the creation of the Degrees Modelling Fund. His background is in climate policy and he began working on geoengineering in 2008 when he led the production of the Royal Society’s Geoengineering the climate report. He moved into academia to research SRM governance at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam. Andy was a member of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s expert working group on geoengineering and is currently a mentor for the Anant Fellowships for Climate Action and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, UK.

Dr Jesse Reynolds

Chief of Staff

Jesse Reynolds is an expert in international environmental policy, particularly regarding emerging technologies. He has worked extensively on the governance of solar radiation modification and carbon dioxide removal and is the author of The Governance of Solar Geoengineering: Managing Climate Change in the Anthropocene (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Prior to working at Degrees, he was executive secretary of the Climate Overshoot Commission, an independent group of eminent global leaders, and an Emmett / Frankel Fellow in Environmental Law and Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Reynolds has degrees from Tilburg University, The Netherlands (partially as a Fulbright Fellow, US Department of State), the University of California, Berkeley (as a US Environmental Protection Agency Science-to-Achieve Results Fellow), and Hampshire College.

François Pougel

Head of programmes

François is leading the team responsible for the organisation’s outreach, capacity building, and community building activities. Prior to this role, he served as Transition Manager, responsible for setting up business operations as the initiative became an independent UK entity, while ensuring the continuity of programmes and communications, and supporting the CEO and Board of Trustees. He has extensive experience in non-profit management, entrepreneurship and corporate sustainability, as well as a keen interest in innovative ventures seeking to make a positive impact in the realms of climate or ocean protection. He holds master’s degrees in geopolitics and international relations as well as in ocean and atmospheric science.

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Amar Popat

Chief Operating Officer

Amar leads operational strategy and planning for Degrees. He is responsible for financial management including programmatic grant funding processes, board governance, and the management of the organisation’s HR and IT functions. Amar brings over fifteen years of broad-ranging business experience across financial services, startups and nonprofits. Before working for Degrees, he led the finance and operations functions at several small impact-focused organisations dedicated to social change, including in the international development space. He has a degree in Economics from Cambridge University and a Master’s in Global Studies from Gothenburg University.

Lyndsey Croal

Communications manager

Lyndsey leads communications for Degrees, managing the team’s day-to-day outputs and working closely with programmes colleagues to grow awareness of Degrees-funded projects around the world, while connecting with collaborators, scientists, journalists, and other stakeholders across the sector. She has several years of experience working with NGOs – most recently with WWF Scotland from 2018-2023 – and she has led policy, advocacy, and communications projects on a diverse range of climate policy areas, including on Scotland’s world-leading climate change legislation. She holds an MLitt in Peace and Conflict Studies, and has expertise and interest in various areas including international affairs, climate change, biodiversity, and energy policy. Lyndsey is also an author and occasional magazine editor, and enjoys using her skills in advocacy and storytelling at Degrees to ensure that those most affected by climate change are central to the conversation around SRM.

Anna Baldwin

Programmes officer

Anna is responsible for the administrative and organisational aspects of the programmes. She has an extensive background in education, which has included work on refugee resettlement programmes, youth public engagement and NGO policy analysis. These thematic issues have allowed her to live in Palestine, Jordan and Vietnam. Anna holds a Master’s Degree in International Development from Massey University, New Zealand, where she explored community-based inter-faith dialogue initiatives and their contribution towards peacebuilding efforts. She holds particular interest in the future of governance within SRM research.

Nick Zúñiga

Programmes and communications officer

Nick is a communications professional with experience in research institutes, international organisations and NGOs. He is responsible for implementing the initiative’s programmes and communications, increasing awareness of our achievements, and helping to build connections across our growing global community. He holds an MA in International Political Economy and has experience working in emerging technologies, climate governance and development research across Latin America and the Caribbean. As part of this, he has extensively explored the governance aspects of geoengineering with a particular focus on the Global South. He is passionate about utilising his interdisciplinary background to ensure that those set to be most affected by climate change can play an active role in the global conversation on SRM.

Victoria Nyrop-Sjörén

Programmes officer

Victoria is responsible for the administrative and organisational aspects of the programmes. She has a background in carbon management consultancy within the engineering and design sector, working on some of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe. Victoria holds a Master’s Degree in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh, which sparked her interest in climate justice. Highly impact-driven, her mission is to ensure that those set to be most affected by climate change have the capacity to make informed decisions on SRM.

Dr Pete Irvine

Science advisor

Dr Pete Irvine is responsible for advising the CEO and programmes team on key scientific matters in relation to Degree’s work. Applying his expertise in SRM research, Pete helps to guide Degrees future planning by mapping out scientific developments within the field. He also supports Degrees work as a research collaborator. Pete is a Lecturer at UCL Earth Sciences, and previously Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences working in Prof. David Keith’s group. Dr Irvine conducts research on the climate and broader impacts of solar geoengineering and works to put those findings into perspective with the risks posed by climate change.

Pepi O'Neil

Executive support manager

Pepi is responsible for the administration side of the organisation and brings over 20 years experience of working in the charitable sector to Degrees.  Pepi has worked in The Gambia, South Africa and Cameroon attending Commonwealth People’s Forums and running workshops for linked communities between the Global North and the Global South in collaboration with the BBC, Commonweath Foundation, Eden Project and the Fairtrade Foundation amongst others. 

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Mark Turner

Strategic communications adviser

Mark Turner is a creative strategic communicator on complex global challenges, who has shaped messages and information products on issues from climate change and sustainability to conflict and humanitarian aid. He has worked as a speechwriter and strategic communicator for numerous international organisations and initiatives, including the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative, where he hosts a podcast with global thought leaders on climate-altering technologies. Before moving into communications, he was a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times.

Rachel Garthwaite

Rachel Garthwaite

Adviser

Rachel has been advising the Degrees Initiative since 2021. Her background is in environment and climate policy; after working on international biodiversity policy for the UK JNCC, Rachel led the UK Royal Society’s work on environment and climate change. It was here she first worked on the geoengineering issue – co-leading the production of the Society’s 2008 geoengineering the climate report with Andy. Since then, she has raised a family and worked on international development and climate change issues at Save the Children UK and on pesticide and international biodiversity policy for the European Academies Advisory Council (EASAC) Environment programme.