Our Staff

United States

Mallory Bressler- Interim Executive Director

Originally from Lafayette California, Mallory graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with degrees in Sociology and Political Science, with a focus on education and social change. Following her undergraduate career, Mallory enrolled in the National Teaching Fellowship program with Citizen Schools through which she received her Masters in Education and became the Campus Director of an extended learning day program in Boston, MA. Following her three years with Citizen Schools, Mallory became an education consultant working with non-profits around the country training young educators, developing curriculum and increasing non-profit capacity. Mallory speaks English and Spanish. Contact Mallory at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743yroll1477165743am1477165743

Lucas Oshun- Founder

Born and raised in Sebastopol California, Lucas Oshun graduated from University of California Santa Cruz in 2007 with degrees in Community Studies and Politics with a focus on International Relations. During his studies he interned at Global Kids in NYC, where he learned about the importance of discussion-based workshop education, and international relations education for high school students. He has traveled extensively in South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America. Grateful for having had the opportunity to experience different cultures and to travel internationally, Lucas believes strongly in providing travel, cultural immersion and grassroots organizing opportunities to young people. Lucas speaks English and Spanish.

Rachel Katz– Director of Operations

Rachel has two decades of experience working with non-profits that she brings to GSE. In 1996, shortly after graduation from Stanford University, Rachel co-founded and lived 18 years at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, in Missouri, before moving to Oakland, CA. While in Missouri, she earned her Master’s Degree in biology studying birds and land management. She has applied her organizational super powers to grow organizations such as The Mosaic Project and EOS International. She has traveled extensively in Central America and worked in Nicaragua with EOS. Rachel speaks English and Spanish. Contact Rachel at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743lehca1477165743r1477165743

Jonathan Kaufman – Associate Exchange Program Director

Born in Boston, Jonathan graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in Environmental Studies. His passion for local food has led him from farm work in rural Ohio, to directing a team working to increase food access in inner city Cleveland, to working as a sous-chef at a local/organic café. He’s lived in Ecuador and led service trips throughout the US as well as El Salvador, and Nicaragua. He believes strongly in the empowerment offered by small-scale agriculture and intercultural exchanges. Jonathan speaks Spanish and English. Contact Jonathan at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743nahta1477165743noj1477165743

Sunee Washom – Executive Assistant

Born and raised in Danville, California, Sunee has called the East Bay home for most of her life. Sunee is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC, with a degree in International Studies and an emphasis in Education. She was drawn to the nation’s capital with a conviction that young people are eager to be invited to engage in work that expands their understanding of the world. She has a wide range of nonprofit experience in various parts of the country and is excited to work alongside GSE empowering students to see themselves as global citizens. Contact Sunee at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743eenus1477165743

Zoe Pearl – Contra Costa Program Coordinator

Zoe grew up in Marin County, California, where her love of nature developed into a passion to defend the environment and educate others. Zoe graduated from the University of California in Santa Barbara, earning a B.A. in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Sustainable Development. While pursuing her degree, she worked for several local nonprofits that focused on providing comprehensive environmental education to students. Through her work at schools she discovered the crucial importance of educating the next generation in order to protect the future of our environment. After graduating, Zoe worked for Marin Sanitary Service, the first curbside recycling collection facility in the nation. As the Outreach and Education Program Coordinator she worked to develop and provide curriculums, informative resources, and direct outreach to schools to help the county reach the zero waste goals. She is excited collaborate and bring her experience to schools in the Contra Costa area. When not working, Zoe spends her time enjoying the outdoors and doing crossfit. Zoe speaks English, French, and some Spanish. Contact Zoe at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743eoz1477165743

Laura Robledo – Marin Program Coordinator 

Driven by a desire to ‘give back’ to her community in suburban Los Angeles, Laura Robledo initiated her career in urban agriculture as an undergrad at California State University Northridge. For over six years she has been working as an activist and organizer around issues of food justice and urban agriculture in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. In 2009 Laura worked for a youth-driven nonprofit organization as coordinator of the Project Youth Green community garden with its 60 families. And in 2013 she built one of MEND’s-Meet Each Need with Dignity latest programs, the Grow Together Project, created to empower disadvantaged families to work towards self-reliance and greater food security through gardening. Having led the effort in providing 178 MEND families with home gardens, building a community of gardeners, volunteers and community partners, Laura finds growing food a way for people to connect with the environment and each other. Of Mexican origin, she also has strong cultural roots in agriculture. Laura is a Certified UC Master Gardener with a degree in Political Science. Contact Laura at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743arual1477165743

Nick Coonrod – Santa Cruz Program Coordinator 

Nick has spent over six years in the environmental education and the interpretive field where he has led classes and workshops, supervised the care of wildlife, developed programs, and provided leadership to area schools and the public. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010 with a degree in Environmental Studies.  After graduating, he taught at multiple outdoor schools and summer camps across the Southern California. In 2012 he began teaching practical science based recycling, zero waste, and water conservation courses to students in schools all over San Luis Obispo County. In 2015, he designed a green pathways program for 7th and 8th grade students focused on Salinas River Watershed rehabilitation, and getting students excited about environmental careers. In 2016, Nick is proud to bring his energy and enthusiasm to GSE so that he can continue to share his knowledge and love for the natural world. He has two cats, Pabu and Terra. Contact Nick at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743kcin1477165743

Kyle Meador – Sonoma County Program Coordinator 

Originally from Sacramento, California, Kyle graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 2003 with degrees in Ethnic Studies and Sociology, and continued with graduate work in Ethnic Studies and Bilingual/Multicultural Education, earning his Masters. Meanwhile Kyle was developing and leading local community action projects with high-school and college students with a focus on education and social change. Following his college career, Kyle taught Social Science and English at a local high school in Sacramento while continuing to facilitate community action projects with young people locally and in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Eventually, after doing work with several non-profit youth development and education organizations, Kyle moved to New Orleans to deepen his work with local youth there while creating opportunities for young people from around the country to support continued redevelopment efforts. Upon returning to California, Kyle has worked as a consultant for several youth development organizations before finding Global Student Embassy. Kyle loves to work in the garden, travel, and facilitate transformational experiences with young people. Contact Kyle at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743elyk1477165743

Jordan Shapiro – Travel and Outreach Coordinator 

Jordan is originally from Vermont and got her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in History and International Relations and her master’s degree from Aberystwyth University in International Politics. A strong commitment to the environment drove her to help her parents run the first recycling business in her town and later to take courses on hydrology and biodiversity while at the University of Rochester. This expertise allowed her to complete an Americorps program with the Genesee Land Trust, a land preservation organization based in Rochester, New York. Her main academic focus is peace-keeping and for her master’s dissertation, designed a new model of conflict resolution based on cross cultural understanding and democratic representation. Jordan loves to travel and has lived in Wales, Denmark, and Russia. When not at work, she likes to cook, swim, and volunteer in her community. Jordan speaks English, Spanish, and some Russian. Contact Jordan at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743nadro1477165743j1477165743

Tessa Janicke – Campus Rep Coordinator 

Tessa is from Buffalo, NY. She graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she received her B.S. in Environmental Studies. Tessa first went on a GSE trip to Ecuador winter break for her freshman year of college. Tessa returned to Ecuador with GSE as a Campus Rep her sophomore year and Co-campus Rep her junior year. She is excited to help inspire and guide this year’s campus reps. Tessa loves traveling, hiking, kayaking, pugs, and working with young people. Contact Tessa at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743crc1477165743

Maya Boone – Communications Associate

Born and raised on farms and ranches in Northern California, Maya grew up with a close relationship to land conservation and agro-food systems. She became involved with GSE at age 13 as a high school intern. Later she became a Deputy Program Coordinator for Sonoma County and Campus Rep at UC Berkeley where she is currently an undergraduate in the College of Natural Resources. Maya tries to integrate humor and music into everything she does and owns a real space suit from the NASA Space and Rocket Center. Her greatest passions lie in teaching others how to grow food for themselves, youth advocacy, ecological restoration, permaculture, and botany. Maya speaks English and Spanish. Contact her at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743ayam1477165743


Ramon Cedeno Loor – Ecuador Program Director

Ramon has been a biology and chemistry teacher for ten years in Bahia de Caraquez. He has been conducting after-school youth-leadership, environmental education programs in partnership with the city of Bahia and Planet Drum Foundation for the past six years. Ramon’s lessons and interactions with students are exciting, dynamic and fun. Ramon is committed to environmental restoration and helping students realize their potential to impact the positive change they’d like to see in their local environment and community. Ramon has been a GSE staff member since December of 2010. Contact Ramon at moc.l1477165743iamg@1477165743rodau1477165743cetne1477165743dutsl1477165743abolg1477165743

Cecilia Montesdeoca Álava Educational Programs Assistant & Trip Leader

Cecilia is a native Ecuadorian and was born in Calceta, a city in the province of Manabi. She grew up in a rural community called “Sarampión” and feels a strong connection to nature. She studied tourism at the university “ESPAM” in Calceta and was chosen to be an intern for Global Student Embassy based on her record for academic excellence in the “Mi Primer Empleo” program sponsored by the government of Ecuador. She has continued to work with GSE and has moved up from intern to Trip Leader. She is a passionate person in all that she does and every day is a challenge for her as she works to improve her English skills. She is happy to be part of the Global Student Embassy team and to work alongside other passionate people striving for positive change. Contact her at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743ailic1477165743ec1477165743

Blas Cedeno Loor  Reforestation Manager

Blas is a proud Bahieño and has been involved with GSE’s Ecuador program from its beginnings. In 2015 he has become GSE’s reforestation manager and coordinates up to 20 Ecuadorian workers to plant, water and maintain the trees at the reforestation sites year-round. He enjoys learning lessons from nature and teaching students about the importance of reforestation, especially in the tropical dry forest. Working in GSE’s reforestation project has increased Blas’ environmental awareness and he hopes to pass this awareness on to his four children and the next generation of Bahieños.  Blas speaks Spanish.


Jaime Enrique Muñoz HernándezDirector of Asofenix

Jaime is from the region of Jinotega, Nicaragua. He is the Director of GSE’s in-country partner, Asofenix, which has been working in Nicaragua for 15 years. Asofenix is made up of a multi-disciplined team that assists in the development and function of GSE’s student exchange trips in Nicaragua. Jaime’s interests lie in renewable energies such as, solar-powered potable water systems, the construction of small hydroelectric plants in remote communities, the use of solar energy to provide power, and the construction of improved kitchens. Jaime supports the application and practical utilization of these energies as an alternative to satisfy basic needs within the rural communities of Nicaragua. He believes in sustainable development and is convinced that empowered communities are capable to generate their own development. He promotes agro-ecological production as an alternative to reverse environmental degradation. You can email Jaime at moc.l1477165743iamg@1477165743augar1477165743acinx1477165743inefo1477165743sa1477165743. Learn more about Asofenix on our program partners page.

Socorro Raudez – Garden Manager in Teustepe

In 2015 Socorro graduated as the first apprentice from the Bio-Intensive Center in Nicaragua. He comes from a family that has been farming for generations. During his career as a farmer he has deviated from the traditional chemical farming methods commonly found in Nicaragua. By embracing the merits of organic methods Socorro has become a community leader in charge of projects that include familial gardens, potable water and sustainable kitchens. Socorro facilitates the garden located at Clinica Verde in Boaco focused on preventative healthcare through wholesome nutrition, as well as two schools in the area. He loves to work in his thriving bio-intensive farm at home and playing with his two children. You can email Socorro at moc.l1477165743iamg@1477165743ocaob1477165743ne82o1477165743rroco1477165743s1477165743

Juan Miguel Garcia BlancoGarden Manager in Boaco

Juan Miguel was born in Loma de Cafen, Boaco, Nicaragua. When he was six years old, he began to study his elementary education in Pedro Joaquin Chamorro primary school culminating as the best student in elementary school. When he was 12 years old, he began his high school education in the same school culminating in 2009 by just one point behind the first place as the second best student. He has been working for Clinica Verde and GSE since 2015. He is very happy to work with these NGOs towards a clean and healthy agriculture for families, schools and communities that are vulnerable to food insecurity. He is very satisfied with the experience gained during the time working with national and foreign students because he has been able to meet many people who have motivated him to keep going. If you want to get in touch with Juan Miguel, you can contact him by email at se.oo1477165743hay@1147716574354nau1477165743jaicr1477165743ag1477165743

Marling GarciaGSE International Trip Leader

Marling Garcia is a passionate, dedicated, and enthusiastic leader from Nicaragua. She was born in the community of Las Macias, Teustepe, Boaco, Nicaragua. Since she was a child, she experienced the lack of clean, potable water needed to supply the basic needs in her home. Due to that hardship, she always wanted to have a career and help her community. In 2013, she won a SEED scholarship to study Business Management for two years in the United States. This experience has brought her the opportunity to share her story at Clinton Global Initiative Conference in March 2015. Marling is the founder of Well for Wellbeing Social Venture and she is very excited for being part of the Resolution Project family. One of her biggest goals is to improve the water access and better the health, economy, environment, and the cultural effects of the inhabitants of the Nicaraguan communities. Contact her at gro.y1477165743ssabm1477165743etned1477165743utsla1477165743bolg@1477165743gnilr1477165743am1477165743