The HCSA Secretariat

Adrian Choo
Executive Director

Adrian Choo is the Executive Director of the High Carbon Stock Approach. He leads the development and implementation of HCSA’s strategic business plan, oversees the HCSA membership and Secretariat and fosters partnerships to drive HCSA’s impact and growth. Adrian has extensive experience in tropical forest certification, palm oil sustainability and high conservation value areas. He led the Sustainable Markets Programme Strategy at WWF-Malaysia and was Chair of FSC Malaysia for several years. Adrian has a BA in Forestry and a PhD in Biocomposite Technology from Universiti Putra Malaysia, where he was also a Post-doctoral Research Fellow.

Lee Kuan Lih
Finance Manager

Lee Kuan Lih joined HCSA as a Finance Manager in 2020. He is responsible for the company’s bookkeeping, budgets, and cash flow control. Prior to joining HCSA, he was a finance manager in Helikonia. He was also in charge of financial matters at Apple Crumby & Fish, a start-up e-commerce platform for essential baby products and had previously worked as an auditor. Kuan Lih holds a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (majoring in accounting and finance) from Monash University, Malaysia. He is also a Certified Practising Accountant as a member of CPA, Australia.

Jonathan Byers
Monitoring Platform Manager

Jonathan Byers is responsible for managing the HCSA Global Forest Watch Pro monitoring platform.  Jonathan has a diverse background in natural and physical science research, cartography and GIS, non-profit management, education, and digital storytelling.  Most recently he led a National Geographic funded project to study the habitat and behaviour of the endangered Matschies’s tree-kangaroo in Papua New Guinea to assist community conservation efforts.  He previously worked on cartography projects for Panthera to provide high-resolution maps for tiger anti-poaching efforts in Malaysia, and for the National Park Service mapping glacier retreat in California and Alaska.  Jonathan holds an MSc. Degree in Geography from the University of Montana.

Natalia Merchan
Development Manager

Natalia Merchan joined HCSA as a Business Development consultant in 2020. She is responsible for fundraising in general and building relationships with new donors. Natalia has over 10 years of fundraising experience with foundations, major donors, institutional and corporate donors. Prior to joining HCSA, she worked with Greenpeace as a major gifts’ advisor raising funds for the forests campaign. She holds an MSc. in Environmental development from the University of Amsterdam. 

Jesús Cordero
Membership Outreach Manager

Jesús Cordero is our Membership Outreach Manager. He leads on the development and deployment of our Membership Strategy, coordinates the Membership Committee, and supports the development of the Membership Information Management System. Jesús has extensive experience with membership and communications management and innovations as well as promoting smallholders’ livelihoods in the tropics via sustainable land use management approaches. Jesús speaks English and Spanish, and he holds a degree in Forestry, an MSc. in Agroforestry (Cranfield University), an MSc. in Communications for Innovation and Development (University of Reading) and an M.A. in Translation Studies (University of Portsmouth). 

Joern Struwe
Senior Project Manager

Joern Struwe is the Senior Project Manager of the High Carbon Stock Approach.  He will be responsible for coordinating and supporting technical and quality assurance work related to the HCSA’s Simplified Approach for Smallholders, Social Requirements, Landscape Approaches, and overseeing the processing and coordinating the approval of HCSA’s trials. He has global experience related to the design and management of supply chain assurance and traceability projects, monitoring and evaluation of responsible procurement policies, forest management certifi-cation, and auditing.  He holds science degrees in Biology and Timber Sciences and Engineering from the University of Hamburg, Germany. 

Leslie Jewell
Communications Manager 

Leslie is responsible for managing the development and implementation of HCSA’s Communications and Marketing Strategy, internal and external communications, external events and engagements. Her background is journalism, starting as a reporter with BBC World Service Radio.  She moved into TV news, working in Russia, Ukraine and Central Asian Republics as BBC Moscow Bureau Producer and covered New York and Washington as North American Bureau Producer for Reuters.  Leslie’s experience in developing communications includes working with the NHS and The Open University in the UK.  She studied European Politics at Cardiff University and speaks French, Italian and basic Russian. 

Daneetha Muniandy
Quality Assurance Officer

Daneetha Muniandy joined the HCS Approach in 2020 as the Quality Assurance Officer.  She is responsible for supporting HCSA Grievance Mechanism Unit, HCSA trial applications and other HCSA QA work. Daneetha has experience in forest conservation and holds both, a diploma and degree in Forestry from University Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Anis Farhana Wahab
Administrative Officer

Anis Farhana Wahab is the Administrative Officer of the High Carbon Stock Approach.  She supports the HCSA Executive Director, HCSA Executive Committee and working groups on HCSA governance and priority workstreams. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Major in Biology with Minor in Psychology) from Carleton University.