Nicole Leotaud, CANARI’s Executive Director, has 20 years of experience working in natural resource management across the Caribbean. She joined CANARI in 2005 and has been Executive Director since 2010, acting before that as Senior Technical Officer and then Programmes Manager. Nicole is responsible for ensuring the mission and strategic objectives adopted by the CANARI Partnership are met. She also manages the day-to-day operations of the Institute and serves as its primary spokesperson. Nicole has successfully written proposals for and managed several large multi-country projects in the region and is currently leading CANARI’s Green Economy, Coastal and Marine Livelihoods and Governance and Rural Livelihoods  Programmes.  She is also the resident expert in participatory evaluation and is conducting research and capacity building under several other Programmes and projects.

Nicole is an expert facilitator who specialises in using creative techniques to engage stakeholders in fun experiences that encourage them to share their ideas. She has successfully facilitated many multi-stakeholder processes for CANARI, including some that involved managing conflict among stakeholders with very different backgrounds, interests and perspectives. Nicole has also conducted training in facilitating participatory processes and organisational strengthening.

Nicole is passionate about building the capacity of poor and marginalised rural communities across the Caribbean to effectively participate in decision-making. Her desire is to see civil society playing a strong role in natural resource management and sustainable development, effective pan-Caribbean sharing and collaboration, and a strong Caribbean voice in international processes.

Nicole is committed to lifelong personal learning, which is reflected in her favourite quote (often attributed to Charles Darwin): “It is not the strongest … that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Nicole dreams of the day when she will be fluent in Spanish and French so she will be able to interact effectively with more Caribbean people in their native language. She is building her skills and experience in using participatory video as a facilitation tool and in innovative approaches to participatory monitoring and evaluation.

Nicole has an MSc. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, 1996; and a BSc. in Zoology and Botany, University of the West Indies St Augustine, Trinidad, 1991.