Staff Biographies

Find below the biographies of some of our staff available for speaking engagements and interviews.

Jane Madgwick, Chief Executive Officer

Jane has a BSc in Human and Environmental Biology (York) and a MSc in Conservation (University College London). She has worked in ecology and conservation for around 25 years. Jane became CEO of Wetlands International in March 2004.

As CEO, Jane leads an international team to promote and demonstrate the role of wetlands management in sustainable development through a network of 20 offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. In the past few years, the organisation has grown significantly and greatly increased its visibility and impact in the field of community-based environmental management and poverty reduction.

This position follows 7 years working internationally for WWF’s Living Waters Programme, mobilising policies and strategies to conserve and restore freshwater and wetlands; 9 years as Conservation Director of a multiple use wetland in the UK, and an early career as an ecological researcher working principally in the UK, Somalia and Australia. She established and directed the WWF Freshwater Programme for Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, coordinating a multi-cultural team of 26 officers and NGO partners across the European continent. This programme was highly influential concerning the EU Water Framework Directive, EU and corporate mining policies and major infrastructure schemes in southern and eastern Europe affecting water and wetlands.

Working for WWF in Australia, Jane served on the Water Resources Board and Natural Resource Management Board for Western Australia. In Australia, Jane led the development of innovative NGO, corporate and government partnerships and programmes to tackle critical water and natural resource management issues in the biologically outstanding ecoregions of Australia’s north and west.


Janneke Badon Ghijben (temporary)
Executive Assistant

Josje Reinartz, Chief Operations Officer

Since January 2012, Josje Reinartz is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Wetlands International, based in the Netherlands Head Office. Together with CEO Jane Madgwick she forms the Management Board of the Foundation. She manages the administrative parts of the organisation (Finances, Administration, Secretariat, Human Resources, Organisational Development).

Josje has many years of experience at the Dutch branch of Medicins Sans Frontières. For this organisation, she worked in Mozambique, Malawi, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, North and South Sudan, Angola, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Netherlands.

Starting as logistician and Water and Sanitation officer, Josje became country coordinator in the field and later Operational Director in Amsterdam. From 2009 to 2011, Josje worked in Tanzania for Sibusiso Foundation as director of a rehabilitation centre for mentally disabled children. She has an educational background in Industrial Technology Engineering (Bachelor), Public Health (Master). Josje aims to help Wetlands International grow to its full potential.

Marcel Silvius - Wetlands & Livelihoods

Marcel Silvius Programme Head Climate Smart Land Use. He has a Dutch Judicium Cum Laude Doctorandus degree (equivalent to MSc) in Nature Conservation from the Agricultural University of Wageningen and in Biology and Tropical Soil Sciences from the State University of Utrecht. He speaks five languages: Dutch, English, German, French and Bahasa Indonesian. 

Marcel started his international career in 1983-1986 with studies of peat swamp and tropical coastal ecosystems and waterbirds in Indonesia and Malaysia. He founded the largest country programme of Wetlands International in Indonesia in 1986 – 1992. Marcel has considerable experience in development of integrated wetland conservation and sustainable development programmes, strategic planning and fundraising.

His work has included considerable liaising with international agencies and the donor community. In the early 1990s, as Technical Programme Director of the Asian Wetland Bureau, he spear-headed and supported the establishment of other sub-regional programmes and offices of the organisation in Thailand, Cambodia (Mekong) and China. He has been involved in developing multi-sectoral national wetland action plans in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, China and the Russian Federation. In the late 1990s, as the Head of Sub-regional Programmes, he spearheaded and supervised the establishment and programme development of our offices in the Russian Federation, Ukraine (Black Sea) and West Africa and managed the Central European Peatlands Project.

Since 2001 Marcel has been the Senior Programme Manager of our Wetlands and Livelihoods Programme, and has developed and supervised the implementation of the Global Peatland Initiative, Partners for Wise Use of Wetlands, Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Programme, the Central Kalimantan Peatlands Project and the new Wetlands and Livelihoods Programme (2009-2010). He has published over 50 scientific articles and reports.

Ward Hagemeijer, Corporate Relations Manager

Ward Hagemeijer is the Corporate Relations Manager for Wetlands International since 2000, based in Headquarters in Ede, the Netherlands. He is also the Relationship Manager for the Shell - Wetlands International Partnership.

Trained as an ecologist (Ornithology and Aquatic Ecology) at Nijmegen and Groningen Universities in the Netherlands, Ward has a wealth of experience in applied conservation, biodiversity assessments, monitoring and policy advice, increasingly based on the ecosystem approach, reflecting nearly 25 years of work in this field.

After working for two years on impact assessments at the provincial government level in the Netherlands, he joined a Dutch ornithological NGO, where he led the Research and International Department for 10 years, gathering, analysing and providing information for policy making at various levels of scale, and increasingly at international level. His move to Wetlands International in 2000 allowed a further broadening of his international horizon and shifted his focus from a pure taxonomic group approach to the wider context of wetland ecosystems and the ecosystem approach.

Ward has a senior position with Wetlands International and knows the organisation and its network of offices and expertise very well. He has been through its different levels of expansion and expertise development over the years. He actively participated in shaping the strategy of the organization, including the development of the strategic partnership with Shell.

Contact: Ward.Hagemeijer @


Chris Baker, Wetlands & Water Resources

Chris Baker is the Programme Head Water Resources Management at Wetlands International. He has a PhD in wetland nitrogen dynamics and functioning from University of Exeter, UK and a BSc in Geography from University College London. Since then he has pursued his passion for wetland science and conservation. Over the last 10 years he has worked for Wetlands International and previous to this with the Wetlands Ecosystems Research Group in the Royal Holloway Institute for Environmental Research, University of London.

As Programme Head Water Resources Management, Chris coordinates an international team that aims to bring wetlands and their services into the everyday planning and management of water resources. He believes this is the best way to ensure that biodiversity and the livelihoods' of dependent communities are maintained in balance with other water uses.

Since joining Wetlands International he has played several different roles, including leading project development, acting as European focal point and his current focus as Head of Programme and Strategy for wetlands and water resources management. In so doing he has involved himself in the development and implementation of some of the organisations foremost work.

Most notably, he led the development of the UNEP-GEF Wings Over Wetland project, co-developed the DGIS funded Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Programme, both ground-breaking and innovative projects in the Wetlands International portfolio. As focal point for the organisation’s work in Europe, he has overseen and supported the development and implementation of projects and programmes in Ukraine, the Black Sea Region and the Russian Federation. In recent years he has developed his leadership in the field of water resources and wetlands supporting and coordinating the development of programmes in Mali, South Asia and West Africa.

Contact: Chris.Baker @


Biography of Taej Mundkur, Programme Manager Flyways

Taej Mundkur finished his Masters in Microbiology from Pune University in India. He then switched to his real passion of birds and completed a PhD in waterbird ecology from Saurashtra University, Rajkot in west India.

He has started his career with Wetlands International in Malaysia (then Asian Wetland Bureau) in 1990 where he was responsible for coordination of the Asian Waterbird Census, involving 1000s of volunteers across the region. Taej has spearheaded the development and coordination of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy – the largest international cooperation framework for migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the region between 1996 and 2006. He has served as Regional Director of Asian Wetland Bureau managing its offices for a few years. Read more...

Contact: Taej.mundkur @

Marie-José Vervest, Progr. Manager Livelihoods

Marie-José received her MSc in Social Sciences with specialism ‘Development Studies’ from the Third World Centre, Nijmegen University in 1985. She has taken several post-doc environmental and ‘Management of not-for-profit organisations’ courses.

She has worked for many years in the environmental sector, as a consultant, project manager and program coordinator, to mobilize resources, deliver trainings & facilitate capacity building, support policy & advocacy campaigns and coordinate programs on ecosystem restoration and management. Building local capacities and creating multi stakeholder environments to enhance linkages between nature conservation and poverty reduction is key in her work.

Between 1992 – 2000, Marie-José worked with Both ENDS (Environment and Development service for NGOs) as Coordinator of the Asia programme and the last few years as director ai. She joined Wetlands International mid-2005 as manager of Green Coast, a partnership initiative with IUCN, WWF & Both ENDS, led by Wetlands International, restoring damaged coastal ecosystems and livelihoods in coastal areas which were affected by the December 2004 tsunami.

In 2009-2010, Marie-José managed the Wetlands & Livelihoods Program, implemented in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to promote wetlands values and services in climate change adaptation approaches, with an additional focus on enhancing the capacities of policy makers and practitioners to deal with the topic of climate change adaptation.

Contact: marie-jose.vervest @