Managing Director at Sall Family Foundation - US
Living in California, United States
Born and raised in one of the largest cities in the world, São Paulo, Brazil, Marina witnessed poverty, injustice, and environmental degradation up close all her life. This experience shaped her life trajectory and commitment to working towards a more just and sustainable world. She has over 25 years of experience in biodiversity conservation, conservation finance, climate change, indigenous people, and protected areas in the tropical forests of Central and South America, especially in the Brazilian Amazon.
Having worked in the philanthropic sector for almost a decade, she is currently the Managing Director at the Sall Family Foundation, supporting local leaders and creative organizations working on the intersection of climate, health, and community resilience. Before working in the philanthropic sector, Marina has worked as a policymaker, professor, and researcher while living in the Brazilian Amazon for 11 years, and spearheaded the first country payment program for environmental services in 2008. With her academic training in both natural and social sciences, she believes that solutions to humanity’s big problems should incorporate the participation of the most impacted people at the local level. Consequently, much of her work has been dedicated to empowering local leaders to advocate solutions to their communities challenges and opportunities. Putting decision-making authority at the frontlines, in the hands of those who will live with the consequences, good or bad, is critical to creating transformative and lasting positive change. She received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology from the University of São Paulo and a PhD from the Yale School of Environment with a joint degree with the New York Botanical Garden. She currently lives in Palo Alto, CA.