NCG member The Christensen Fund announced the appointment of Dr. Sanjay Kabir Bavikatte as the foundation's next Executive Director. He will take begin at the foundation's headquarters in San Francisco near the end of the year.
“We have found a stellar new Executive Director who is passionate about our mission and is a recognized thought leader,” said Atossa Soltani, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “The stewards of biocultural diversity have a proven and brilliant ally in Sanjay, someone who has been deeply engaged with the struggles of Indigenous Peoples at multiple levels around the world.”
Dr. Bavikatte has long practiced as an environmental lawyer focusing on the rights of Indigenous and local communities to their territories and cultures and is a pioneer in the development and application of Biocultural Community Protocols, conceived to enable Indigenous populations to engage on their own terms with external actors. Dr. Bavikatte has acted as the legal advisor to the African Group of countries through their negotiations towards the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and within the Working Group on Article 8j. He has advised the governments of South Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia, India, Bhutan, Micronesia and Palau on developing environmental law and policy with a focus on community rights.
“I am delighted with the hire of Sanjay and the new approaches that he will add to the Christensen Fund as it opens its next chapter,” said Diane Christensen, President of the Board of Trustees. “As we continue with our commitment to support creative bottom-up change and Indigenous stewardship, we now look forward to new excitement as Sanjay joins our leadership.”