Who are we

Our people are the driving force behind our Foundation. Of course there are countless volunteers and contributors to all the various projects we have done, there are over one hundred thousand students who have passed through our education programs and participated in our educational events, but we function effectively through a small dedicated core team.

Embedded as we are in the West Cork community where we are headquartered means that the whole community has at some point or another offered us practical support and important encouragement
throughout the last 20 years. Although our work stretches all over the country and beyond, our home community are very much part of who we are.

Board of Directors

At the heart of our Foundation is our Board of Directors and our Honorary Director, Julienne Ramsauer.
The board includes our founder Ian Wright.

  • Olive Finn – Chair, business owner of The Olive Branch.
  • Janine Murphy – Secretary,
  • Deborah Davies – Active community member, professional
  • Gemma Keeling – Trinity College Dublin Undergraduate
  • Ian Wright – International conservationist, Artist

Julienne has supported the Foundation throughout our most challenging times, and was there to ensure that we didn’t cease to exist when our funding structures were still immature. Her husband Richard has been instrumental in shaping our environmental policies on forestry in particular, where his expertise has been essential in our initial focus on changing the Irish state forestry program.

Core Team

Cillian Lohan – CEO. Cillian started at the Foundation as a volunteer, then became Project Development Officer, and since 2014 has been our CEO. He has a B.Sc and M.Sc in Environmental Science and is internationally recognised as an expert in the fields of Climate and Sustainability with a specific focus on Circular Economy. He is a diplomatic appointee to the European Economic and Social Committee, a consultative body of the EU institutions.

Nikki Keeling – Project Manager. Nikki has been with the Foundation since the beginning, first working occasionally on the education program and giving guided walks. She is a well respected Ecologist and often the glue holding the many different collaborative projects together. Nikki lives in West Cork and has been leading on bringing other community networks together under the support, guidance and advice of GEF.

Imogen Rabone – Trees on the Land. Imogen approached us ten years ago with an ambitious idea to plant a million trees in Ireland. Since then she has become an essential part of the team and has led our Trees on the Land project, in 2023 we will pass the landmark of having planted 2 million trees with this project.

We are also a member of the Irish Environmental Network, a network of Irish environmental NGOs.