Panel & Secretariat

STAP Secretary

Chris Whaley is a senior policy advisor with extensive experience of global agreements on climate change, biodiversity, chemicals, forestry, and sustainable development, working in the U.K., EU, internationally, as a diplomat and in the UN system.

At the U.K. Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, Chris was Head of EU and International responsible for leadership and guidance on international environmental and sustainable development policy, including agriculture, food security, climate change, biodiversity, water, oceans, and sustainable consumption and production (2006-2015). He was a member of the U.K. team negotiating Sustainable Development Goals.

Chris is a former STAP Secretary (2003-05).

From 1997 to 2001, Chris was Counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington DC, representing the U.K. on...

Programme Officer

Guadalupe Duron is Program Officer at the Secretariat of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She joined the STAP Secretariat in 2002. Her main tasks included managing a database of experts on environmental issues, and assisting STAP organize expert meetings to develop technical and policy advice for the GEF. Most recently, she began to work specifically on GEF sustainable land management activities. In doing so, she supports STAP to develop and deliver strategic advice for the GEF land degradation portfolio. She also supports STAP’s work on cross-cutting topics, such as land use and climate change. Guadalupe holds a Master of Science Degree in Development Studies with a focus on Agriculture, Environment, and Development from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.


Programme Officer

Virginia Gorsevski comes to the STAP Secretariat with nearly two decades of experience working in the field of conservation and climate change in the United States and in developing countries. As a Programme Officer in the STAP Secretariat, Virginia is responsible for managing the biodiversity portfolio which includes developing practical guidance on issues related to protected area management and the illegal trade in wildlife. Prior to joining STAP, Virginia worked as a Program Manager at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop projects and programs aimed at mitigating climate change through energy efficiency and renewable energy.

More recently she turned her focus toward monitoring land cover and land use change using satellite...

Programme Officer

Sunday Leonard joined the STAP Secretariat in May 2017 as the Program Officer responsible for climate change mitigation, adaptation, chemicals and waste management and their integrated linkage to natural resource management and sustainable development. His overarching interest is to bridge the science-policy gap in these fields by providing policymakers at all levels with the information needed to make informed decisions.

Before joining STAP, Sunday worked as the Science Programs Officer for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition which is hosted at UN Environment’s Office in Paris, France, where he was responsible for providing scientific and technical support to the Coalitions initiatives on climate change mitigation and ensuring the scientific credibility of the Coalition’s activities.

Before that, he was a Program...

Programme Assistant

Robin began working with UNEP in 1997, supporting the Division of Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Liaison Office, located in Washington, DC. Since 2002, she has been providing support on office administration and programmatic matters to the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Besides providing local administrative and financial support, Robin works collaboratively with colleagues at UNEP Headquarters, as well as with those at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to manage the contracting, financial, and procurement needs of STAP. She also manages and organizes logistical needs for all global STAP meetings.  

Robin has more than 25 years of experience in office administration, finance, logistical arrangements and procurement.