WWF and GCF: Meet Our Team

Lucas Black

Vice President, Climate Finance

Lucas joined WWF in 2021 as Vice President of Climate Finance, where he leads his team in the design and implementation of innovative financial structures and projects that strive to produce high-quality outcomes for climate, nature, and people in priority WWF landscapes. Lucas also co-manages WWF’s Nature-based Solutions Origination Platform and oversees the organization’s engagement as an accredited entity for the GCF. Lucas brings more than twenty-five years of hands-on experience in blended finance in both the public and private sectors, spending the twelve years prior to joining WWF working in various roles for the United Nations Development Program’s Nature, Climate and Energy Team. Lucas holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University.

Sean Foden

Senior Program Officer, Green Climate Fund

Originally from South Africa, Sean joined WWF’s GCF AE Team in 2021. As a Senior Program Officer, he is responsible for providing guidance on the application of GCF policies, procedures, and tools for the development of transformative climate change projects using a variety of financial instruments. He also ensures that compliance of these projects and programs are within WWF and GCF standards. With a background in geography and environmental sciences, Sean’s main interests lie in climate change adaptation, social sustainability and inclusion, and environmental protection. Sean holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Stellenbosch University. 


John-Paul (JP) Jaudel

Lead Project Developer

A dual French and American national, JP joined WWF in 2018. Prior to working at WWF, he led the Wildlife Conservation Society’s carbon markets program. JP has over 12 years of experience developing and implementing projects for donor and multilateral agencies including the GCF, USAID, and the World Bank in the areas of climate change adaptation, climate finance, climate smart agriculture, forestry, and freshwater conservation. JP holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Planning and Climate Change Management from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Danielle Lien

Lead, Green Climate Fund Relations

Originally from Southern California, Danielle has been with WWF since 2018. Prior to joining WWF, she worked at Conservation International. Through both organizations, she has worked in partnership with the GCF since 2015. Danielle has led and participated in several first-of-their-kind initiatives and programs throughout her career and has experience with project management, operations, donor relations, policy tools, and climate change, environmental, and social safeguarding. She holds a Master of Arts in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development with a focus on environmental policy from Hawai’i Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of San Diego. Danielle is especially passionate about gender equity and environmental justice.

Shagai Mandakhbayar

Senior Program Officer, Green Climate Fund

Shagai, a native of Mongolia, joined the GCF AE team in 2023. She previously worked at the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia, a direct access entity of the GCF, on the organization's accreditation application. Shagai has experience in environmental and social risk management and sustainability in the financial sector. Shagai holds a Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability Management from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Management from the University of Finance and Economics in Mongolia.

Kamilla Zakirova

Program Officer, Green Climate Fund

Originally from Uzbekistan, Kamilla joined the GCF AE team in 2023. Prior to WWF, she worked with the UNDP’s Green Commodities Program and the World Bank’s Agriculture and Food Global Practice, supporting projects on climate smart agriculture and sustainable food systems. Her experience also includes supporting civil society initiatives and combating human trafficking in Central Asia. Kamilla is a co-founder of the American Uzbekistan Association, which focuses on supporting the Uzbek diaspora in the US and fostering collaboration between Uzbekistan and the United States. She received her Master of Science in Global Human Development from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where she specialized in climate change, agricultural sustainability, and food security.