Ruben has a background in human rights, multilateral diplomacy, and responsible business. He joined the RSPO in August 2021 to lead the market transformation division for Europe, Middle East & Africa. He has both the supply and the demand side of the value chain within his remit and engages with members, policymakers, and other stakeholders to promote sustainable palm oil production and uptake. He is also a highly experienced moderator and speaker on various sustainability topics.
Ruben uses his broad international personal experience, as a Colombian born, Indonesian bred, Dutchman living in Sweden, and professional background to connect with stakeholders throughout the sustainable palm oil value chain.
At the RSPO, HS leads the Impacts and MEL unit, which holds the responsibilities of measuring, monitoring, validating and narrating the RSPO’s outcomes and impacts, while ensuring that the RSPO operates, as a whole, at the highest level of efficiency, cohesion and integrity with a unified data architecture and knowledge base. HS is a trained economist and a data scientist, using data and insights to ‘connect the dots’ to deliver low-level troubleshooting and broad, high-level strategic analysis to drive the RSPO’s vision of transforming markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm forward. Prior to his role at the RSPO, HS worked in global consultancy roles focusing on the oil, natural gas and new energy sector. He offsets his career by volunteering time at the Singapore Zoo and social organisations.
Ms. Lim Sian Choo joined Bumitama in 2011 as Group Head of Corporate Secretarial Services and Corporate Social Responsibility. She has been designated as Chief Sustainability Officer of Bumitama Group since May 2020. Sian Choo is actively involved in various working groups of the RSPO and is the co-chair of the Complaints Panel and the Standards Standing Committee.
Sian Choo obtained her Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand and is also a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.
Melissa Thomas is Senior Director of Sustainable Palm Oil at Conservation International. Melissa and her team work closely with companies, NGOs and other industry initiatives as well as stakeholders to ensure that investments in sustainable palm oil supply chains contribute to positive benefits for people and nature. Melissa has more than seventeen years’ experience working with companies on sustainability issues, including agricultural supply chains, commodity standards and certification, and due diligence and risk management.
Lou is the Author of Lights On, a weekly newsletter. Previously, she has worked as an environment correspondent for Bloomberg in Delhi and a freelance science writer for the BBC, Undark, Nature News, New Scientist and more. She holds master's degrees in Semiotics from the University of Bologna in Italy and Science Journalism from City University London.
Alejandra has been based in Mexico City since 2018 and has worked in Colombia, Chile, Haiti and the United States. She writes articles and produces videos on various topics related to the environment and China's influence in Latin America.
Abdul is based in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he works as a broadcaster, editor, journalism trainer/mentor, multimedia producer and freelance writer.
Francisco has been part of the RSPO Secretariat since November 2014. Since joining the RSPO team, he has led the RSPO´s sustainability initiative in Latin America, making it the leading sustainability region globally, with more than 35% of palm oil certified under the RSPO standards.
In 2015, he created the RSPO Consultative Group (GCAL), in which the main actors of the palm oil industry in the region participate in a balanced manner. This group has become the main forum for discussion and the generation of proposals to promote sustainable palm oil production in Latin America.
His last position before joining RSPO was as executive director of the National Association of Oil Palm Growers of Ecuador (ANCUPA) where for five years he promoted sustainable palm oil production in Ecuador, as well as developed a wide network of contacts in the palm oil industry in Latin America.
Francisco graduated as a Civil Engineer from the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador and later obtained a Master's degree in Environmental Management from the San Francisco University in Quito.
Manuel is a specialist in labour law of agricultural workers and indigenous peoples working in oil palm plantations. He has been a defender of Human Rights and Indigenous Populations for many years and participated in the construction of the Peace Agreement related to the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Socioeconomic Situation in Guatemala. He has also participated in activities related to the Resettlement Agreement for Uprooted Populations. Manuel has knowledge in processes of Dialogue and Political Advocacy.
Dedy is the SBT Engagement Manager for Southeast Asia and Oceania. He focuses on the development of regional corporate engagement and strategic collaboration to bring more uptakes in the region. In his previous role, Dedy managed the implementation of SBT achievement through conservation projects on the ground with Lestari Capital. He also led the research and engagement of SBT in Southeast Asia at the World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia and acted as the liaison for the region. Dedy earned a Master of Science in Environment and Energy Engineering from Kyungpook National University, South Korea.
Dr. Puah Chiew Wei is the Director of Strategy and Policy, Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC). She graduated from University of Malaya, Malaysia with a Bachelor of Science (Major in Applied Chemistry and Minor in Statistics) and Ph.D. in Chemistry. She has more than 20 years of working experience in the Malaysian oil palm industry.
Previously, Dr. Puah served as Minister at the Embassy of Malaysia and Mission of Malaysia to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, concurrently as the Regional Manager (Europe) of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) from September 2017 to June 2022. She was the Head of Sustainability and Climate Change Centre, MPOB (2013 to 2016) and Leader of Sustainability and Climate Change Group, MPOB (2009 – 2013). She was seconded to the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Malaysia from November 2008 to March 2011, particularly for the implementation of the biodiesel programme in Malaysia.
Carl Bek-Nielsen commenced his career with United Plantations Bhd in 1993 as a Cadet Planter before obtaining his degree in Agricultural Science from the Royal Veterinary and Agriculture University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1997 he returned to resume his career as a Corporate Affairs Officer with United Plantations Bhd. Today, he holds the position of Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Director of United Plantations Bhd as well as Director In-Charge of Unitata Bhd, Malaysia’s first inland refinery complex. He is involved in several aspects of the Palm Oil Industry and the Group’s overall business operations, adopting a very "hands-on" approach.
In May 2008 he was conferred the title Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak - (D.P.M.P) (order of the Commander) by His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Sultan Azlan Shah (the late Sultan of Perak) which carries the title Dato’.
On 21st April 2021 Her Majesty Queen Margrethe the II of Denmark appointed Dato’ Carl Bek-Nielsen as the Honorary Consul General of Denmark to Kuala Lumpur & Putrajaya and Honorary Consul General in Perak, covering Perak, Selangor, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, & Terengganu.
He has presented several papers at various international and local conferences on issues relating to Sustainable Palm Oil production and Agriculture in general.