About Verra

Board of Directors & Advisory Committees

Jump to Advisory Committees

Board of Directors

The Verra Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from a variety of sectors who bring their expertise and knowledge to the ongoing development of Verra. Working through a variety of sub-committees, Verra Board members oversee the finances of the organization, work closely with Verra staff to guide the direction of Verra, and are involved in specific strategic efforts.

Kenneth J. Markowitz, Chair

Ken Markowitz, an attorney, is the President of EarthPace LLC and senior consultant to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld. He advises leading public- and private-sector clients on a broad range of environmental and clean energy law, regulation, and policy issues, domestically and internationally. Mr. Markowitz has significant experience with compliance strategies and regulatory approaches to greenhouse gas mitigation and climate resilience, environmental markets, regulatory incentives, and good governance. He formerly served as the Managing Director of the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), the founding co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Clean Tech and Climate Change Committee, and as an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at The American University.

Yun Tao, Vice Chair

Tao brings rich experience in the fields of environmental protection, IT, investment, and big data. He worked as a senior manager in multinationals, Chinese state-owned, and public companies. He has also founded multiple start-ups, including Beijing ZBX Environmental Software Co. where he serves as CEO, to provide cap-and-trade and environmental asset management software in China. In addition to climate change issues, he is also interested in water usage allowances, garbage permits, and plastic reduction. Tao received his PhD in Ecology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

John Drexhage

John is a consultant on issues related to climate change, sustainable development and resource development working with the World Bank, among other organizations. He was actively involved in the UN-based post-2015 sustainable development negotiations. John formerly served as the climate change and energy management director with the International Council on Mining & Metals. He has also served as climate change and energy director for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Previously, John served as a senior negotiator with the Canadian government on international climate change negotiations and advised widely on regulatory systems ranging from domestic and international offset systems to carbon tax options. John brings to the board keen insight into the dynamics of international climate policy development and a dedication to linking environmental protection and economic development.

Dirk Forrister

Dirk is President and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). He previously served as managing director of Natsource, as a senior official with the U.S. Department of Energy and as energy program manager at Environmental Defense Fund. He also served as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton Administration. Dirk, an early contributor to U.S. climate change policy, brings to the Verra Board considerable skills and experience in energy policy and carbon markets.

Nathaniel Keohane

Nathaniel Keohane is a Vice President at Environmental Defense Fund, where he leads EDF’s International Climate program and helps to shape the organization’s advocacy for environmentally effective and economically sound climate policy. Nat’s areas of expertise include U.S. and international climate and energy policy, the economic impact of climate change, the benefits and costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the design and performance of cap-and-trade programs and other policy instruments. Previously, Nat served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment in the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council. Before joining the Administration, he directed economic policy and analysis at EDF, playing a lead role in the efforts to enact comprehensive cap-and-trade legislation in Congress. Prior to EDF, Nat was an Associate Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management.

Mark Kenber

Mark is CEO of Mongoose Energy, the UK’s largest developer and manager of community-owned renewable energy assets. Before joining Mongoose, Mark spent 12 years at international NGO The Climate Group, one of Verra’s founding organisations, with the last six as CEO. He brings to the board 20 years of experience on international climate and energy policy, having previously served as a senior policy officer of WWF’s international climate change programme working on emissions trading and international carbon markets, as planning director for Foundation Natura in Ecuador and climate change advisor to both the Ecuadorian government and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Ken Newcombe

Ken is CEO of C-Quest Capital and brings considerable carbon market expertise to the board. Ken led the World Bank’s work to establish the Prototype Carbon Fund, the first private-public fund to make significant investments in emission-reducing projects. He went on to manage the growth of eight carbon funds and to work for Climate Change Capital and Goldman Sachs. Ken brings to the board a breadth and depth of experience with all aspects of carbon market development, ranging from precise technical questions to broad conceptual issues.

Mandy Marilyn Rambharos

Mandy is the Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development for Eskom Holdings LTD SOC (Eskom), the national state-owned electricity utility of South Africa, and also represents Eskom at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the UN Global Compact.

Mandy started her career with Eskom in 1998 as a Graduate in Training and has held various positions within Eskom, including corporate specialist for climate change. She is currently the Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

In addition, Mandy serves as a specialist advisor to the South African government on energy and climate change-related issues, and is also a member of the South African delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), leading the Paris Agreement’s Article 6 negotiations for the country and co-leading  the African group.

Marc Stuart

Marc is founding managing director of Allotrope Partners and an original co-founder of EcoSecurities, one of the world’s largest developers of GHG reduction and removal projects. Marc brings to the board significant business development expertise and an in-depth technical understanding of the complexities of project development and the need for simplified and transparent procedures to enable large-scale investment.

Anne-Marie Warris

Anne-Marie has over 25 years’ experience in sustainable and environmental matters. She brings to the board experience related to verification, accreditation and management of programmes that provide verification and accreditation. Anne-Marie also helped lead the development of the first edition of the VCS Standards. She has been involved in the climate arena since 2000, serving on the Board of IETA, as chair of ETG (UK) Ltd and as UK expert to ISO GHG developments and expert to the IMO Expert Group on Market Based Measures in 2010. She was invited to give the Royal Academy of Engineering lecture in 2010 on the topic ‘A low carbon world – is it realistic?’ Her current foci are on four interlinked issues; renewable energy developments in relation to marine wave energy; maritime developments in relation to MRV at IMO and EU level; chairing and guiding developments of environmental management standards at ISO level; ISO development in relation to MRV standards in the GHG and environmental arenas.


Advisory Committees

VCS Program requirements are drafted in collaboration with global experts and subjected to peer review and public consultation before being approved for use by the Verra Board. This open approach ensures VCS Program requirements combine state-of-the-art knowledge with global good practice, and it prevents any one organization or scientific viewpoint from gaining undue influence. Experts from organizations around the world, including the CDM Meth Panel, the World Bank and leading non-profit and private sector organizations, join VCS Program expert committees.

Climate, Community & Biodiversity Steering Committee

The Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Steering Committee is responsible for the governance, strategic direction and ongoing development of the CCB Standards, ensuring that they stimulate and promote land management activities that credibly mitigate global climate change, improve the wellbeing and reduce the poverty of local communities, and conserve biodiversity. The CCB Steering Committee comprises representatives of each Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) member organization and is co-chaired by Verra and the CCBA Secretariat.

Read more about the CCB Standards.

AFOLU Steering Committee

The Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use sector (AFOLU) Steering Committee began work in 2007 to develop requirements for crediting land-based projects that curb emissions or sequester carbon. The committee’s work has made the VCS Program a leader in crediting new project types and approaches in the AFOLU sector and a top global standard for crediting avoided deforestation projects. Today the committee is an integral part of the VCS Program that continues to guide work in the AFOLU sector. Committee members are currently advising the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD initiative as well as rules to credit new AFOLU project types. AFOLU Steering Committee members.

Read more about current AFOLU initiatives

AFOLU Technical Working Groups

AFOLU Technical Working Groups are convened to refine or develop AFOLU requirements for the VCS Program. Technical Working Groups and members.

Read more about current AFOLU initiatives.

Advisory Committee on Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+

An Advisory Committee was convened in February 2011 to provide strategic input for development of the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) initiative. The initiative gathered input from advisory committee members and technical experts to create guidelines and criteria for the integrated, jurisdiction-wide accounting and crediting of REDD+ projects, policies and programs. Advisory Committee members.

Read more about the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD initiative

Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ Leakage and Non-Permanence Working Groups

Working groups were convened in January 2013 to focus on the development of tools for JNR programs to manage leakage and assess non-permanence risk of carbon stocks. Working Group members.

Read more about the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD initiative.

Steering Committee on Standardized Methods for Baselines and Additionality

An expert steering committee was convened in October 2010 to create guidelines for developing standardized methods for determining baselines and additionality, notably performance methods (or benchmarks) and activity methods (or positive lists). Steering Committee members.

Read more about Standardized Methods

AFOLU Expert Assessment Panel

An AFOLU Expert Assessment Panel was established in 2009 to review the qualifications of potential AFOLU experts. AFOLU assessment panel members review the qualifications of AFOLU experts and recommend candidates to the VCS Program.

AFOLU Expert Assessment Panel members

VVB Working Group

A working group comprised of representatives from validation/verification bodies (VVBs) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was convened in 2011 to provide input on development of the Validation and Verification Manual. The manual is intended to support VVBs and help enhance the quality and transparency of Verra projects.

VVB Working Group

Verra Steering Committee

The original Verra Steering Committee of 19 global carbon market experts was established in 2006 and worked for more than a year to develop the first VCS Standard. The Steering Committee convened seven technical working groups to address specific topics, including governance, additionality, validation and verification, registry systems, forestry and land use, performance standards and general policy issues. Verra Steering Committee members

Compensation Mechanism Steering Committee

A Compensation Mechanism Steering Committee was established in 2009 to explore ways to incentivize the development of new, streamlined and broadly applicable methodologies. The steering committee developed a unique mechanism to reward Verra methodology developers when others use their work. Today Verra rebates 20 percent of the levy on every VCU issued to methodology developers when a project uses the methodology they developed. This establishes a real incentive for methodology developers to create new, broadly applicable approaches to curbing GHG emissions.

Compensation Mechanism Steering Committee members

Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard Development Advisory Committee

A multi-stakeholder group convened in September 2017 to provide strategic input and guidance on the content of the standard. Read more about SD VISta and the members of this advisory committee.