Research and Professional Interests
Kelly is currently the Agriculture and Climate Change Officer at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). This post is part of the Joint Associate Professional Officer Program between IICA and the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service. Kelly spent 2012 in Sierra Leone working with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to develop a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) project in the Gola Rainforest National Park. The project will help conserve the park and its important biodiversity, while improving the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers that live in communities bordering the park. Previously she worked for several years in the Field Programs Division of Conservation International in a variety of technical and managerial roles. Kelly's primary interests are at the nexus of international conservation and development and include climate change adaptation, strengthening the use of indigenous and traditional knowledge in natural resource management and learning how to ensure projects and programs are suitable for the local socio-economic and cultural context. Kelly holds a dual Master's Degree in Natural Resources and International Affairs with a concentration in Sustainable Development from American University and the University for Peace in Costa Rica. She has undergraduate degrees in biology and anthropology from Franklin & Marshall College. She is fluent in Spanish.
Kelly Witkowski, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, biodiversity