GRP Secretariat

The GRP Secretariat is small team that convenes and catalyses actions by the Partners and implements specific activities on behalf of the Partnership. The Secretariat is hosted at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at Stockholm University. 


Deon Nel, CEO,

Deon is the CEO of the Global Resilience Partnership. Previously, he held the position of Executive Director for Conservation at WWF International, where he played a leading role in the strategic refocus of WWF’s global conservation programme across more than 100 countries. Deon is a South African by nationality and previous roles include Director of Conservation for WWF’s Africa Programme as well Conservation Director in WWF South Africa. He also led the Ecosystems and Water Competency Areas at South Africa’s national Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He holds a PhD in Ecology, a Masters degree in Conservation Biology, a Masters Environmental Law and a Masters in Business Administration


Nathanial (Nate) Matthews, Program Director,

Nate leads the technical element of GRP’s offering. He provides oversight and leadership into GRP’s Challenge competitions and projects and oversees the technical work streams including: Markets and Innovative Financing, Technology and Infrastructure and Policy. Previously, he was Global Research Coordinator at the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems and held various positions in the water sector and private sector. He has also been an advisor and consultant to a wide range of organizations, including McKinsey and Company, UNEP, UNDP, WB, UNESCO, WWF, SIWI and Oxfam. Nate holds a PhD in Geography from King’s College London. He is also Senior Visiting Fellow at King’s College London, a Visiting Fellow at the University of East Anglia Water Security Centre and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

Twitter: @Nate_Matthews_


David Howlett, Head of Policy,

David leads GRP’s work on policy and investment into resilience. He has over thirty-five years’ experience in development in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. He has worked for national governments and international organisations including the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). At DFID he led on climate resilient agriculture managing DFID’s support to IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme and where he designed the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extreme Disasters (BRACED) programme. David has an academic background in chemistry, soil sciences, agriculture and environmental management.

Anastasia Brainich, Policy 

Simone Verkaart, Design and Impact Lead,

As Design and Impact lead, Simone manages the design, operationalization and implementation of the Global Resilience Partnership’s programme wide monitoring, evaluation and learning activities.  Previously, she worked at ICRISAT in Nairobi and the evaluation department of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She holds a PhD in Development Economics from Wageningen University and has a background in Development Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Business Studies.


Jesper Hörnberg, Lead of Infrastructure, Technology, and the GRP

Jesper’s focus is on change management and creative disruption. He manages and coordinates a small team of experts form various fields. He provides oversight and leadership for GRP’s work on developing, improving, and scaling initiatives by the GRP grantees as well as external initiatives and ideas. He is the co-founder of a few businesses. He has held various positions in the development sector and private sector and has been an adviser and consultant to a wide range of organisations and companies. Jesper holds an MBA from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne. 

Maya Rebermark, Head of Communications, 

Ida Gabrielsson, Communications Officer,

Ida works with both internal and external communication for GRP. She updates the website and assists with coordinating events. Ida previously worked as a communications and impact officer on the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) funded project: Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystem Services. She holds an MSc in Environmental Communication from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University (GW).

Emma Ludvigsson, GRP/GRAID programme coordinator,

Emma works closely with the GRP & GRAID programme management, as well as with the administration team on programme coordination, administration and financials. She previously worked with private sector collaboration for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). She was working both in the project management for the network Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development, and administrating the programme Innovations Against Poverty, which supports local entrepreneurs in developing countries. Emma has a Master Degree in International Politics from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Economics from School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University.