Leanne has 25 years of experience designing and coordinating the successful delivery of projects all over the world in the Pacific, Caribbean, and Southeast Asia, including tracking the implementation of projects to drive successful outcomes. She has a background in natural resource management (community-based conservation and livelihoods), disaster risk management, and adaptation and resilience.
Leanne has worked with a range of government, multi-lateral donor, regional development, local government, and non-government organizations. She has worked as a strategic and reserves planner for the New Zealand Department of Conservation; a Community Development Officer in the Preah Sihanouk UNDP national park project in Cambodia; and spent half her working life working with the UNDP Global Environment Facility (GEF) on the large and Small Grants Programmes (SGP). Initially with the SGP in the Eastern Caribbean, later in the Pacific with co-financing from NZ MFAT and Australia DFAT, and subsequently managing the introduction and implementation of climate change adaptation funding for all SIDS eligible for SGP grants. Leanne has also worked as part of the three-person project management unit for the GEF/SOPAC Integrated Water Resource Management programme in the Pacific. She has also worked on the EU-funded Caribbean Regional Environment Programme establishing amenity areas including design and participatory monitoring frameworks as well as conducting regular monitoring during implementation.
As Senior International Programmes Manager for Disaster Risk Management, Climate Change Adaptation & Humanitarian Response in the Pacific and South Asia, administered by Save the Children New Zealand (SCNZ), Leanne co-designed projects, co-developed monitoring frameworks, conducted regular monitoring and reporting, and facilitated mid-term reviews and external evaluations for SCNZ’s resilience programming. She represented SCNZ on the National Disaster Relief Forum (2016 & 2020); represented SCNZ on the SC International Global DRR technical working group; Pacific DRR technical working group; Asia Regional Office Climate Change DRR technical working group; and the MFAT NZ DRR Working Group. She currently leads monitoring and evaluation for the MFAT Africa Geothermal Facility to ensure the Facility meets targets and advises sub-contractors on developing aligned impact measurement frameworks.
Her experience in the Pacific includes work in Fiji, Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands, among others. She has worked from the policy/government to the NGO, CSO and community level and is an advocate of approaches that build local capability and foster local leadership and engagement at all levels.
Leanne has experience in the local context of climate change on Tuvalu: she served as the lead consultant in the Early Warning Early Action project by the IFRC Climate Center 2021 - 2022, conducting research, working with local research teams (remotely), and producing final reports for Tuvalu and Palau. She has also supported Tuvalu counterparts in her regional coordination roles on the GEF IWRM project, GEF SGP, and MFAT Pacific Environment Fund. Leanne understands the reality of human resource limitations within the Tuvalu government, the critical role NGO stakeholders play in resilience and adaptation in Tuvalu, as well as the challenges of communication and travel to the outer islands. Leanne will bring her skills in successfully implementing and tracking programmes, her experience in the Pacific and her many years of experience in international development to support the team in the development of Tuvalu’s National Adaptation Plan.