The Earth League International’s team is very diverse and draws on the experience of several different skill sets, including conservation, intelligence, investigations, high-tech, cyber-security, entrepreneurship and media production.

Some of us are former intelligence, law enforcement, and security professionals, including former FBI and other government agencies, analysts, and undercover investigators.

The identity of our field operatives is not public.

Andrea Crosta, Executive Director and Board Member

Andrea has over 30 years of experience in conservation projects around the world and, in a parallel professional career, he has been working for over 17 years as an international consultant to companies and governmental agencies on high-end security technologies & services, homeland security, anti-piracy, investigations and risk management. He now applies this unique knowledge to conservation and wildlife protection.
He is among the founding members of the Wildlife Justice Commission, in The Netherlands, a Member of the Board of  The Africa Conservancy Foundation, and the creator and project manager of WildLeaks, the world’s first wildlife crime whistleblower initiative.
Andrea is among the main protagonists of the Netflix’s documentary ‘The Ivory Game and of the NatGeo documentary ‘Sea of Shadows’, about the international trafficking of Totoaba and the potential extinction of the Vaquita porpoise in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico (premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2019 – Audience Award Winner).
He is the co-author of the first investigation into ivory trafficking and terrorism (2010-2012), which changed forever the narrative around the issue of elephant poaching and ivory trafficking: “Africa’s White Gold of Jihad: al-Shabaab and Conflict Ivory”.

He is a Fellow of The Explorers Club.

As an entrepreneur in 1998 he founded ‘Think Italy’, among the very first e-commerce start-ups in Italy. He holds a Master’s Degree in Natural Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Business & Innovation and a BSc in Psychology.

Scott Atkinson, Board Member

Scott is a Managing Partner and Co-Head of Global Sustainability at Heidrick & Struggles Inc., an international executive search and leadership advisory firm. In his role, Scott leads executives searches for companies and organizations that focus on advancing environmental and social impact initiatives across the globe. More recently, he has helped place Chief Executives, Board of Directors and senior leaders for clients including Impossible Foods, National Geographic Society, Planet Labs and San Diego Zoo Global. As part of his practice, Scott consults on the governance and leadership implications of growing investor demand for sustainability (ESG) performance.

Additionally, Scott serves as the firm’s Global Head of Venture Capital and is a member of the Global Technology Practice. As such Scott has places C-Level executives and Board of Directors within disruptive companies experiencing growth, innovation, restructuring and global expansion. More recently, he has completed assignments for Activision Blizzard, Ancestry.com, DocuSign, Dropbox, Facebook, ServiceNow, Softbank, Qualcomm, Temasek, Twitter and Uber. Scott joined the firm from CollabNet, a leading TPG Capital backed provider of enterprise cloud development solutions. While with CollabNet, he supported the legal department and assisted with the Company’s successful acquisition of Danube Technologies. Scott began his executive search career with a boutique executive search firm, where he consulted high-growth technology companies. Scott is pursuing a Masters of Science in Environmental Science & Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He holds a B.A. in History from Middlebury College.

John N. Stewart, Board Member

John is the founder and President of Talons Ventures. He works with disruptive startup companies, venture funds, consults to midsize to large businesses on government relations and cyber, and gives back in philanthropic efforts on education, equality, and anti-poaching. Stewart invested in Awake Security, Anomali, Cequence, Dedrone, Privoro, and RiskSense, is Chairman of the Board for CyVolve, is on the Board of Directors for BlackPoint Security, Code Dx, Lucideus, ReFirm Labs and SpyCloud, is a special advisor to the Board of Directors for Focal Point Security, Obsidian, and RedSeal, serves on the Technical Advisory Board for runSafe, and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council for Syracuse University’s School of Engineering. John and his family founded the Nicol-Stewart Scholarships aiding high school students into community college, and he actively supports Rhino 911, the Game Rangers Association of Africa, the Wildlife College, and multiple animal orphanages in South Africa. His motto is simple: make an impact.

Prior to founding Talons Ventures, John served as SVP, Chief Security & Trust Officer at Cisco Systems. During his 15+ years at Cisco, Cisco established its leadership in national security matters, the enterprise security market, privacy, and trust – leadership the company carries on to this day. Under John’s leadership, the Security & Trust organization was formed, protecting Cisco’s public and private customers, enabling and ensuring Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle and Trustworthy Systems efforts across the company’s portfolio, and establishing world leadership in data protection and privacy, trust and assurance, and cybersecurity efforts with governments globally. Stewart’s career includes wide ranging security initiatives from IT design for elementary schools to national security programs. John served on the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Cyber Security Review panel, the Cybersecurity Think Tank at the University of Maryland University College, and the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th United States Presidency. Prior to his time at Cisco, John was CISO for Digital Island, had his first tour at Cisco, and worked at NASA Ames Research Center. Stewart holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in computer and information science from Syracuse University.

Anna Rathmann, Board Member

Anna leads the Great Plains Foundation as its inaugural Director. As the charitable arm of Great Plains Conservation, the Foundation identifies and implements sustainable wildlife, land, and community conservation initiatives throughout Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. Anna began her career in conservation as a Park Ranger in Yellowstone National Park and later spent more than a decade with the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. Anna has spoken on the importance of tourism and conservation at various international conferences and high-level events.

In addition, Anna is an MBA candidate at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Through all her work, Anna leverages her deep understanding of the philanthropic landscape with an ability to conceptualize and facilitate complex funding strategies and partnerships that preserve and protect some of the most fragile and threatened ecosystems in the world.

Francesco Rocca, Board Member

Francesco is the founder of the ‘Torbiera’ Zoological Society, a member of the IUCN and among the finest private zoological foundations in Italy. Over the years Francesco made a name for himself as an expert on wildlife conservation and 35 years ago he was among the first to initiate and support the conservation program on the Amur leopard in the Russian Far East.
He is the co-founder of the NGO ‘Trust The Forest’ that contributed to establishing one of the first truly protected areas in Gabon, in the now Ivindo National Park. He also established an important private protected area in Northern Argentina, a biodiversity ‘hotspot’ of nearly 5000 ha adjacent to the Calilegua National Park.
Francesco has supported several research efforts all over the world which produced conservation studies on subjects such as the Andean Mountain Cat in Argentina, the Indochinese leopard in Southern Thailand, the leopard in Armenia and the large mammals in the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal.
 From 1994 to 2000 he was member of the Italian CITES Scientific Committee.

Gilda Moratti, Board Member

Gilda is the eldest daughter of former Italian Minister Letizia Arnaboldi Brichetto and the magnate Gianmarco Moratti. She has worked at Sotheby’s auction house in New York and is the founder and great supporter of the “Squadra4zampe” association, which fights for the rights of animals.
She has a film production company and she collaborates with the photographer-philosopher Gregory Colbert, also closely follows his many trips. She believes that in his works we find the strong message of harmony and empathy between man and nature and this summarizes Gilda’s belief and dedication for the protection of wildlife.

INTELLIGENCE AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS

Mark Davis, Head of Intelligence
Mark is an internationally and nationally recognized expert in undercover operations and training. During his 30 years with the FBI, he conducted and led a multitude of successful undercover operations in the United States and abroad.
The FBI reports Mark as the most effective Undercover Operator in the history of the agency. His undercover work resulted in the largest number of successful convictions in the FBI Undercover Program. The scope of his work included Counter Intelligence, Counter Terrorism, Public Corruption, Weapons Trafficking, Human/Sex Trafficking, Child Exploitation, Organized Crime, Money Laundering, and Drug Trafficking. Mark advises and trains domestic and foreign Intelligence agencies on undercover techniques and methodologies.

“Robert”
Robert worked for 25 years as an undercover Operations Officer for the CIA. He has deep operational experience in the U.S., Europe, Central America, South America and the Middle East. He has successfully worked against foreign terrorist groups such as The Islamic State, Al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Sendero Luminoso, Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, the Japanese Red Army, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the various Sunni extremist groups that are offshoots of Al-Qaida.
He has served as a subject matter expert instructor on terrorism and countering terrorist cells inside the U.S. and overseas for a variety of classes attended by law enforcement, U.S. government federal officers, U.S. military personnel, and civilian specialist first-responders. Robert has personally developed, managed and carried out multiple operations during his career that lead to the capture of several high-profile terrorists, and the effective dismantling of terrorist networks.

CRIME ANALYSIS & RESEARCH

Chiara Talerico
Chiara is the main crime analyst at Earth League International. She is skilled in analyzing raw intelligence coming from the field, studying crime patterns and modus operandi, geographical crimes mapping and database management.
Prior to joining ELI, Chiara had the opportunity to hone her crime analysis skills when working at the Case Analysis Unit at Eurojust. She also worked as trainee at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Next to wildlife trafficking, she is specialized in counter-human trafficking. In 2015, she temporarily joined ECPAT Indonesia in Jakarta, focusing on child trafficking and sexual slavery. Chiara holds a Masters of Law with a specialization in international criminal law from the University of Pisa and a Master’s of Science in Countering Organized Crime and Terrorism from UCL.

GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE

Dr. Odean Serrano 

Odean worked for the US Federal Government for over 26 years. She first worked at NASA Kennedy Space Center as a space shuttle operations engineer and then at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. as an environmental program manager responsible for inter-agency partnership development linking common environmental mission elements. Odean joined the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in 2005 as an Intelligence officer and designed and spearheaded an environmental security initiative that leveraged climate, water, food, and ecosystems research in alignment with national security priorities.

In 2016, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper designated Odean as the first Intelligence Community (IC) lead for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. She brought together the IC, law enforcement, diplomats, academia, and NGOs possessing a wide range of expertise and needs to contribute to this issue. Odean also served as an intelligence liaison to academia forging partnerships through cooperative engagement programs between the IC and universities. Upon retirement in 2018, Odean founded the Countering Wildlife Trafficking Institute (CWTI) focusing on advanced locational intelligence (GEOINT) to address transnational crimes to support multi-disciplinary experts specializing in global anti-trafficking missions. Odean is joining the ELI Analytic team to provide GEOINT capabilities to our portfolio

She holds a Master of Science, Environmental Science and Policy, Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University.

WEB INTELLIGENCE AND CYBER SECURITY

Our team includes top European and American experts on web intelligence, cybersecurity, electronic surveillance, development in security architecture, and encryption.

DEVELOPMENT, FUNDRAISING, PARTNERSHIPS & MEDIA PROJECTS

Francesca Bonfanti
Francesca leads overall direction and leadership for ELI’s fundraising, donor relations and media development. She has worked for production companies for documentaries and feature films as consultant creative producer and for several fundraising arts events and installations in both New York and Italy. Francesca has actively supported several environmental nonprofit organizations around the world.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE
ADVISOR FOR INTELLIGENCE AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS

“Dick”

“Dick” was a renowned and award winning executive/operations case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the CIA National Clandestine Service. After serving in the United States Navy, Dick worked for the CIA for over forty years and is currently a chief consultant for the CIA and other intelligence agencies around the world. Dick brings to Earth League International (ELI)  his expertise in intelligence gathering, counterintelligence and covert operations. Dick has spent decades in foreign assignments where he oversaw and conducted many intelligence operations and investigations targeting some of the worlds most dangerous and problematic criminal organizations. Dick has worked closely with foreign governments to solve mutual problems involving security issues, including in the areas of Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East. As an executive and operations case officer for the CIA, Dick managed and directed large scale operations for the CIA National Clandestine Service involved in critical issues of National security throughout South Asia and the Middle East. As a senior leader of the CIA, Dick has spent many years working closely with senior officials of the United States Government including the Executive branch and members of Congress.

Dick was responsible for directing U. S. intelligence collection, counterintelligence, counterterrorism and special Operations in critical allied countries. He has managed, for the CIA, a large staff of professional intelligence officers responsible for the collection of critical intelligence during operations of the highest importance to the United States and other countries. Dick’s recognized expertise took him to CIA Headquarters on three different long term assignments, where under his leadership, the CIA National Clandestine Service successfully worked some of their most important intelligence/investigative operations. He has previously been the Director for a European based company involved in global security projects, including de-mining in Central America and border security in various areas of the Middle East and Africa.

Dick now is thrilled to be able to bring his expertise to the ELI Advisory Board where he can make a meaningful impact with his expertise in assisting ELIs’ mission.  ELI is proud to have Dick on Earth League Internationals’ (ELI) Advisory board.

ADVISOR FOR WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT AND WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING

Pauline Verheij
Pauline is an environmental lawyer specialising in the investigation and prosecution of transnational environmental and wildlife crime, particularly violations of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora). She worked as Senior Legal Investigator at the Wildlife Justice Commission and IFAW Netherlands. She now works freelance.
From 2009 until 2012 she was based in Malaysia as TRAFFIC and WWF’s tiger trade programme manager where she coordinated the efforts to tackle tiger trade in Asia through anti-poaching and anti-trafficking work, policy and advocacy as well as interventions to reduce consumer demand in Asia. She is lead-author of Reduced to Skin and Bones, an analysis of tiger seizures from eleven tiger range countries (2000-2010). Currently she works for her own consulting business, EcoJust, which advises NGOs, governments and businesses on issues related to the implementation and enforcement of (international) biodiversity law (www.ecojust.eu).

ADVISOR FOR INVESTIGATIONS AND TECHNICAL SURVEILLANCE

Emmanuel Ladsous
Emmanuel is a recognized technical surveillance expert with 24 years of experience with the FBI. Emmanuel conducted and managed numerous FBI covert surveillance operations in the United States and abroad including the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Emmanuel is the founder of the Delta 7 Group, a domestic and international consultancy that advises individuals, Fortune 500 companies, and foreign government institutions on Technical Security and Technical Surveillance matters.