Founder, member of Board of Directors
Marlène Elias is a scientist at Bioversity International, a research for development organisation working with partners worldwide to use and conserve agricultural and tree biodiversity for improved livelihoods, nutrition, sustainability and productive and resilient ecosystems. She has a PhD in Geography from McGill University, Canada, and specializes in gender and forestry using participatory research approaches. She has worked in the fields of development, agroforestry, gender and sustainable livelihoods, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa. Marlène has travelled extensively in Latin America, Africa, and Europe for work and research purposes, and was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université Laval and part of the Division for Gender Equality at UNESCO headquarters, in Paris. Her longstanding research in Burkina Faso has allowed her to forge close links with the local communities and to familiarize herself with Burkinabè customs. She is the co-founder of Karibelle, a fair trade shea butter company that imports butterfrom an association of underprivileged rural and urban women in Burkina Faso. Marlène is currently based in Malaysia.