Meet the team
Sophie joined GVI in South Africa back in 2007 on the Wildlife Research Expedition and after a few years travelling, decided to join the GVI Team in the UK office in 2009. Since then, she has worked as a member of the team in Mexico and Guatemala visiting many of GVI’s programs and partners, before becoming the Regional Manager in the Cape Town Office. Sophie spent 3 years coordinating volunteers for GVI programs and has now moved to manage the GVI Charitable Trust, our registered charity. She is looking forward to putting her good knowledge of GVI and passion for the work into continuing the progression of the Trust.
Steve Gwenin joined GVI in 2002 and has been key in the set up and running of most of GVI’s programs and the support structure that makes GVI so special. Steve an oceanographer and marine biologist and has dedicated his working life to conservation, community development and sustainable resource use. He is a qualified commercial diver, PADI Instructor, EFR Instructor Trainer, Off-Site Safety Management trainer, certified powerboat driver, and holds a private pilot licence who is certified in and is certified in Firefighting and Offshore survival. He is also one of GVI’s Child Protection Officers. Steve has over 15 years of field conservation and community development experience, spanning 5 continents, 4 oceans and a host of different eco-systems and cultures. His boundless energy and enthusiasm, commitment to conservation and sustainable development initiatives, determination to work in partnership with local communities, strong background in working internationally with governmental, non-profit and commercial organisations and his experience of living, training and working with volunteers internationally, make him ideal for GVI.
Having lived and worked overseas for many years as a volunteer and expedition leader, Richard has been largely responsible for the development of Global Vision International from its early days on an island off the coast of Honduras. Richard has led and taken part in expeditions to Patagonia, the Amazon, Honduras and Malawi and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. He continues to be involved in all aspects of the day to day running of GVI and travels extensively throughout the year to GVI field stations.
Andy has been a key member of the GVI team since joining in Mexico in 2003. He has run and managed expeditions globally since 1997, before returning to the UK in 2006 to run the GVI Charitable Trust and GVI. Andy is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Zoological Society of London, a qualified PADI Dive Instructor, EFR First Aid Instructor, Off Site Safety Management Instructor, BSAC Dive Leader and RYA Power Boat driver and has a BSc. (Hons) in Zoology and a MSc. in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh.
Daniel Ponce-Taylor – Director of Programs
Daniel holds an MSc in Sustainable Development of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems from the University of Cádiz (Spain) and a BSc (Hons) Oceanography with Marine Biology from the University of Southampton. Before taking up his position with GVI, Daniel worked as Marine Science Coordinator for CCC and carried out research and conservation projects in Australia, Costa Rica and Mexico. He was also the Marine Biome Coordinator for the WWF/Spain Valencia’s Local Group, where he grew up, and is a qualified PADI Dive Master, Emergency First Responder (EFR) Instructor and a certified boat skipper.
For the past 5 years, Daniel has been working in making sure the coastal and marine communities of the Mesoamerican region remain as pristine and diverse as possible, working alongside coastal communities from Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico and Honduras. This added to Daniel’s native grasp of the Spanish language and his knowledge of cultural aspects of Central and Latin America, makes him a very valuable addition to the GVI Team.
Jill Walker – Assistant Director of Programs
Jill has been in Thailand since 2003 when she came over to Southeast Asia on a 1 way ticket and never left. With a background in art and environmental education and experience teaching in schools, museums, camps and farms, Jill took a job teaching English to secondary school students in Thailand. After 4 years of enjoying the challenges of language teaching and learning, gaining her MS in Environmental Education and immersing herself in the language and culture of Thailand, Jill joined GVI in 2007 to start the TEFL teaching and community projects in southern Thailand. Jill is fluent in Thai and loves working with the local communities in Southeast Asia. She enjoys providing support for all the Asia projects and aiding GVI in running some of the best volunteer projects in the world.