Board of Directors
Mercy J. Borbor Córdova, Ph.D. MSc, is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Maritime Engineering and Sea Sciences at the Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral, Guayaquil Ecuador.Oceanographer with a doctorate at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at the State University of New York. Mercy is an interdisciplinary scientist working on the interactions among natural or human systems and the climate effects on society. She managed to combine roles as both researcher and public officer involved in decision making processes at local, regional and national level in areas of environmental management, urban resilience and vulnerability, disaster risk reduction,Antarctic environment, and climate change. As public officer she has served as Chief of Environmental Control for the City of Guayaquil, Province Director of Risk Disaster Management for Guayas, and Vice minister of the Ministry of Environment for Ecuador playing an active role at the Climate Change National Committee. Selected as Lead Author for the Assessment Report 6 (AR6) in the Mitigation Working Group, Chapter 13 of institutions and subnationals (2019-2022) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Ecuadorian expert in the Capacity Development for Climate Services (CD-CS) Team within the Climatology Commission at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Board member at the Galapagos Conservancy and member of the Science and Policy Advisory Committee of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).
Mr. Ostenda joined the Board in 2021. He is a partner at the global investment bank Goldman Sachs, serving as a member of the Healthcare Investment Banking team responsible for diagnostics and the life sciences tools sector. There he assists leading companies around the globe in obtaining funding and making investment decisions, many of which pertain to cutting-edge life sciences research. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. Ostenda worked at Monitor Group and Global Prior Art. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College in 1999 and MBA in Finance from Kellogg School of Management in 2005. Mr. Ostenda also serves on the board of Fondazione per i Collegi del Mondo Unito Stock Weinberg – Edward Sutcliffe supporting United World Colleges, a global movement focused on fostering international understanding through high school education.
Hazel Wong is a tenacious advocate for conservation. Under her tenure as Director of Global Conservation Campaigns, The Nature Conservancy has generated over $60 billion in public funding through ballots measures at the state and local levels for natural resources protection. Her boundless energy, ability to motivate voters to support conservation efforts, and talent for making conceptual ideas tangible has gained her respect and admiration from internal colleagues and partner organizations who benefit from her efforts.
Hazel has spent the last 18 years leveraging her knowledge of communication, and the political and policy process to promote The Nature Conservancy’s legislative agenda in support of its mission to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. She has used this experience in public opinion research, strategic message development, and political campaign tactics to create a groundswell of public support for conservation funding and policy initiatives. Her team has an 88 percent winning rate at the ballot box because of their ability to translate and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data to determine the viability of their campaigns.
Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Hazel had a long and distinguished career in both politics and the broadcast media. She coordinated candidate campaigns for the Nevada State Democratic Party. She was also an assignment editor, producer, and announcer on local TV and radio.
In addition to Hazel’s professional responsibilities, she is an annual guest lecturer at Yale University in conservation financing, and she has chaired several philanthropic and social organizations and committees.
Hazel’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from California State University, Fullerton.
Born in Seychelles, a group of islands off the East Coast of Africa, Hazel has been at the forefront of researching how to engage communities of color in conservation and has been an advocate on diversifying the conservation community.