RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests announces new Executive Director

RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests has appointed Dr David Ganz as its new Executive Director. David assumes his new role on 14 February 2017.

6 February 2017, Bangkok, Thailand – RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests has appointed David Ganz as its new Executive Director. David assumes his new role on 14 February 2017. He will take over leadership of RECOFTC at a key moment in its history when there is growing recognition that forest land rights of local communities are central to peace, economic development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. David will be a strong advocate for community forestry in the region and for path-breaking private sector models that respect local rights and deliver lasting and tangible benefits from millions of hectares of community forests in the Asia-Pacific region.

David joins RECOFTC from SERVIR-Mekong, a joint USAID NASA Initiative, where he has been its Chief of Party since 2014. Prior to this he was Chief of Party for Winrock International’s Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) Program, where he worked to strengthen the capacity of developing countries in Asia to achieve sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture forestry-land use sector.   David also held global roles as Director with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and as technical officer with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Yale University.

Doris Capistrano, Chairperson of RECOFTC’s Board of Trustees, said, “I am pleased that we have appointed Dr David Ganz to be the next Executive Director of RECOFTC. His passion, commitment and excellent leadership skills coupled with his solid experience in fostering significant positive change in natural resource management in the region and elsewhere will be invaluable for RECOFTC’s continued success. Ensuring that local forest communities are actively engaged in and equitably benefit from the sustainable management of forested landscapes is central to achieving the SDGs. David will ably lead RECOFTC’s work to strengthen the capacity of local communities and other stakeholders to achieve this. I am delighted to welcome David to the RECOFTC family both in the region and in our international network."

Incoming RECOFTC Executive Director, David Ganz noted, "It's a great honor to become RECOFTC’s next Executive Director and I look forward to working together with its experienced and devoted staff and strong network of partners. RECOFTC has an urgent mission to empower local people in forest landscapes by enhancing capacities for stronger rights and fairer benefits. There are huge pressures on forest lands, and RECOFTC must step up and play an integral role in enabling long-term change towards sustainable forests."

David Ganz replaces outgoing Executive Director, Tint Lwin Thaung, who completed his term on 31 December 2016.  Tint was Executive Director at RECOFTC from 2011 to 2016, during which time RECOFTC established country programmes in Myanmar and Nepal, and strengthened impacts in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR and Viet Nam. David and Tint will work closely together during a brief transition period in which both will commit themselves to the smooth continuity of RECOFTC’s delivery on its community forestry mission for the Asia-Pacific region.


For more information, please contact:

Caroline Liou, Communication Manager, RECOFTC


Tel: +66 2 940-5700 ext 1236


Notes to editors

Biography of David Ganz

David Ganz has over 20 years of experience in natural resource management including several years working in Asia on large-scale natural resource management and biomass energy projects. Before joining RECOFTC, David served as the Chief of Party on SERVIR-Mekong, a joint initiative between USAID and NASA aimed at developing geospatial data to respond to the environmental and disaster needs of the region. Prior to SERVIR-Mekong, David was Chief of Party on USAID’s Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) programme. From 1999 to 2002, David worked as an Assistant Project Officer at RECOFTC headquarters. He is a graduate of two distinguished community forestry institutions, University of California at Berkeley and Yale University, which promote multi-disciplinary decision-making through strong communication and team work skills. He has successfully taken these skills into project management of international organizations including TNC, FAO, IUCN and WWF in China and Southeast Asia.



RECOFTC is an international not-for-profit organization that works to enhance capacities for stronger rights, improved governance and fairer benefits for local people in sustainable forested landscapes in the Asia and the Pacific region.  RECOFTC promotes community forestry (CF) as a means to improve local livelihoods, reduce deforestation, and strengthen good governance. Together we can promote community forestry by increasing forest area under community management; strengthening the active control of communities over their forests; and ensuring that institutions are able to effectively implement CF laws in their country. For more information, see