• PO Box 627, Nairobi, 00518, Kenya
  • contact@dnrckenya.org

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The DNRC Team

Team Member
Nicholas Syano
Founder, Executive Director

Nicholas is responsible for the DNRC’s overall strategy, HR, and program delivery. He directly oversees all field operations, including all field staff, and manages our partnerships with academia and partner NGOs. He has managed major programs at Nyumbani Village and the Kenya Institute of Organic Farming, and is the Chairman of PRI-Kenya. He holds an MSc in Natural Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin, and is currently studying for a PhD in Drylands Resource Management at the University of Nairobi.

Team Member
Zach Engelking
Director of Forestry

Zach plans the DNRC’s natural resource management strategies and educational programs. He has experience in an array of forestry roles, from urban tree care to working in forest inventory, research, & planning for the U.S. Forest Service, and has studied and practised forestry across the U.S., Africa, and Europe He holds a degree in Forest Management with an emphasis in International Resource Management and the title of Certified Arborist by the International Society of Arborculture.

Team Member
Daniel Pike
Director of Planning

Daniel plans the growth of the DNRC and the development and execution of new programs, partnerships, and fundraising activities. Previously, Daniel worked for Astrum Solar, a start-up solar system design and installation company, and for Analysis Group, an economics and finance consulting firm. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA with High Distinction from the University of Virginia.

Team Member
Chas Taylor
Director of Finance

Chas manages the DNRC’s accounting, budgeting, and finance activities. He is currently Director of Business Development for The Earth Partners, a land restoration investment company that focuses on improving the productivity of degraded lands. Previously, Chas worked for McKinsey & Co., the international management consulting firm, serving clients across four continents. Chas also consulted for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation within their agricultural development group, where he worked on input supply chain development and financing issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. He graduated with High Distinction from the University of Virginia.

Team Member
Triza Mbinya Mutua
Education and Outreach Coordinator

Triza coordinates the DNRC’s education and community outreach programs, including weekly classes and home visits. In her own words:

"I joined DNRC because my aspiration in life is always to see people and especially the most marginalized getting empowered, becoming more able to make decisions in their own life, in a positive way, to improve their livelihoods."

She is studying for a BA in Community Development from Daystar University, and has been with the DNRC since 2008.

Team Member
Fedelis Nzisa Charles
Outreach and Training Manager

Fedelis manages the DNRC’s training and community outreach programs, including weekly classes and home visits. She holds a Permaculture Design Course Certificate from PRI-Kenya and a Certificate in Dryland Agriculture from South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU). She became interested in the DNRC’s work when she visited the DNRC as part of a University of Wisconsin agriculture course.

Team Member
Lucas Munyao
Nursery Manager

Lucas manages the DNRC’s tree nurseries, seed banks, and demonstration farm, and oversees a larger team of part-time staff, assistants, and volunteers. He was born and raised in Mbumbuni, where the DNRC began operations, and has been with the DNRC since 2008.

Team Member
Deborah Arellano
Marketing and Communications Consultant

Deborah has recently joined the DNRC to assist with building the organization's online presence. She helps manage the DNRC's social media pages, website, and other marketing efforts. Currently, Deborah works for Titan Solar in Los Angeles. She holds her B.A. in Government from the California State University, Sacramento and is pursuing a Master's Degree in Communications Management from the University of Southern California.

Team Member
Rachel Leeds
Moringa Program Consultant

Rachel develops training tools and educational materials for DNRC’s Moringa Program. She began her work with DNRC in 2010, conducting fieldwork and collecting data with the beneficiaries and members of DNRC. Rachel is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Benin, where she coordinated a variety of community health programs, focusing especially on using Moringa oleifera for nutritional recuperation. Rachel holds a BA with Distinction in Anthropology and Global Development Studies from the University of Virginia.

Team Member
Allison Martin
Knowledge and Impact Consultant

Allison researches topics of interest to the DNRC and facilitates dialogue and information sharing on these issues via the DNRC's social media outlets. Allison is currently the Program Associate for The Nature Conservancy's Indigenous and Communal Conservation Program. Previously, she interned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked on issues regarding wastewater infrastructure access, climate change adaptation and traditional ecological knowledge. Allison performed data collection and fieldwork for the DNRC in 2010. Allison holds a dual-MA in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development / International Affairs from the UN-mandated University for Peace and American University, and a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia.

Team Member
Brenton Bowen
Website and Design Consultant

Brenton has played a major role in rebranding the DNRC through his designs. He is responsible for the development of the latest website, logo, and creates graphics for advertising on social profiles. With years of experience in the fields of online marketing and design, he has worked with companies in the industries of technology, education, and sustainability.