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The Chile California Conservation Exchange (CCCX) is an independent project managed by Tomás McKay and Ralph Benson. It is a highly collaborative project with many advisors and friends who are listed in our conference and project reports. Over 200 people have actively participated in CCCX conferences and projects. Our fiscal sponsor is the Chile California Council. (chile-california headed by Matias Alcalde.


RALPH BENSON is co-founder of the Chile California Conservation Exchange. Over his career he served as executive director of the Sonoma Land Trust (2003-2015) and as general counsel, executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Trust for Public Land (1979-2003). Earlier Ralph was a land use attorney in Southern California. He has a degree from Occidental College, UCLA and the School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. Ralph has served on multiple nonprofit boards including those of Save the Bay and Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.


TOMÁS McKAY,  is a Chilean architect, landscape architect, and lecturer at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. Tomas arrived to the Bay Area of San Francisco as a Visiting Scholar to the Center of Latin American Studies in 2013 to research the processes and policies that have led to the recovery and conservation of the Bay Area’s wetlands. After his studies of Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley Tomas has been focused in bridging experiences between Chile and California, mostly related with conservation, Mediterranean climate ecosystems and urban planning, throughout private and public institutions. 

Tomas has his own practice in Architecture in Oakland, California. 


The CCCX is a highly collaborative project. Over 200 people have contributed their ideas and participated in CCCX conferences and projects.  The following are some of the people currently helping to shape our agenda.

MATÍAS ALCALDE is the Executive Director of the Chile California Council. Previously he was the Executive Director of Fundación Punto de Lobos.
CARL BAUER is a Professor at the University of Arizona School of Geography, Development and Environment. He has studied water law and political economy in Chile since 1990.
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ANDREA RUIZ-ESQUIDE is a land use and environmental attorney based in San Francisco, where she works on urban environmental issues such as transportation, land use planning, housing policy, and climate change adaptation. 
VERÓNICA DELGADO is an Associate Professor at the School of Legal and Social Sciences at the University of Concepción and a CR2 Researcher. She is a specialist in water law.
DAVID TECKLIN works with The Pew Charitable Trusts as Principal Officer for South America Land and Fresh Water Conservation and is a Research Associate at the Austral University of Chile where he collaborates with the Austral Patagonia Program (ProAP).
DOMINIQUE HERVÉ is a Professor of Environmental Law at the School of Law at Universidad Diego Portales. Her research involves environmental justice and legal issues related to climate change.
CHARLES LESTER is the Director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Center at the Marine Science Institute at the University of California at Santa Barabara.  He was formerly Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission.
LISA MICHELI is the President and CEO of the Pepperwood Foundation which manages a 3,200-acre biological preserve and the Dwight Center for Conservation Science in Sonoma County, California. 

CAROLINA MARTÍNEZ is a Researcher with CIGDEN at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Director of Observatorio de la Costa.

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DIEGO URREJOLA is the Executive Director of Fundación Cosmos. He is a biologist from Universidad Católica de Chile. Throughout his career he has worked in the areas of environmental management and biodiversity conservation with public, private, and non-profit organizations.
JIM SANO is World Wildlife Fund’s Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation. He was formerly President of Geographic Expeditions, a San Francisco-based adventure travel company and before that Jim served as a ranger and special assistant to the Superintendent at Yosemite National Park.
FELICIA MARCUS is the William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program, an attorney, a consultant and member of the Water Policy Group. She most recently served as chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board.
MICHAEL BLUMM is the Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Professor at the Lewis & Clark School of Law in Portland, Oregon. He is a leading authority on the public trust doctrine.
SAM SCHUCHAT is the recently retired long time Executive Officer of the California Coastal Conservancy and one of the initial promoters and leader of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority.
MARY CHRISTINA WOOD is the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Oregon School of Law. She is the author of Nature’s Trust, Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age.
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