“I’ve done the entire spectrum, from the federal to the state to the NGO perspective,” says the incoming CEO of Point Blue, the Petaluma-based nonprofit focused on environmental conservation and research. “This gives me a really good overview on how to best support our work as an organization.” Most recently Oliva was an acting director of the Development Resources and Disaster Assistance Division at the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. His work there focused on climate-smart agriculture projects, such as working with cacao farmers in Colombia to improve the resilience of their crops to climate change and expand sustainable agroforestry strategies. “It was very akin to what Point Blue has been doing for 50-plus years, as far as marshalling the science and building upon it to develop actual projects on the ground,” Oliva says.
Raised in the Guatemalan highlands, 51-year-old Oliva says he is looking forward to being in an area where the legislature, local governments and neighborhoods all value and support the critical natural resources of the San Francisco estuary. His priorities include expanding strategic partnerships worldwide and enhancing educational work with diverse communities. “One of the things that our organization really wants to do is empower others – we see ourselves as one part of an effort that we are all going to have to take part in,” says Oliva.

Pearls in the ocean of information that our reporters didn’t want you to miss
 

Manuel Oliva’s career has been focused on climate change and conservation since his days as an engineering graduate student at the University of Maryland.

“I’ve done the entire spectrum, from the federal to the state to the NGO perspective,” says the incoming CEO of Point Blue, the Petaluma-based nonprofit focused on environmental conservation and research. “This gives me a really good overview on how to best support our work as an organization.” Most recently Oliva was an acting director of the Development Resources and Disaster Assistance Division at the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. His work there focused on climate-smart agriculture projects, such as working with cacao farmers in Colombia to improve the resilience of their crops to climate change and expand sustainable agroforestry strategies. “It was very akin to what Point Blue has been doing for 50-plus years, as far as marshalling the science and building upon it to develop actual projects on the ground,” Oliva says.
Raised in the Guatemalan highlands, 51-year-old Oliva says he is looking forward to being in an area where the legislature, local governments and neighborhoods all value and support the critical natural resources of the San Francisco estuary. His priorities include expanding strategic partnerships worldwide and enhancing educational work with diverse communities. “One of the things that our organization really wants to do is empower others – we see ourselves as one part of an effort that we are all going to have to take part in,” says Oliva.

About the author

Jacoba Charles is a naturalist and science writer. Her first article, at age eight, was about the behavior of ducks as observed from the roof of her family’s barn. It went unpublished. She later graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism (2007). In addition to writing for Estuary News, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Modern Farmer, Bay Nature, Marin Magazine, and various literary publications. Her botany blog can be found at flowersofmarin.com and her website is jacobacharles.com. She lives in Petaluma with her family.