Village Earth



Lee Scharf has worked as a mediator in community mediation, peer mediation in public school systems, court-ordered mediation within tribal, federal and community mediation contexts, has conducted large national facilitations and worked in environmental conflict resolution in all media. She has a Masters’ degree in Environmental Conflict Resolution and over twenty years’ experience as a mediator working with tribal nations. Ms. Scharf’s environmental conflict resolution taxonomy and annotated bibliography was published by the American Bar Association in 2002. She worked for the Environmental Protection Agency from 1991 until 2006, first in the Superfund Enforcement program and then in the Office of General Counsel in Washington, DC. From 2000 until 2006 Ms. Scharf was the National Tribal Mediation Lead for EPA through EPA’s Conflict and Prevention and Resolution Center. She is a Coordination Committee member of the Native Dispute Resolution program for the United States Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. Ms Scharf is currently an Associate Fellow at Colorado State University’s Center for Collaborative Conservation in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for this Center.

Ms Scharf lived on the Navajo Nation from 1956-1959 and this experience shaped her professional life and her view of the world. She has mediated with many tribal nations in the United States, and is currently working with the Northern Arapaho on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming and with traditional Navajo people living on Hopi Partitioned Lands in Arizona. Ms. Scharf is also leading a national project through Colorado State University to explore the use of dispute resolution practices within tribal governments as part of tribal self- determination efforts, knowing that each tribal world view is unique and valuable and that power and colonialism is always an issue when dispute resolution processes are used or proposed. Ms Scharf is the mother of three children and the grandmother of two. Lee teaches a course in Community-Driven Dispute Resolution.


Ronald Hall is the Director of the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) at Colorado State University. He has served in that capacity since 1995. While at the TTAP Ron helped coordinate the National Tribal Road Conference since 1998. He has served on the Executive Board of the National Local Technical Assistance Program Association since 1997 and was the Executive Board’s Chairman for 2002. Mr. Hall also played a key role in creating the Committee on Native American Transportation Issues in the Transportation Research Board, and has been the Chairman of that Committee from 2001‐2007. In addition to administering the TTAP, he provides consulting services as a facilitator/mediator and legal services. Prior to his tenure at the TTAP, Mr. Hall practiced law in private practice for 11 years primarily as general counsel for tribal governments, corporations, and Native American owned businesse


George received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Colorado State University, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of the Andes (Mérida, Venezuela), and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Arizona. George has worked as the Director of Educational Community Center at Fe y Alegría in Loma de los Maitines squatter village, Mérida, Venezuela, at the National Housing Council, and as a researcher at the University of the Andes (Regional Integration Group) on subjects such as poverty, social policy, and democracy. His areas of expertise include sustainable development, Latin American politics, participatory development methodologies in Venezuelan squatter villages, and grassroots ecosystem management. He has also worked extensively in the Peruvian Amazon looking at the politics of oil development. He also has taught short courses for a Ph.D. program for Trisakti University in Indonesia.


The majority of Anne Taylor’s career has centered on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Starting out as a software engineer developing GIS systems in the mid-80’s, Anne turned toward the business aspects of the GIS industry in 2004 taking on the role of an Account Manager, working with agriculture, land and natural resources agencies as well as tribal communities across North America, assisting in the implementation of GIS to better serve the land and the many communities who depend on it. She received a B.S. degree in Math from University of Richmond in 1983 and an M.S. in Anatomy/Neurobiology from Colorado State University in 1987.


Dr. Okechukwu Ukaga is the Executive Director of Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota (NMSDP). In this capacity, he provides programmatic leadership for integrated, education, research and outreach projects/programs that promote sustainable development in northeastern Minnesota by utilizing university resources to meet community identified needs. Under his leadership, over the past 7 years, NMSDP has engaged in a variety of partnerships projects involving over 64,000 community members; 379 community organizations and businesses; 300 university faculty connections, 418 students from 42 university programs and departments.

Dr. Ukaga is also a Full Extension Professor with the University of Minnesota Extension. Before coming to Minnesota, he served as Managing Director of the International Institute for Sustainable Development at Colorado State University for five years. In that capacity, he managed a variety of sustainable community development projects and worked with organizations and people from countries in Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East on such projects. He received a Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education, from Penn State University, an M.S. in education and an M.B.A. from Florida A&M University, a Post Graduate Diploma in agricultural economics from the University of Nigeria, and a Higher National Diploma in fisheries from Imo State College of Agriculture. He has previously worked/taught at Colorado State University, Penn State University and Florida A & M University.

Dr. Ukaga has served and continues to serve on many important boards and international project teams. Examples include Executive Board of the Minnesota Evaluation Association, Minnesota Sea Grant College, and Renewing the Countryside, Inc to name a few. He also served as a member of a Kettering Foundation funded national (USA) task force on the practice of public scholarship in land-grant institutions, a member of a European Union funded international task force on evaluation of sustainable development, and a consultant for the Florida A & M University -United States Agency for International Development Agribusiness Development Program (ADP) training in South Africa. His work has been applied and adapted in many parts of the world including various countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Examples include evaluation of Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships in Minnesota, USA; planning and evaluation of extension service program of several universities in Indonesia, HELPO Foundation’s rural development project in India, and development of indicators for Sustainable Urban Brownfield Regeneration Integrated Management (SUBR:IM) consortium case study sites located in Manchester and Barking in Essex, United Kingdom.

Dr. Ukaga has written and/or coauthored over 50 publications including books, book chapters, special edition of a scholarly journal, journal articles, conference papers, and project reports. His book Renewing the Countryside (2001, co-edited with Jan Joannides, Sara Bergan, Mark Ritchie, and Beth Waterhouse) highlights the success stories of people across Minnesota’s diverse and beautiful landscapes who are conserving and enhancing the state’s natural and cultural resources while spurring local economic and community development. His book Evaluating Sustainable Development (2004, co-authored with Chris Maser) presents the principles and tools for participatory evaluation of sustainable development. His latest book Sustainable Development in Africa (2005, co-edited with Osita Afoaku) examines factors limiting sustainable development in Africa and offers reasoned suggestions on practical strategies for achieving development in Africa that is anchored on the values of sustainability, appropriateness and equity. His forthcoming book Sustainable Development: Principles, Frameworks and Cases (2008, co-edited with Chris Maser and Mike Reichenbach) summarizes selected key sustainable development models, including salient case examples that illustrate each model or framework.


Marcela is assistant professor of political science at Colorado State University where she specializes in Latin America, and in ethnic and environmental politics. Before coming to Fort Collins in 2008, she taught at various universities in Colombia and was an active member of Jenzera, a Bogota-based interethnic and multidisciplinary working group that supports peasant, indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.


Jamie received her M.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University. Her academic work focused on Latin America, international development, political theory and indigenous rights. She served as Village Earth’s training director from 2008-2012. She has also been involved with Village Earth’s work on the Pine Ridge Reservation and in the Peruvian Amazon. Her specialties include advocacy campaigns, strategic planning, issue framing and training for social justice. She currently serves as the New Media Specialist for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. She has also worked for Alliance for Global Justice, a Latin America solidarity organization.


Robert is the President and CEO of Sustainable Development / International where he provides U.S. and international sustainable development consulting services. He also sits on the Board of the Trailblazer Foundation.


Ed has worked in the field of community development for 30 years. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology, a master’s degree in group dynamics and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. His expertise includes organizational development, planning and management methods, training design and implementation, technology generation, project monitoring and survey research.

His work as an organizer and trainer has taken him to the villages of India, Kenya, Peru, Guatemala, Wounded Knee, rural California, Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt. He developed and managed a mobile school for community development where indigenous people in each area in which it was held were trained to be faculty. In Egypt he helped to develop an Irrigation Advisory Service and trained its personnel to work with farmers in setting up water user organizations to improve irrigated agriculture.


Miriam (Mimi) has worked in the field of community and village development for 30 years. She received her master’s in agricultural economics. She has worked has worked with and lived as a community developer in India, Australia and Africa. Her specialty is group facilitation, women in development, communication for development and micro-finance.



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