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Rebecca Benner (Goldman)

Head shot of Rebecca Benner.
Title:Graduate, PhD 2008
Primary Affiliation:Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources
Other Affiliations:E-IPER
Office Location:

Biographical Information

Rebecca Benner, formerly Rebecca Goldman, graduated from Stanford University with a PhD in E-IPER in 2008.  Prior to Stanford she was at the University of Virginia where she graduated with distinction in 2003 with a double major in biology and environmental science with a membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Rebecca grew up all over the world. Her father worked for the US Agency for International Development focusing on health and population. As a result, Rebecca was born in the Philippines and raised in Ecuador, Bangladesh, India and Jordan. Her travels and international lifestyle have influenced the path she took during her undergraduate as well as her current research interests.

For her PhD at Stanford, she combined her science background with economics, policy analysis, and institutional studies to research an effective way to market conservation strategies on working landscapes both in the United States and abroad.  Her focus was on ecosystem services and her research analyzed benefits and drawbacks of taking an ecosystem services approach to conservation.  At Stanford she received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship as well as a Teresa Heinz Research Fellowship for her studies.

After Stanford, Rebecca joined The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 2008 where she primarily worked on the design of outcome-based measures for payment for watershed service projects, called water funds, proliferating throughout Latin America.   In this process, she studied the process of developing and implementing a payment for ecosystem services (PES) program including how to ensure the programs met their goals.  From TNC Rebecca joined the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2010 as a Senior Associate focusing on environment projects in Brazil, Colombia, Panama, and Jamaica.  In addition, she worked on helping design the IDB’s biodiversity platform which was launched in June 2012. Rebecca is now (2012) Director of Science for TNC’s North Carolina chapter. 

Rebecca has a passion for traveling to, learning about, and exploring new countries and cultures. She loves being outdoors hiking, running, swimming, or walking. 


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