GFWC Staff

Wynet Smith - Executive Director - has more than 20 years of national and international experience in natural resources policy, planning and management. Prior to joining Global Forest Watch Canada as Executive Director, she worked for two years as Director of Integrated Planning for the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, where she helped ensure working groups had technical and science advisory support. Wynet worked for the United Nations from 2007 to 2012, including four years as the Coordinator and natural resources expert of the UN Security Council's Panel of Experts on Liberia, where she was responsible for monitoring implementation of forestry legislation and diamond certification. She was a geography professor at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, England, from 2005 to 2008 and Senior Associate working on forestry issues at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, D.C., from 1999 to 2002. While at WRI, she helped to establish Global Forest Watch Canada and served on its board for a number of years. She also has spent more than four years in Northern Canada working for co-management and Aboriginal organizations on wildlife and forestry planning, lands management, and integrated resource planning and management. Her love of nature and of learning about new places has led her to work in such diverse places as England, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Tanzania and Cambodia, but she is always drawn back to Canada. Wynet has a PhD in geography from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in geography from McGill University, and a BA in English from Concordia University.


We are sad to report that Ryan Cheng, who was with GFWC for 8 years, is no longer with GFWC. We recognize the great contributions Ryan made to GFWC over the years and wish him the best in his future endeavours.

Ryan began working in the forests as a tree planter and continued doing forestry fieldwork for several years. He participated in a CIDA internship with Global Forest Watch in Cameroon in 2006-2007 which involved assisting in updating datasets for that country's forestry atlas as well as developing the local community GIS capacity. Prior to that he volunteered at an AIDS service organization through which he spent some time in New Delhi as part of a work exchange program. Ryan graduated from the University of Alberta in 2003 with a BSc in Environmental Earth Science.