GRAIN is a small and like-minded group with an ambitious agenda. Our team is presently composed of ten programme staff and three finance, administration and fundraising staff. Six of us are women and together we represent eleven nationalities. Rich in our diversity, GRAIN functions as a collective, with a horizontal management system and participatory decision-making.

GRAIN staff in 2017.

Staff with a global focus

Henk Hobbelink

Henk is an agronomist by training. In the 1980s he worked with farmers in Peru on sustainable pest management and after that he worked with Dutch and European NGOs drawing attention to the importance of agricultural biodiversity for the future of farming. In 1990, he co-founded GRAIN and over the past two decades has helped the organisation grow into an international collective that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Henk is the coordinator of GRAIN, and as such is responsible for the overall functioning of the organisation as well as conducting research, writing and outreach activities.

  • Languages: Spanish, English and Dutch
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Email: henk[at]
  • Telephone: +34 93 301 1381


Renée Vellvé

Renée began working on biodiversity issues in the early 1980s, when she became active with French groups fighting for farmers' rights to use local seeds. She started working with Henk in Barcelona, Spain, and in 1990 they set up GRAIN. For more that 15 years she was based in the Philippines, and now is back in Europe. Renée helps implement GRAIN's global programme, helps run and, and helps with the overall coordination of GRAIN.

  • Languages: English, French, Spanish
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Telephone: +33 6 75 07 34 68
  • Email: renee[at]


Devlin Kuyek

Devlin joined GRAIN in 2003, after working with NGOs and peasant organisations in Malaysia and the Philippines. He is GRAIN's most active researcher, focusing on monitoring and analysing global agribusiness, including the global land rush. Devlin is based in Montreal, Canada, and spends time supporting partners and staff in the regions as much as possible.

  • Languages: English, French and (some) Spanish
  • Location: Montreal, Canada
  • Telephone: +1 514 5717702
  • Email: devlin[at]


Marion Girard Cisneros

Marion joined GRAIN in 2017 and has a background in journalism. Since 2011, she has been working as a communicator in different non-profit organisations striving for just and sustainable food systems; a challenge which she believes can be best achieved by disseminating actionable knowledge around the concept of food sovereignty.

  • Languages: French, Spanish, English and Italian
  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Telephone: +31 686152970
  • Email: marion[at]


Staff with a regional focus

Kartini Samon

Kartini joined GRAIN in 2013 after several years working with the Indonesian peasant movement, SPI, and supporting La Via Campesina South East and East Asia Youth'ss communication team. She studied rural development and is actively involved with the peasant and rural youth movements in her country. Kartini's responsibility is to support GRAIN's partners in Asia and to implement the programme in the region.

  • Languages: Indonesia, English and (some) Italian
  • Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Telephone:
  • Email: kartini[at]


Camila Montecinos

Camila joined GRAIN in 2002. She is an agronomist who has worked with small farmers for most of her professional life, especially through the Chilean organisation CET and a number of years with the global CBDC programme. Camila's responsibility is to support GRAIN's partners in Latin America and to help implement our programme across the region. On GRAIN's behalf, she is an advisor to the Biodiversity Commission of La Vía Campesina and she participates actively in producing Biodiversidad magazine.

  • Languages: Spanish, English, Portuguese and French
  • Location: Santiago, Chile
  • Telephone: +56 2 2224437
  • Email: camila[at]


Ramón Vera Herrera

Ramón joined GRAIN in 2009. He is the overall editor of Biodiversidad, a quarterly magazine produced in collaboration with 10 partners in the region. He also works actively with the rest of GRAIN's Latin America team in advancing our programme in the region. In addition, he edits the Mexican monthly Ojarasca, translates international writers for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada and is actively involved in the struggles of indigenous peasants in his country.

  • Languages: Spanish and English
  • Location: Mexico DF
  • Telephone: +52 5556155527
  • Email: ramon[at]


Carlos Vicente

Carlos joined GRAIN in 2001, after many years with CETAAR, a group which works on the promotion of medicinal plants in Argentina. A pharmacist by training, Carlos' role in GRAIN is to coordinate our information and outreach work in Latin America, as well as support GRAIN's partners and help implement our overall programme in the region. He also participates in and and, as member of the Argentine group Acción por la Biodiversidad, helps run

  • Languages: Spanish and English
  • Location: Marcos Paz (Buenos Aires), Argentina
  • Telephone: +54 220 4774581
  • Email: carlos[at]


Ange-David Baïmey

Ange-David joined GRAIN in 2014. His responsibility is to support GRAIN's partners in Africa, with a particular focus on Eastern and Southern Africa, and Ghana, and to implement the program in that part the continent.

  • Languages: French and English
  • Location: Accra, Ghana
  • Email: ange[at]


Susan Nakacwa

Susan is a journalist by training and joined GRAIN in 2017. Her passion lies in researching, documenting and making the case for smallholder farming on the African continent. She strongly believes that smallholder farmers are the custodians of healthy and sustainable agricultural practices and are our only hope in fixing our broken food system. Apart from implementing GRAIN’s programmes across the region, Susan also supports and works closely with GRAIN’s partners in Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • Languages: English, Luganda
  • Location: Kampala, Uganda
  • Email: susan[at]


Finance and administration

Aitor Urkiola

Aitor joined GRAIN in 2000, coming from a long experience with NGO work in the Basque Country. Aitor is in charge of GRAIN's overall administration, financial management and organisational development. He also backs up the coordinator when needed and plays a key role in making sure GRAIN's vital communication tools work.

  • Languages: English, Spanish, Basque and Catalan
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Telephone: +34 93 3011381
  • Email: aitor[at]


Virginia Quesada

Virginia joined GRAIN in 2014. She began her work on the defense of the rights of peasants in 1997 in the Spanish NGO VSF, focussing on internal organizational work. Her function is to support GRAIN general administration and financial management.

  • Languages: English, Spanish and Catalan
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Telephone: +34 933011381
  • Email: virginia [at]


Antoine Langeard

In addition to the staff mentioned above, Antoine Langeard also works for GRAIN. Antoine works from the office in Barcelona and helps with fundraising. He joined GRAIN in early 2017.  



Beyond the staff, a whole range of people collaborate with GRAIN in one capacity or another. They help us with web development, translations, publications, outreach and more. Geographically-speaking, they are as spread out as GRAIN's staff team and are essential to our operations. We are extremely grateful for their skillful help, commitment and partnership. Among them we would like to highlight Paul Pantastico, who works on GRAIN's web development from the Philippines.

We also benefit enormously from the inputs of a large range of people who helped with GRAIN's publications and other information outputs, be it as editors, translators, designers or other. These include Raúl Fernández (Spain), Odile Girard-Blakoe (France), Amandine Semat (France/Mexico), Maria Teresa Montecinos (Chile), Jean-Luc Thierry (France), Raymond Robitaille and Peter Feldstein (Canada).