RSB Secretariat

The RSB Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day running of the RSB. It ensures the ongoing development of the RSB Standard as well as its promotion and implementation through certification and policy. The Secretariat’s annual standard development workplan is available online. Last update: February 24, 2016. This workplan is indicative only. The RSB Secretariat reserves the right to modify this workplan at anytime.

The RSB’s main office is located in Geneva Switzerland with staff also located in Brazil and the United States of America (see below).

Rolf Hogan – Executive Director


Rolf leads the work of the RSB Secretariat on behalf of the RSB Board of Directors. He ensures effective strategies, partnerships and finances are in place to fulfill the RSB mission. With an academic background in both natural and social sciences, Rolf has 20 years’ experience with the non-profit sector and global environmental policy. He led a multi-country program on protected areas for WWF International and represented the organization at the Convention on Biological Diversity. He also worked for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) advising the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. He frequently speaks at conferences and workshops about biomaterial sustainability, multi-stakeholder organizations and certification topics.

Phone: +41 22 796 40 37 (Switzerland)

Business Development

Melanie Williams, PhD – Regional Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa


Melanie leads RSB certification activities in the EU, Middle East and Africa and assists biomaterials producers and refiners with their applications for RSB certification. Melanie also advises RSB Participating Operators on European biofuel regulation and how it can affect their certification, and is a contact point for the European Commission. She previously worked at SERCO leading the Environmental Measurements Group at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK. Her work also encompassed research into new methods for measuring emissions of greenhouse gases from the agricultural, waste management, petrochemical and power sectors. Melanie earned a MA in Natural Sciences and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and is a frequent speaker in Europe.

Phone: +41 788227219 (Switzerland)

Aurea Nardelli, PhD – Regional Director, South America

Aurea Nardelli 2Aurea is using her 20 years of experience related to sustainability, environment and climate change to expand RSB’s outreach in Brazil and other South American countries and to assist biomaterials entities pursuing RSB certification.  She has extensive experience related to sustainability standards and certification systems in the context of forestry and agriculture value chains in South America. In her past roles as a forestry engineer, independent lead auditor for SGS, consultant at ProForest and other organisations, and graduate professor, she led dialogues with diverse stakeholders. Aurea earned a Doctorate in Forestry Science from Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Aurea is a frequent author, speaker, and graduate course professor.

Phone: +55 (31) 3245-5695 (Brazil)

Standards Development

Elena Schmidt – Standards Development Director


Elena leads the standards development team and coordinates the development and update of sustainability standards in partnership with more than 100 members from all sectors. Prior to the RSB, Elena worked for Tüv Süd, a German certification body, where she was responsible for audit programmes related to biofuels sustainability certification, green electricity certification and carbon footprints. As an auditor Elena has gained comprehensive experience in auditing complex chain of custody settings. Elena managed several innovation projects for the development of new certification services which comprised not only standard setting in cooperation with partners from the private and public sector but also strategic business model development. Elena earned master’s degrees in both environmental and political sciences.

Phone: +41 22 796 40 37 (Switzerland)


Helena Tavares Kennedy – Marketing & Communications Director

helena photo for websiteHelena utilizes her 18 years of experience to lead RSB’s marketing and communications activities, including branding, media relations, content management, events, website, social media, newsletters and other collateral. She is dedicated to improving sustainability and getting the word out so all can work together to achieve a better world. Helena earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with a Concentration in Environmental Policy from Mount Holyoke College and Masters of Business Administration from University of Maryland University College.

Phone: +1 (571) 762-2184 (USA)

Finance and Membership

Julia Drumel – Head of Finance and Membership

Julia DrumelJulia supports RSB’s work on finance and administration including developing our annual budget and improving RSB’s financial systems and financial planning. Additionally she is responsible for the management of RSB’s certification and membership processes and supporting the organisation of RSB Events / General Assembly. Julia has an academic education in economic and mathematics and long-term experience in financial management and corporate fundraising. She worked with WWF Russia, where she coordinated their corporate club program, raised substantial funds from large multi-national companies and organised different high-level events including several iterations of the ‘WWF Ball’.

Phone: +43 650 7630848 (Austria)