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Board of Directors

Jeffrey Behr, Chief Executive Officer

Jeffrey Behr is co-founder and CEO of the Center for Environmental Diplomacy (CED) in Washington, DC. As an economic development professional he has advised and worked with corporations and governments on financing and implementing environmental, renewable energy & water, biotech and sustainable economic development programs. Behr has implemented projects and directed operations in Asia, Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. His efforts in government and the private sector have improved public health and community services through economic and social development, environmental engineering and strategic partnerships.

At CED, Behr directs international assistance and trans-boundary cooperation to facilitate resource conservation, sustainable development and environmental management in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Prior to taking the helm at CED, he was Director of Japan Development at IBM Microelectronics where he led the division in customer satisfaction and profitability. Earlier in his career, Behr worked in a range of leadership roles including the State of Georgia's Economic & Trade Development Office in Tokyo, where he contributed to jobs growth in Japan and America.

Behr has published technology and health policy studies, including a comparative analysis of national priorities in creating public and private partnerships for the role of biotechnology in economic development. Recently he co-authored an Inventory of Environment and Security Policies of the Japanese government, which was presented to the European and German Parliaments as a policy guide.

Behr performed his Master's in Urban Environmental Engineering at the University of Tokyo in Japan, where he was a distinguished member of the Monbusho Fellowship program. He earned his B.S. Chemistry at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama. .....................................................

Theodore T. Beckett, Chairman

Ted Beckett is the President of the Foundation for International Research and Education (FIRE), a California-based nonprofit corporation, as well as co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Center for Environmental Diplomacy.  Beckett became aware of the environmental crisis in the West Bank in October 1997.  A year later, he interviewed key stakeholders and produced the video, "An Environmental Peace-Plan." Beckett is an award-winning video producer and writer.

In 1966, he began his career as a Commercial Real Estate Broker. Ted and his wife, Audrey, currently reside in Colorado Springs where they own and operate Beckett Development, a land development company. 

After serving in the Marines, including a tour of duty in Korea, Ted studied journalism and political science at the University of Nevada on the GI bill.  He has traveled in over 70 countries of the world.


Audrey Beckett, Treasurer

In 1997, Audrey Beckett helped establish Beckett Development, LLP, which owns and is developing ten commercial and industrial properties and a hotel in Colorado. She is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Beckett Development, handling the day-to-day engineering, financial, and development challenges. 

Beckett began her corporate career at Hunt Wesson Foods as the Manager of the Packaging Department where she was promoted to Manager of Special Projects for all seven canneries in the U.S. and Canada.  In 1981, Beckett became Senior Financial Analyst for World Vision, the largest Christian childcare, relief, and development organization in the world.  After six years of full-time work there, Beckett spent five years as a consultant for World Vision and other development and aid ministries.  Her assignments included analyzing and improving the World Vision sponsorship program and funding for one million sponsored children; streamlining and improving the mail processing, receipting, and correspondence departments which receive an average of 15,000 to 35,000 pieces of mail each day; working with the new India Director of WV to double the size of the programs and raise part of the funds within India; and strategically plan for growth in the entire WV partnership.

Beckett has a B.A. in economics with postgraduate studies at UCLA in economic development and mathematical modeling.

Board Members

Hugh Wilkinson

Hugh Wilkinson is an international consultant specializing in economic and social development projects. He consults to and advises private firms, governments, and international financial institutions (IFIs) on the design, financing, and management of complex technical assistance projects in developing and transition economies. His clients include foreign governments, consulting firms, prominent law firms, global corporations, NGOs, and IFIs such as the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. He is also retained regularly by Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and provincial government agencies across Canada.

Wilkinson worked for almost a decade in the IFI world in Washington D.C. He has worked on assignments in over 20 countries. Wilkinson has also been involved in several pioneering projects advising firms on corporate social responsibility policy, strategies, and related sustainable development programs. Wilkinson was active for many years in global disability initiatives. He was Assistant Project Manager for a three-year World Bank-funded Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) project in Albania.
Wilkinson is a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration (HBA, 1980), University of Western Ontario, Canada.


David Edwards

David Edwards has over 18 years of business experience both as a business owner and in strategy consulting, private equity, corporate development, and structured finance. Edwards began his career as an entrepreneur and launched two successful companies. The first was an import/export business that sold tribal art from Africa, Asia and South America to the Japanese market. The second was a wholesale apparel company in Seattle, Washington, which designed and manufactured men and women's fashion accessories.

Prior to joining Strategic Ventures and Research as a partner, Edwards assumed the role of VP, Securitization Marketing with Atradius in May 2002. In addition to marketing initiatives in North America for specialized credit enhancement products and other trade related financial solutions, he developed a quantitative model to price structured credit risk using live market data including credit derivatives. His team has securitized over $1 billion dollars in trade credits.

As Director of Corporate Development at PLX Systems, a financial technology company specializing in intellectual asset management, Edwards concluded a licensing deal with the Government of Singapore that resulted in expanded sales coverage to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Australia and over $2 million dollars in revenues and a $3 million joint venture with Softbank and Itochu which launched the subsidiary, pl-x, K.K. in Tokyo.

Edwards is a frequent speaker on industry panels including the Asset Backed Securitization and IP Structured Finance conferences, and has published papers in these fields including, "Patent-Backed Securitization: Blueprint for a New Asset Class".

Edwards holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado and an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from the University of Southern California.


Yasuo Kitano

Yasuo Kitano is the Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Coalition for the Environment (ACE), a Japanese NGO founded in 2001. He has overseen training seminars for universities and civil society, related to recycling, environmental business and sustainable development. He was Chair of the first International Eco-design Conference in China in 2004, sponsored by China's Environmental Bureau, the University of Tokyo, Japan, and Tsinghua University, China.

Kitano led an ACE delegation from Japan and cooperated with CED on a Training-of-Trainers workshop in Aqaba, Jordan in 2003. The event was co-hosted with the UNCRD, ACE, CED and Israeli and Palestinian NGOs.

Previously, and in addition to his endeavors at ACE, Kitano has worked as a project consultant / advisor to the Japanese government on environmental, waste management, recycling, eco-labeling and life cycle assessments, among other projects.

Kitano has a Master's in engineering from the Graduate School of Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering at Nagoya University and a Bachelor's in engineering from the School of Architecture at Nagoya University, Japan. He has a Diploma from the Graduate School of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield, England.

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