Our team

← Back to all members

Nicole DeSantis

Policy Advisor, Nature-based Solutions – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Nicole is working with the project Mapping Nature for People and Planet to translate Essential Life Support Area (ELSA) maps and spatial insights into tangible policy actions for decision makers, with the aim to support countries to achieve their policy priorities with co-benefits across climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development. Nicole is also contributing to the vision for a marine-specific ELSA offering.

Previous experience and expertise

Nicole DeSantis is a Policy Advisor on nature-based solutions for sustainable development at UNDP. She has worked with the Nature for Development Global Programme at UNDP for more than four years. She was formerly the coordinator of the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform, a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society and Indigenous peoples striving to protect and restore forests and end deforestation by 2030. Nicole has contributed to other UNDP initiatives, including the Equator Initiative and the Nature for Climate national briefings that examined nature-based solutions across climate, biodiversity and development policy.

Prior to joining UNDP, Nicole coordinated a community resilience and energy storage program for the Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources, consulted with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and served as Director of Research and Engagement at the New England Water Innovation Network. She holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment, where she focused on natural resource management, sustainable development, and the linkages between water, energy and food security.