GreenOrange forms its account teams to meet a client’s specific needs in terms of the type of services and programs required and in which geographies.

In all cases the work will be led by a GreenOrange partner or senior associate.

In designing and executing its services and strategies for clients, GreenOrange relies heavily on the local expertise of associates in the countries where its services are required. GreenOrange only deploys experienced and trusted consultants with whom it has worked for many years.

Benno van der Laan, Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Originally from the Netherlands, he has been involved in international public affairs and government relations for more than twenty-five years.

In that time, he has designed and executed numerous advocacy campaigns spanning many different countries and has considerable experience in coordinating and directing multinational teams of consultants. Previously based in Brussels for ten years, where he worked in the European Commission and as a consultant, he has extensive knowledge of EU legislative and regulatory processes and European politics. Benno moved to Washington DC in 2001 and has since assisted many U.S. companies and trade associations in pursuing their interests in Europe and South America. Benno has worked on behalf of U.S. farmer organizations since 1996, and has detailed knowledge of European policies affecting agriculture commodities and food products, in particular in the areas of food and feed safety, environmental policies, and sustainability. He also has assisted many clients in the field of natural resources.

Benno frequently travels in the EU and South America. He is fluent in English, French, German, Portuguese and Dutch (native) and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Benno van der Laan

Benno van der Laan

David Green, Co-Founder

David Green is a Co-Founder of GreenOrange, LLC and is based in the United Kingdom. He has been involved in international issues management and communications, particularly in the agriculture and food sectors, for more than thirty years.

He has been a keynote speaker on biotechnology adoption and sustainability issues at many conferences and seminars in the U.S., the European Union, South America, Turkey, North Africa and Asia. In 1999, together with Robert Blood, he founded SIGWatch to track and monitor the impact of the emerging political force of activism and NGOs; He was a founding director of the London office of global communications consultancy Fleishman-Hillard, before moving to the United States in 1993. He is a recipient of a Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Association of the U.S. for pioneering work on soydiesel and was also awarded the United Soybean Board’s Excellence in Innovation Award. Over the past thirty years he has consulted with many blue-chip companies and organizations from both sides of the Atlantic on food and agricultural issues particularly the two key issues of sustainability in the food chain and the adoption and acceptance of new technologies and innovation in the agri-food chain. He began his career as a farmer in Northern Ireland running his own beef and pig farm. He subsequently joined Europe’s largest farm magazine, Farmers Weekly, in London where he became managing editor and also served as Vice President of EuroFarm, an association of European agricultural journalists. He has a Bachelor’s degree in political history and postgraduate work on NGOs at King’s College, London. He moved to Kansas City, United States in 1993 and from 2003 lived in Virginia on a small farm outside Washington DC. He returned to the UK in late 2019 to open the GreenOrange London office.

David Green

David Green

GreenOrange Network

Lisa Watson

Lisa Watson has three decades of experience in the food, nutrition and agriculture sectors.

She has aided corporate, nonprofit and trade association clients alike in building bridges between the world of science and that of public policy and communication, developing strategies and programs to enhance public and professional acceptance of food and agricultural technologies, commodities and ingredients. Lisa was heavily engaged in the introduction of agricultural biotechnology, formerly having led the biotechnology public affairs organization for Monsanto.  In that capacity, she oversaw outreach to U.S. public, professional and industry audiences and helped develop and implement acceptance strategies in Europe, Canada, Brazil, and Asia.  Her work included creation and oversight of communication and outreach networks, both across the countries of Europe and across Asia.  Lisa has published articles and spoken widely before national and international audiences on a variety of topics related to risk communication, nutrition, biotechnology, and public/private partnerships. She previously held positions with the National Dairy Council, the National Livestock and Meat Board and Kraft Foods.

Dr. L. Val Giddings

Val Giddings has worked with David Green and Benno van der Laan for the past ten years on numerous projects covering biotechnology and innovation in the food supply chain.

Through his consultancy, PrometheusAB, Inc., he’s provided expertise in regulatory compliance and legislative issues on innovation and biotechnology. Before founding PrometheusAB, he served for eight years as vice president for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). At BIO, he built a highly regarded program representing global biotech companies in policy, regulation, media, and international affairs. Before joining BIO, he worked in the biotech products regulatory division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) where he was international team leader and branch chief for science and policy coordination. During this time, he gained substantial international experience, serving on the U.S. delegations to negotiate the biodiversity treaty and to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Val also is a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) an organization which aims to bring intellectual leadership to the examination of the constraints inhibiting innovations in these areas and devising remedies to those constraints. Val received his Ph.D. in genetics and evolutionary biology from the University of Hawaii in 1980.

John Komen

John Komen is an associate of GreenOrange and has extensive experience as a bioscience and biosafety expert advisor, particularly in Africa and Asia.

John manages the planning and implementation of research and technical assistance activities under the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington D.C. with specific responsibilities for (i) managing and implementing activities in PBS partner countries in sub-Sahara Africa; (ii) work plan development, technical progress and impact reports, monitoring and evaluation. Previously, John was an advisor to the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Sweden on (a) Supporting planning and implementation of research and education activities on policy aspects of agricultural biotechnology, including biosafety and intellectual property management, under the BIO-EARN (Sweden – East Africa) program.  

John advised the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on biosafety regulatory issues in project proposals under consideration by the Foundation and provided monitoring and evaluation of the Foundation’s grants to strengthen research and regulatory capacity in Africa. Previously he was the assistant director for the International Service for National Agricultural Research in the Netherlands where he was responsible for the timely implementation of a 5-year USAID supported program on biosafety capacity development. PBS is implemented by a consortium of national, regional and international organizations, initially coordinated by ISNAR. Specific responsibilities for program and budget development, development of detailed work plans, development and execution of consortium sub-agreements in Asia and Africa.

Maite Caballero Tomas

Maite Caballero is based in Barcelona and is a GreenOrange researcher and advisor.

She has worked with Benno van der Laan and David Green for the past ten years on ag biotech and environmental issues such as the EU’s renewable fuels legislation. She was based in Brussels for more than fifteen years but now commutes to Brussels and Spain on a regular basis from her home in London several times a month. Her practice areas include: sustainability and environmental issues; climate change legislation; biofuels and energy efficiency, water efficiency and waste management. She has helped devise and implement advocacy campaigns in the Brussels-based EU institutions and in Iberia on behalf of U.S. agricultural interests. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French.

Robert Blood

Robert Blood founded SIGWatch with David Green in 1999 to track and monitor the impact of the emerging political force that was activism and NGOs.

Since then Robert has built SIGWatch into the world’s leading research and strategy consultancy on NGOs and campaigning groups with clients and staff across the world. Based in Germany, he is a highly regarded trainer on predicting and managing issue campaigns. Through his deep knowledge of Europe’s regional, national and local NGOs, he would be able to map NGO policy positions onto the messages of the GBI partner organizations to identify potential NGOs with whom the GBI could seek to collaborate or develop working relationships. Robert is a visiting lecturer to undergraduate and postgraduate courses at several UK universities and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Communications Management.

Graham Brooks

Graham Brookes is an economist by training, and has more than 25 years’ experience of providing economic and market analysis to both private and public sector customers.

He has in-depth knowledge of market and supply chain developments across many sectors including cereals, oilseeds, rice, sugar, dairy, wine, potatoes, meat and processed product derivatives (including starch, flour, animal feed, oils, meals/proteins, beer and alcoholic spirits). Graham has considerable experience and understanding of farm economics and competitiveness, policy issues and impact on markets and of undertaking regulatory and policy impact assessments. He is also a specialist in assessing relative competitiveness and the economic and environmental impact of new technology, such as the genetic modification of crops.

Amy Philpot

Amy Philpott is a GreenOrange associate and vice president of crisis services at Watson Green LLC, Washington, DC.

Amy helps clients in the agricultural and processed food industries use traditional and digital communication to protect brands, reputations and business relationships in domestic and foreign markets. She helps companies communicate about on issues such as labor concerns, biotechnology, pesticides and negative financial reports.

Amy also develops and/or reviews crisis management plans and training and acts as the spokesperson for industry associations. In 2016, she co-developed a one-day social media workshop for members of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition. She served on a joint FAO and WHO working group that developed a global risk communication guide for food safety.

Janine Maxwell

Janine Maxwell is a media relations specialist based in the UK and has 25 years’ experience of building and managing reputations across food, agriculture, sustainability, and technology.

For the past two years, Janine has successfully led GreenOrange’s media outreach on behalf of the U.S. Sustainability Alliance with articles placed across EU trade and national publications; she also is Editor of the monthly USSA Newsletter. Her specialist areas include international media relations, thought-leadership, and issues management. She has directed a multi-market corporate PR program for the world’s largest manufacturer of carbon-neutral flooring, driven retailer uptake of an African superfood in the UK market, and launched several technology break-throughs. She has strong relationships with the EU trade media and journalists writing on agriculture, food, nutrition, science, and technology. A languages graduate of Oxford University, Janine is a fluent French speaker.

Keith Keeney

Keith Keeney is a specialist in digital marketing and communications and as a consultant for GreenOrange, Keith has worked on behalf of its client the U.S. Sustainability Alliance (USSA) since 2016.

Keith has been instrumental in helping the USSA achieve its communications objectives. A digital marketing communications veteran, Keith knows how to help organizations execute proven strategies. Keith’s expertise includes website development, search engine marketing, social media engagement, and online reputation management. His work on major food safety issues has been instrumental in generating favorable publicity for clients and in achieving their issues management goals. Previously, he was vice president of communications for a professional services firm with offices on three continents. He created the firm’s digital marketing and design divisions and managed those divisions for 15 years. Keith earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University (in Atlanta, Georgia) and lives near Tampa, Florida.

Christopher Green

Christopher Green was part of the DEFRA (UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) Forum for Sustainable Agriculture.

He also has served as an Assessor in evaluating agricultural projects on behalf of the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and involved in the TSB’s Knowledge Transfer Network. Based in England, Christopher has extensive experience in the European agricultural sector having held directorships of the Swedish farm cooperative Lantmännen company as well as plant breeders Senova in the UK. He was the prime driver of a five-year, EU joint-funded food and farm industry initiative, Quoats, to harness new technologies for the sustainability of oat production and consumption. He is a board director of the Intellectual Property Board of the International Seeds Federation and a past Chairman of the British Society of Plant Breeders. He has a proven track record for being an effective and creative communicator as witnessed by his invitations to speak at international conferences throughout Europe, the Americas, Australia and South Africa.

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