As chief program officer for the Rainforest Alliance, Ria Stout leads the organization’s Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America teams, the standards & assurance department, and DMERL (design, monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning). She provides strategic direction and operational oversight to the organization’s certification and landscape management programs. Ria and her team work together with farmers and forest communities to drive more sustainable commodity production, protect the world’s most critically important tropical landscapes, and boost rural livelihoods through thriving local economies.
Based in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Ria joined the Rainforest Alliance in 2004. Prior to working for the Rainforest Alliance, she was a co-founder of the Fundación Utz Kapeh, which later evolved to UTZ; in early 2018, UTZ merged with the Rainforest Alliance.
She holds an M.A. in social anthropology and sociology of non-western societies from the University of Amsterdam and a degree in journalism from the Academy of Journalism in Zwolle, the Netherlands.