The Foundation for Development Planning, Inc (FDPI) is subject to the provisions of Title 13, Chapter 3 of the Virgin Islands Code, which deal with nonprofit corporations. The Articles of Incorporation for the Foundation also includes specific reference to the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The main legal instruments that determine the purpose of FDPI and its operational procedures are the Articles of Incorporation and the By-laws.

Board of Directors

Alida Ortiz-Sotomayor, Director
Alida Ortiz-Sotomayor (Ph.D.) is a retired professor of biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao. Dr. Ortiz-Sotomayor has dedicated most of her professional life to the promotion of marine literacy and education among teachers and non-scientists. She has collaborated with other educators in the production of teaching materials on coral reefs and related ecosystems for K-12 students and personnel in marine protected areas in the Caribbean. She has also served as a consultant to regional and international organizations for development and delivery of capacity building programs in integrated coastal areas management, marine protected areas management, and environmental protection practices in hotel operations. Dr. Ortiz-Sotomajor continues her teaching and mentoring roles as a Graduate Lecturer at the Metropolitan University, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Dr. Ortiz-Sotomajor served in several administrative roles during her tenure with the University of Puerto Rico, ranging in responsibilities from Director of the UPR Sea Grant Marine Program to Dean of Academic Affairs, Humacao University College, and Special Assistant to the President of the University of Puerto Rico. She has also served on the Advisory Councils of the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, the Science and Engineering Education Division of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and Subaquatic Archaeology. Her current board roles include President of Consultores Educativos Ambientales C.S.P. and Chairperson of the Outreach and Education Panel of the Caribbean Fishery Management Council.

Jeremy Francis, Director
Jeremy Francis is a Management Consultant based in Trinidad and Tobago. He founded the consulting firm Beyond Consulting in 2009 to provide best-in-class training and consultancy in Process Improvement, Competency Frameworks, Assessment Centres and Psychometrics in the Caribbean. His focus is on using international benchmarks when providing training and services. He has been involved in projects in Barbados, Denmark, Dominica, Guyana, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. The sectors he has worked with include Banking/Credit Unions, Insurance, Shipping and Logistics, Oil and Gas, Information Technology, the Public Sector and the Armed Forces.
Mr. Francis’ academic background is in the field of Psychology and Human Resource Management, and he holds several specialist qualifications in Psychometrics, Assessment Centres, and Coaching.
An avid writer, Mr. Francis has published over one hundred and fifty articles related to Human Resource Management and Personal Development and has also published three books on related topics. His focus on building international benchmarks in the Caribbean has also led him to present findings at several conferences locally, as well as in the United Kingdom and South Africa.  Mr. Francis is a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society, and also a member of the St Vincent de Paul Society Chapter in his local parish.

Lloyd Gardner, President
Lloyd Gardner is an environmental planner who has been involved in environmental management in the Caribbean since joining the Government of Jamaica in 1982. During his tenure with the Government of Jamaica, Mr. Gardner served on several national development committees and the Board of Directors of the Negril Green Island Area Local Planning Authority. Since joining the private sector as an environmental planning consultant in 1992, Mr. Gardner has provided consulting services to a wide range of regional and international private, inter-governmental, civil society, bilateral, and multilateral organizations.
Mr. Gardner is a member of Caribbean and international non-governmental organizations, such as the Natural History Society of Jamaica, Caribbean Studies Association, and IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

Noreen Michael, Secretary
Noreen Michael (Ph.D.) is currently Research Director of the Caribbean Exploratory NIMHD Research Center and Research Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Michael previously held various research and administrative positions in academia and the public sector, including; Program Associate at the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (University of Kansas), Coordinator of Research for Assessment of the Status of Minorities in Education (Illinois State University), Director of Health Statistics within the Virgin Islands Department of Health, Consultant to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and The Village: Partners in Recovery, and Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Education. With a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology, Dr. Michael was a member of faculty of the Louisiana State University, the University of Kansas, and the Illinois State University.
Dr. Michael has served on various boards and commissions within the U.S. Virgin Islands, including; Board of Directors of WTJX, University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees, Board of Directors of the U.S. Virgin Islands Research & Technology Park, the U.S. Virgin Islands Medical Commission, University of the Virgin Islands CELL Advisory Board, VI-EPSCoR Advisory Board, Board of Directors of the Beacon Schools, Board of Directors of the St. Croix Chapter of the American Cancer Society, and Board of Directors of the Virgin Islands Community AIDS Resource, Inc (VICARE).

Selena Tapper, Director
Selena Tapper has more than 30 years of experience in development work in the Wider Caribbean Region. During that time, she held various field and administrative positions responsible for program development and administration, fund management, and capacity development for community, national, and Caribbean regional organizations. Ms Tapper managed development support programmes for the Caribbean Conference of Churches, CUSO (an Ottawa-based, nonprofit, Canadian organization), and the Caribbean Educational Programme in Agricultural Technology (University of the West Indies). Ms Tapper also served as the Executive Director of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica during the period 1998-2003, where she was responsible for administration and management of a capital fund of US$24 million, established for the purpose of financing environment and child development projects.
Ms. Tapper was a Founding Board Member of the Association of Development Agencies, Jamaica. She also served on the boards of directors of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund and Projects for People Ltd. (Jamaica).

Yvonne Webster-Pryce, Treasurer
Yvonne Webster-Pryce has considerable experience in business administration, including executive level positions in the private and public sectors. Executive positions in the private sectors include Cable and Wireless (W.I.) Limited Anguilla, International Motors Corporation, and Tony’s Wrecking Service. Executive positions in the public sector include tenures at the Virgin Islands National Guard, Virgin Islands Department of Health, and most recently, Director of Administration in the Virgin Islands Department of Labor (2002-2015).
Ms. Webster-Pryce has served on the board of directors of the Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair for the past 19 years, including being a member of its finance committee.

Persons wishing to be associated with the Foundation in carrying out its objects and purposes may be appointed by the Board as non-voting Associates of the Foundation, provided that such persons agree to abide by the Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, and other policies, rules and standards of professional conduct established by the Board.

Barbara Lausche, JD – Research Associate
Dr. Barbara Lausche is an international environmental lawyer and policy adviser with more than thirty years of experience with governments and organizations around the world. Her work has concentrated on conservation aspects of environmental law, compliance with international conventions, and marine and coastal environments. She has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed papers and several books, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation (Lausche, 2011), Legal Aspects of Connectivity Conservation – A Concept Paper (co-author, 2013), and the E-book, Building Capacity on Protected Areas Law and Governance – 12 Training Modules (co-author, 2015).

Dr. Lausche is currently the Director of the Marine Policy Institute at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, a non-profit marine science research organization based in Sarasota, Florida, United States of America. The organization participates in science projects worldwide, including the Caribbean. Her career includes staff positions at the World Bank, World Wildlife Fund-US, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Congressional Office of Technical Assessment. Throughout her career, she has been active in the Environmental Law Programme of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and continues those ties as a member of IUCN’s Law Commission and World Commission on Protected Areas.

Dr. Lausche has undertaken technical assignments in the Wider Caribbean Region, including assessment of the environmental law frameworks of the eight members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, provided technical assistance for drafting of new national parks legislation and regulations in the British Virgin Islands, and prepared draft biodiversity guidelines for the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife, United Nations Environment Programme-Caribbean Environment Program. Dr. Lausche’s non-profit work in the Caribbean includes serving on the board of directors of the Island Resources Foundation.

LaVerne E. Ragster, Ph.D. – Research Associate
Dr. LaVerne Ragster is a retired Professor of Marine Biology and President Emerita of the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Ragster has conducted research and training in the areas of algal physiology and natural resource management, presented and published in the areas of plant physiology, natural resource management and training, and obtained training and practical experience in institutional and leadership development over a 35 year span. Dr. Ragster maintains her scholarly work primarily through assignments with the Caribbean Exploratory (NIMHD) Research Center at the University of the Virgin Islands, where she focuses on climate change and public health.

Dr. Ragster has served the U.S. Virgin Islands, United States of America, and Wider Caribbean Region in a number of leadership roles. In academia, she served at various times as Sub-Secretary General for the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes, as the Coordinator of the Consortium of Caribbean Universities for Natural Resource Management, as Chair of the Board of the University Consortium for Small Island Developing States, and on commissions and programs of the American Council on Education and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. She has been an active member of a number of local and Caribbean regional civil society organizations, and has served on the board of directors of regional organizations such as the Caribbean Studies Association, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, Caribbean Conservation Association, Island Resources Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and Clean Islands International. Dr. Ragster has served on national committees, such as the National Environmental Policy Commission of the Congressional Black Caucus Brain Trust on Environmental Justice, the National Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing Systems Advisory Committee. She has worked in the Wider Caribbean Region with the United Nations Environment Programme-Caribbean Environment Programme, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, and as the U.S. Virgin Islands representative on the Caribbean Council for Science and Technology.