2021/006: New Appointments at CMS Secretariat

The CMS Secretariat is pleased to inform our parties and partners of several recent appointments.

UMBERTO GALLO ORSI, Programme Management Officer (RAPTORS)

Umberto Gallo Orsi joined the CMS Abu Dhabi Office as the RAPTORS Programme Management Officer, as of 1 March 2021.

Mr. Gallo Orsi is a veterinarian by education, and an ornithologist with over 27 years of international experience in the field of avian species conservation in different international organizations within and outside the UN system and with a national-level non-governmental organization. 

Prior to joining the CMS Secretariat in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Gallo Orsi worked at The Council of Europe in France, as a consultant on the IKB Scorecard and as Ornithological Expert at Golder Associates in Italy. He served as a Board Member of the Ente Parco Paleontologico Astigiano in Italy and worked with LIPU/ BirdLife Italy as technical and policy advisor.

Mr. Gallo Orsi has served on various boards and expert trainings as well as a policy-technical advisor, building teams of fieldworkers and working with researchers for implementing conservation programmes.  His career in nature and biodiversity conservation with BirdLife International focused on planning, implementing and reviewing species conservation projects including serving as the secretary of the Slender-billed Curlews MoU (CMS).  In the last 12 years he has been working on different aspects of avian conservation including wind power facilities, waterbird and wetland conservation, hunting management and illegal killing of birds.

He holds a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (1988) and Wildlife Management (2005) from the University of Turin.  



Maria Jose Ortiz joined the CMS Secretariat as Legal Officer, as of 23 March 2021.

Ms. Ortiz is a lawyer specializing in International Environmental Law with over 16 years of experience in different international organizations within and outside the UN system.

She worked in 2019 and 2020 as Programme Management Officer in the CMS Secretariat as the primary focal point on capacity building work, implementation and compliance including the review mechanism and national legislation and promoting the accession of new Parties to CMS.

She began her career in Manila, first in the Embassy of Spain and later in a consultancy firm managing international cooperation projects for development. Later she joined the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva, where she worked on strengthening the capacities of governments and civil society in the preparation and application of international environmental laws. She also worked as a staff lawyer for the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) in London, supporting developing countries' participation in international environmental negotiations. Before joining the CMS Secretariat, she led the collaboration of the Legal Response Initiative and InforMEA, an initiative of UNEP's Law Division, providing legal analysis and managing InforMEA's e-Learning platform.

Over the course of her career, she also has provided legal, procedural, and governance advice to delegates in numerous official meetings of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, including UNFCCC and CBD, and to the CMS Parties and Secretariat during the CMS COP 13.

Ms. Ortiz holds a Bachelor's degree in law (2001) and a Master's degree in International Trade (2002) from the University of Alicante. 


IVÁN RAMÍREZ, Avian Programme Management Officer

Iván Ramírez Parades will be joining the CMS Secretariat as of 1 June as the new CMS Avian Programme Management Officer.

Mr. Ramírez is a biologist with over 21 years of international experience in the field of migratory birds. He has worked extensively with institutions at the national level, EU level and internationally to further avian conservation.

Mr. Ramírez has experience working in Europe, Central Asia, the Mediterranean and Macaronesian regions. Throughout his career in nature and international conservation, he has engaged with governments, many international NGOs, large international foundations and key corporate entities such as those working with cement aggregates and within the food sector. He has managed large philanthropic and institutional portfolios, and developed international projects supported by the MAVA Foundation, the Arcadia Foundation, EU LIFE, CEPF and many others.

Prior to joining the CMS Secretariat, Mr. Ramirez worked at BirdLife International as Senior Head of Conservation for Europe and Central Asia, coordinating all conservation programmes and supporting the work delivered by its partners. He has also served as European Marine Coordinator at BirdLife International Europe, Head of the Marine Programme at SPEA in Portugal, and been a Lecturer for Advanced M. Sc. in Ecology at the University of Coimbra in Portugal.

He holds a PhD in Biology (2019) which focused on a migratory petrel species and a Master’s Degree on environmental restoration (1999).


Last updated on 22 April 2021