From two employees in 1972, the Foundation’s core and program staff would generally number between 10 and 20 professionals dependent on project-related activities.  Staffing included biologists and ecologists, geologists and historians, planners and economists, system analysts and international development specialists, community organizers and institutional specialists.

Additionally, IRF came to rely on an interdisciplinary rooster of IRF-affiliated Associates who consulted with the permanent staff within their disciplinary specialties, helped to keep the Foundation informed regarding island affairs, and remained available for assignment on appropriate IRF projects.  Numbering at its peak approximately 75 professionals with island residency or island-specific experience, the Foundation’s Research and Program Associates helped to expand the reach and opportunities available for the organization’s ongoing work.  See also Program Associates.


Bruce G. Potter, Outgoing President

Bruce Potter was President and Chief of Information Systems at Island Resources Foundation from 1998 to 2016. His association with the Foundation dates to 1978, and he served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1980 to 2016. Bruce is an expert in small island sustainable development and was the principal mover in building the Foundation’s capabilities for environmental information management and in supporting strategies for using the Internet to increase islanders’ access to decision-making tools for improved management of sustainable development. Bruce’s half-century of professional  experience, in both the public and private sectors, have focused on international development, information system design and implementation, economic planning and institutional development. He was a charter member of the Island Web Consortium and GIN (Global Islands Network), a prototype for a world-wide, Internet-based information network for and about islands.

Judith A. Towle, MPA, Founding Vice President

With a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from American University, Judith Towle served as IRF’s chief administrative and financial officer from the organization’s establishment in 1972. Her 45 years of Caribbean experience focused on institutional development, non-governmental organizations, public policy and financial management. She was IRF’s senior writer and editor and is recognized for editing the eight-volume Country Environmental Profile series for the Eastern Caribbean and the Island Environmental Profile series for the British Virgin Islands. From 1991-2004, Judith served as a member of the Board of Trustees (Chair from 1997-2004) of the Mukti Fund, a U.S. foundation whose grantmaking focused on St. Kitts and Nevis. In 2003, the Judith A. Towle Environmental Studies Fund was established at the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands in recognition of her work in the Caribbean. Since 2010, Ms. Towle has been a leading advocate for Caribbean philanthropy law initiatives. She authored the region’s first study to assess the legislative and regulatory frameworks for philanthropy in the insular Caribbean: Philanthropy, Civil Society, and Law in the Caribbean.

Jean Pierre Bacle, Senior Natural Resources Specialist

As the Foundation’s senior natural resources analyst, Jean-Pierre Bacle facilitated and coordinated IRF’s applied research and field activities for three decades, primarily in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands . A Canadian national with a degree in geography from the University of Ottawa, Jean-Pierre’s affiliation with IRF began 1986, where he specialized in resource management studies, environmental impact assessments, endangered species research, air-photo interpretation and natural resource mapping of coastal and terrestrial environments in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, as well as the wider Caribbean. He also is a champion Duathlon competitor and has participated in competitions in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and internationally.

Kevel C. Lindsay, Coordinator of IRF’s  Biodiversity Program

A national of Antigua , Kevel Lindsay is a trained forester and biologist, with a degree in biodiversity conservation from Columbia University. He joined the Foundation’s regional Biodiversity Conservation Program (initially based in Antigua ) in 1995, later serving as the program’s regional coordinator for more than 15 years. Mr. Lindsay is an expert on Caribbean plant ecology and faunal species, particularly birds and bats. He was a principal contributor to several key biodiversity planning documents prepared by the Foundation, including vegetation classification systems for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He co-authored The Wild Plants of Antigua and Barbuda and is author of the forthcoming The Ferns of Antigua.

Carlos Ramos-Scharrón, Ph.D., Coordinator, Watershed Science Program

Dr. Ramos-Scharrón is a regionally recognized expert on erosion and sediment control processes in the Caribbean, particularly Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where he carried out research studies for over a decade in affiliation with Island Resources Foundation and other partner institutions. His doctoral dissertation from Colorado State University (2004) was based on extensive sediment monitoring at dozens of sites on the island of St. John (USVI), including at Fish Bay where the Foundation owned 45 acres of protected green space. Carlos’s research resulted in development of a GIS model for measuring and predicting erosion and sediment yield. His investigations were designed to provide science-based best management practices for small islands looking to identify improved methods for protecting and restoring critically endangered coral reefs.

Barbara J. Lausche, J.D., Environmental Lawyer

An international environmental lawyer, Barbara Lausche holds a law degree from Catholic University in Washington , DC and has enjoyed a distinguished environmental law career with, among others, The World Bank, World Wildlife Fund-US, and the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment. As an experienced legislative drafter and technical adviser to developing countries, Dr. Lausche first worked in the Caribbean in the late 1980s as a consultant to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to prepare detailed inventories and assessments of environmental legislation in eight OECS states. With Island Resources Foundation, Barbara built on this work to assist the British Virgin Islands in drafting new national parks legislation (2006), rules and regulations for that legislation (2008), and operational procedures for the National Parks Trust Board. Dr. Lausche was a long-standing member of Island Resources Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Michael E. O’Neal, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow

Michael E. O’Neal was a Senior Research Fellow at Island Resources Foundation from 2009-2016, where he assisted in developing and coordinating Foundation programs in the British Virgin Islands. Prior to his affiliation with IRF, Dr. O’Neal served as the third president of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in the BVI. He facilitated the establishment of the Foundation’s office in Tortola, BVI in the late 1990s and in the transfer of the Foundation’s extensive environmental library from St.  Thomas in the USVI to Tortola in the BVI, where it remains housed at the College’s Learning Resource Centre.  An anthropologist by training, Dr. O’Neal’s primary area of academic research focused on the political economy of development; in 2012, his study of BVI social history was published: Slavery, Smallholding and Tourism–Social Transformation in the British Virgin Islands. Since leaving the presidency of the HLSCC in 2008, Dr. O’Neal’s ongoing research has concentrated on family business studies.