Board of Directors
Board Of Directors
Founder and President
David grew up in New York and Washington DC and graduated from Williams College with a degree in Political Science. He spent 7 years in Africa, with experience in 43 countries, working first with the Ford Foundation, and later as a bush pilot, and also as a photojournalist covering some of the continent’s messier conflicts. He returned to the United States and worked in the film industry. Since the early 1990s, David has devoted himself full time to work as a conservationist, and also serves as Chairman of the Board of the St. Catherines Island Foundation.
In 2004, David and his wife Jordan founded CAVU and moved to Costa Rica as a hub for operations throughout Latin America. While Jordan managed a growing staff and all financial matters and important strategic decisions, David produced and directed 14 community outreach films in 10 countries in 3 languages — a number of which are still in use in schools and broadcasting systems in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, among others.
David also conducted hundreds of low-level aerial overflights, with both NGOs and multiple government agencies in Latin America, mapping the Meso-American Barrier Reef System, and documenting damaged watersheds and deforestation as far south as the Peruvian Amazon. David is a commercial/single/multi-engine/land/sea/glider/instrument rated pilot with over 4500 hours experience on three continents.
With the birth of two daughters and our return to a base in Santa Fe, New Mexico, CAVU is currently focused on critical issues here at home. When not working, David enjoys time with his family and friends — hiking, camping, fishing…and skiing above all else.
Jordan Vaughan Smith
Founder and Treasurer
Jordan grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from the American University of Paris with a degree in International Economics. She then moved to Istanbul, Turkey, where she was employed by the brokerage firm FinansInvest, and conducted quantitative market analysis of the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
Following the collapse of the Turkish Lira in 2001, Jordan returned to the States and was working for Wells Fargo in New Mexico when she met her future husband. Jordan and David founded CAVU in 2004 and moved to Costa Rica as a hub for operations throughout Latin America. With the exception of a much-needed sabbatical after the birth of her second daughter, Jordan has served as CAVU’s Executive Director since its inception. She has managed a growing staff and all financial matters, as well as important creative and strategic decisions.
With our return to the United States and a home in Santa Fe, Jordan now serves as an active board member of Communities in Schools of Santa Fe. She directs funding from the Jordan and David Smith Fund at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, focusing on education, the environment and economic development. She also serves as a director of the St Catherines Island Foundation.
When she’s not busy with the various endeavors of work life Jordan enjoys skiing, yoga, cooking and camping. She loves languages, cultures, human relations and problem-solving.
Roger is recognized nationally as one of the major proponents of Indian energy development and is one of the foremost experts on Native American energy in the country. Roger Fragua has dedicated his professional career to the advancement and development of American Indian communities. The basis for Roger’s commitment to Indian Country is steeped in his long-tenured background as the Tribal Administrator for his own Tribe. Prior to forming Cota, Roger served as the Deputy Director of The Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT), a Denver-based national organization where he administered the day-to-day business operations of a 57 member Inter-Tribal non-profit entity that helped to change the national landscape and legislation guaranteeing Tribes a role in the U.S. energy economy.
Besides working to establish a multi-Tribal energy networking alliance with several regional Inter-Tribal organizations to move the cause of Tribal energy forward, he built strong alliances with various state and federal agencies, external partners and private sector companies. Roger also worked with theWestern Governors’ Association and the National Tribal Environmental Council on State and Tribal relations as it relates to environmental issues. In addition, Roger worked for several years as an executive at Enron, in charge of the implementation of Indian energy projects throughout the country. He established Tribal contacts with the leadership from 90% of Indian Country for potential project development, to include: gas pipelines, power plant generation, renewable energy developments, telecommunications, and manufacturing and other economic development projects.
Roger specializes in creating innovative business concepts and promoting partnerships between Tribes and industry. He has created, developed and implemented cutting edge commercial business structures and a corporate program promoting partnerships between Indian Tribes and Corporate America with a focus on capitalizing on Tribal regulatory and tax advantages. Throughout his career, Roger has maintained strict loyalty to Tribes, and any negotiation or deal structuring that Roger has been engaged in is always with the ultimate purpose of securing the maximum advantage for Tribal interests. Roger is married to Clarice from San Felipe Pueblo and has three sons and one daughter.
Sandy Buffett is a consultant for national and local environmental nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Recently, she served as the Chair of the Albuquerque/ Bernalillo County Joint Air Quality Board. For eight years, she served as the Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM). Prior to that, Sandy worked in Washington, D.C. for the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), in Berkeley with the Nautilus Institute, and in Paris for the OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. She has a Master of Arts in International Economic Development from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado College. Sandy was previously the Vice Chair of the NM Game & Fish Commission appointed by Gov. Richardson. Sandy has volunteered on numerous local environmental nonprofit boards and completed the Harvard University Executive Education “Effective Board Governance” certificate program. She and her husband reside in Albuquerque and enjoy teaching their daughter how to ski, raft, and fly fish.
Kimi Green has been involved professionally in environmental conservation and community sustainability for 28 years in her tenure as Program Director for New Cycle Foundation, consultant services, staff and Board leadership with environmental and social justice non-profit organizations, and volunteer work for numerous non-profit organizations and campaigns. She brings an experienced understanding of innovative philanthropic strategies and cross-cultural platforms for community/philanthropic/government integration.
With New Cycle Foundation, as Program Director, Kimi provided support for local and international environmental and social justice programs. International projects included support for a multi-million dollar economic development fund building Tibetan refugee capacity for economic diversity and sustainability, advanced education, environmental regeneration and infrastructure for a permanent Development Bank. New Mexico program focus includes access to education and healthcare, environmental protection and economic sustainability in New Mexico communities.
During her service with New Mexico Community Foundation as Development and Community Sustainability Director (2005 – 2010), Kimi and fellow Directors shepherded key statewide initiatives with national funders to support the integration of rural and community access to education, healthcare, food security, environmental integrity, and diverse economic development. Together, they secured over $7 million in local and national matches to support successful initiatives.
Kimi has served as a Board Director of various organizations including Environmental Grantmakers Association, Citizen’s for Global Solutions, Amigos Bravos, Sustainable Communities Inc, New Mexico Grantmakers Association and currently, New Mexico Children’s Foundation.
Her education includes Biomedical Sciences at California State Polytechnic University and integrative medicine at New Mexico Academy of Advanced Healing Arts. A mother of two sons focused on civic engagement and social business education, Kimi loves community volunteer work, gardening and being in nature in her spare time.
Delaney is a graduate student in Miami, Florida where she is enrolled in a dual law degree (J.D.) and Ph.D. program at the University of Miami’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. In May, 2020, she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science while double majoring in Marine Science and Coastal Geology and minoring in Climate Policy.
Growing up, she split her time between the cosmopolitan city of a few million people and a 1,000-acre island with 40 solar powered homes in the Florida Keys called No Name Key. Like the State of Florida, Delaney’s life is surrounded by water and that’s where her love for the environment comes from.
She is the Founder and CEO of an NGO, The Sink or Swim Project, and its popular website www.miamisearise.com, an educational and political advocacy organization focused on a variety of environmental topics including climate change and sea level rise.
She is also the author and illustrator of 3 children’s books, as well as a comic book, on ecology topics and is completing a new book on the impact of climate change and sea level rise in South Florida.
Delaney has given a popular TEDx Talk, has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City, appeared with actor/musician Jack Black on the National Geographic Channel’s Years of Living Dangerously, with renowned world explorer Philippe Cousteau on Xploration Awesome Planet on FOX, and with Vice President Al Gore on MTV’s ‘An Inconvenient Special’ Town Hall.
Jeff Phipps, a Florida native, received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. Since then he has been involved in many conservation and development projects both within the state of Florida and beyond. From 2011 to 2014 Jeff held a seat on the Board of the Tallahassee Housing Authority, he is also on the Board of the Old Westbury Gardens since 2008 and the Sea Turtle Conservancy since 1991. Jeff is a father of two and resides with his family in Tallahassee Florida. He often lends a hand to his wife Mary Phipps, who over the last ten years, has built a flourishing farm that includes eight acres of USDA certified organic vegetables, a honey operation, an ever-growing herd of beef cattle and a thriving Community Supported Agriculture program.
Jeff’s commitment to the environment comes from a long line of family involvement who believes in environmental sustainability, he is the grandson of Sea Turtle Conservancy co-founder John H. Phipps. Currently Jeff is the owner of Growth Operations.
Dr. Sebastian Troëng is the Executive Vice President at Conservation International. The Division covers 10 countries in Latin America and its team of 120 staff delivers conservation outcomes so people can thrive. Dr. Troëng holds a Masters degree in marine environmental protection from the University of Wales and a Doctoral degree in animal zoology from Lund University, Sweden. He has worked on ocean health and development issues for over 20 years, including in Costa Rica, Panama, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Fiji, Australia, Greece, UK and USA. Sebastian has published extensively on conservation and the economic benefits of ecosystems.
In 2010, Sebastian was named a “40-under-40 International Development Leader” in Washington DC. He enjoys being over and under water to observe submarine vistas, diverse and abundant ocean life, and engage with the human communities who depend on healthy ecosystems.
Teddy Warria is a Kenyan entrepreneur and author who works for and with the youth of Africa and the world as the founding President and CEO of Africa 2.0 in Kenya. He is the Co-Founder and President of #100Mandelas, the flagship project of Africa Rising Foundation. Teddy is a co-creator and co-owner of Africa’s Talking Ltd. He recently authored the introduction to a biography of Mama Sarah Hussein Obama, grandmother to the 44th President of the United States, in Susan Wakhungu-Githuku’s Wisdom of the Elders.
In addition, he is completing a co-created book, “Mandela Warria Moments: A Tribute on Mandela’s Centenary by a Young African”, at the United World College-USA as a Bartos Fellow. Teddy attended Bard College as a Distinguished Scientist Scholar and the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton University as a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow. He was the youngest judge at the Transform Kenya Awards hosted by Standard Group and Deloitte. Most recently, he was made a judge for the 100&Change Competition hosted by the MacArthur Foundation’s Lever for Change. Teddy Warria is an Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellow and an Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) Fellow.