Isabel Leal Maldonado

Isabel has collaborated intermittently with the Varda Group since we began in the early 2000s. A journalist by training, she initially worked as communication officer and fixer of various Varda projects over the years. Since 2022, she is the Project Manager of the Let’s Be Nice to the Ocean initiative, working closely with Rémi in the run-up to the 3rd UN Ocean Conference (Nice, June 2025). Isabel has also supported Rémi’s work on several projects, concerning Antarctica governance, blue finance, and the prevention of plastics proliferation. 

Isabel’s professional career spans over 25 years at the intersection of communication strategies and policy implementation, with a focus on wildlife protection, environmental justice, and humanitarian action. Isabel worked with Greenpeace International’s Marine Division and International Press and Editorial Desks in the 1990s. She then worked successively and for several years each time as Communication Manager at Médecins Sans Frontières, and more recently as Director of Communication at the Wildlife Justice Commission based in The Hague, Netherlands. In 2023, she collaborated with the UN Development Programme and ClientEarth as independent communication and policy advisor.