Jake is an environmental leader. For fifteen years he has confronted social and environmental challenges in the Dominican Republic as Vice President of the Grupo Puntacana Foundation and Vice President of Sustainability for Grupo Puntacana. Under his leadership, the company’s sustainability programs have been recognized by numerous prominent international awards: The World Tourism Travel Council “Tourism for Tomorrow” award, The Conde Nast Traveler “World Saver’s Award,” The Travel & Leisure “Global Vision” award and the National Geographic Traveler “Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award.”
Jake is a sustainability innovator. As Vice President of the Grupo Puntacana Foundation, he has led creative projects that make Dominican tourism more competitive and environmentally sustainable. He helped pioneer one of the Caribbean’s largest coral reef restoration projects. He helped design and implement Zero Waste, the DR’s largest integrated solid waste program. He directs the Center for Sustainability, a think tank that works with some of the world’s best universities to conduct research and devise experiments related to sustainable development.
Jake is a thought-leader. He presents regularly at business conventions and has keynoted several international conferences, including Tedx Santo Domingo. For the last 15 years Jake has written a monthly environmental column, La Pagina Verde, in the Dominican Spanish-language newspaper Hoy. He has been published in the Harvard Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies journal “ReVista” and other academic journals and popular media. His upcoming book, Waking the Sleeping Giant: Unlocking the Hidden Power of Business to Save Our Planet, uses examples from his vast experience in Punta Cana to demonstrate how companies can become drivers of a sustainability agenda. Jake is currently the President of the National Network of Businesses in Support of Environmental Protection (ECORED) in the Dominican Republic, an association of nearly 100 prominent companies committed to sustainability.
Jake is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. After completing his Master’s thesis from Cornell University about deforestation in the DR, he co-directed and produced “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” a feature length documentary film that investigates a Dominican park ranger’s gruesome murder and unfolds into a larger exploration of illegal Dominican-Haitian charcoal trafficking, mass deforestation and escalating human conflict on the border. The film was acquired by Participant Media and Univision and screened at three dozen international film festivals. The film was awarded prizes at the Seattle International Film Festival, DocNYC, the Yale Environmental Film Festival, Princeton Environmental Film Festival, and the Jackson Hole Environmental Film Festival.
Jake has a Master’s in Environmental Management from Cornell University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.