Jelson is NRGI’s senior-most representative in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. He is responsible for potential engagement in additional countries such as China and India.
Before joining NRGI, Jelson served as Asia program director for the Bank Information Center, where he was responsible for strategic programming and staff operations in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Mongolia, and program representation in Washington, D.C. He aligned BIC’s country and regional strategies with global and cross cutting-programs such as collective movements for robust environmental and social safeguards, accountability mechanisms, transparency policies, energy strategies and private sector lending standards of the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank and other IFIs. He also worked with communities and civil society organizations to bolster their campaigns for human rights protection, accountability and reconsideration of coal, mining, land reform, water, airport and high-risk energy infrastructure projects, as well as stronger safeguard requirements in financial intermediary lending and new forms of financing from IFIs.
Jelson has 18 years of on-the-ground, regional and international experience managing research, policy advocacy, problem project campaigns, training and community development in the fields of natural resource governance, development and climate finance, peacebuilding, agrarian reform and rural development. Jelson holds a B.A. in anthropology and comparative sociology from Macquarie University and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of the Philippines. He serves on the board of directors of EarthRights International and advises several advocacy groups in Asia.