Senior Staff


Melanie Barranco, Co-Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer

staff_mgittlesonAs chief financial officer, Melanie manages all aspects of financial and human resources operations for CNLM.

Melanie has more than 25 years of financial management experience working both in the public and private sectors including firms such as Perot Systems International and Arthur Andersen & Company.  She is a Certified Public Accountant and earned her degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Melanie joined CNLM in 2004.


Deborah L. Rogers, Ph.D., Co-Executive Director & Director of Conservation Science and Stewardship

staff_drogersDeborah Rogers provides leadership for CNLM’s programs and initiatives in conservation science, restoration, and stewardship. As CNLM directly and perpetually practices conservation on its preserves, Deborah provides guidance for incorporating scientific principles and information into stewardship practice, develops standards and quality control for stewardship planning and documentation, and provides leadership for CNLM’s conservation science and stewardship staff.

Deborah has a distinguished 30-year career in natural resources conservation, working in the private, (land management) government, academic, and non-profit sectors. Deborah’s research has focused on the genetic diversity of native plant species and better understanding how to conserve that diversity to support adaptation and species longevity. Her expertise on these topics, particularly genetic diversity of Pinus radiata and Sequoia sempervirens, has been valued internationally through research collaborations and invited seminars and keynote presentations. She founded and directed the Monterey Pine Forest Ecology Cooperative, a nonpolitical forum for transferring scientific information to management and regulation of coastal California forest ecosystems.

She is an associate editor of the Native Plants Journal and an associate within the Agricultural Experiment Station of the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis. She has authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, book chapters, and research reports. An advocate for applying genetic principles and information to conservation and restoration plans and practices, she has provided workshops on this topic at Society for Conservation Biology conferences, Land Trust Alliance Rallies, and for agencies such as the National Park Service. She conducts an active outreach program for “PAR” methodology to support other conservation-directed entities in calculating perpetual stewardship costs of conservation lands.

Deborah holds a M.S. from the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington, Seattle, a Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley, and was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship during her Ph.D. studies. Deborah joined CNLM in 2006.

Isabella Gelmi, Director of Administration

staff_igelmi As director of administration, Isabella’s management responsibilities include administrative operations, information system document quality control, title investigation, escrow facilitation and closing, insurance/risk evaluation, contract quality control, headquarters facility operation, facilities leasing, corporate governance paralegal functions, and special projects.  In addition, she is an officer of the nonprofit corporation (Secretary).

Isabella has more than 20 years of experience in administration and commercial, industrial, and residential property management (California and Hawaii).  Raised in northern Italy, she was inspired by her family’s love of the outdoors and developed a profound respect and appreciation of nature. Isabella joined CNLM in 2002.

David A. Monroe, General Counsel

staff_dmonroeWith work experience in government, industry, and nonprofit sectors, David has more than forty years of environmental/conservation legal experience, primarily with a focus on natural resources and habitat protection. His public service included stints as a staff attorney in legislative branches (Ohio and US Senates) and executive branches (Ohio and US Departments of Justice, and US Environmental Protection Agency). Later, in the private sector as an in-house counsel, David represented clients in the food processing, real estate development, energy resources, and chemical/pesticide industries. He began his career in the nonprofit sector upon joining CNLM in 2004.

David earned his baccalaureate degree (geography/history) and JD from The Ohio State University, and completed the Executive Program, Graduate School of Business at the University of Southern California. He had been admitted to practice law in Ohio and California.