Geraldine is a social anthropologist who brings to the Baraka team her expertise as a heritage, community engagement, and capacity development specialist so as to ensure that tourism projects are developed using state-of-the-art participatory, equitable and sustainable approaches. Based in Jordan since 1994, she has also worked in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria and more recently Iraq. She is a regional UNESCO expert on intangible cultural heritage and World Heritage delivering training and designing capacity development programs for cultural heritage safeguarding and sustainable management including through sensitive tourism development. She has coordinated the preparation of a National Tourism Strategy for Iraq introducing to the country the concept of sustainable cultural tourism. She likes to promote an integrated approach to natural and cultural heritage as assets for local development – in particular through community-based, fair-trade tourism –, and the creation of cross-sectoral synergies at the national and local levels. Her experience in the matter includes assignments for UNDP and USAID in protected areas with tangible and intangible cultural heritage components in Syria, Algeria and Jordan. For IUCN, she is currently leading the participatory development of a cultural and natural management plan for the Iraqi Marshlands meeting World Heritage requirements, including for the tourism component.
With a PhD in contemporary Middle Eastern history obtained in 2000 in Paris, Geraldine combines her work in development with academic research on issues of heritage, governance, development, identity politics, migration and displacement in the region. She in an Associate Researcher with the French Institute in the Near East, a regular speaker at international conferences, and has authored or edited over fifty publications in English, French and Arabic. Among others, she was the lead author of the reference work Mediterranean Cultural Heritage: A Manual for Good Practice. A Euromed Heritage Experience (2013). Geraldine enjoys hiking, camping, scuba diving, horse riding and cooking. She worked twelve years on and off as a walking tour leader and developer with a French tour-operator leader in the field of fair and sustainable adventure tourism.