Our People

Erica Cunningham



Erica is a Senior Associate at CEA, with expertise in nonprofit leadership and strategy development with ocean, climate, and sustainable food initiatives. She specializes in starting new nonprofit initiatives that require systems thinking, human-centered design, science diplomacy, coordination across multiple sectors, and public-private partnerships. She has over ten years of experience working and living in the Global South and collaborating with multilateral institutions focused on international development and the environment.

Before joining CEA in 2024, Erica was the Associate Vice President for Latin America and Caribbean at Environmental Defense Fund in its fisheries and oceans program, where she led teams to develop partnerships and projects in support of sustainable food systems, climate-resilient fisheries, and marine and coastal conservation. In this role, she oversaw strategy development and high-level partnerships between NGOs, governments, and foundations. She also has coordinated research and scientific collaboration across topic areas such as best practices for climate resilience in fisheries, blue carbon development in support of enhanced local food security, and the impacts of COVID-19 on community resilience. Prior to working at Environmental Defense Fund, Erica led her own consulting firm focused on strategy and project development and fundraising support for nonprofit initiatives globally. She was the founding Executive Director of the Punta de Mita Foundation in Mexico, and prior to that helped to develop a corporate social responsibility and ESG policy at Econergy International with a focus on the expansion of renewable energy throughout Latin America.

Erica received her master’s degree in international development and environmental policy at Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, and a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Middlebury College in international studies and political science.

When not at work, Erica can be found skiing or biking in the Rocky Mountains or finding new surf breaks in Mexico. She loves travel, food and wine, and wanderings with her adventurous family.