GEO Team


Team Image

Meet the team working to help drive sustainability in and through golf.

Jonathan SmithJonathan Smith

Founder and Executive Director, GEO Foundation

For nearly twenty years Jonathan has been involved with sustainability in golf, from field support to planning, working for golf and for government. For ten years he has been bringing a positive vision, progressive strategic direction, an ethos of collaboration and a genuine passion... leading GEO to be a dynamic, credible, influential and trusted organization, helping usher golf to the forefront of the sustainability movement.  

Kelli JeromeKelli Jerome

Executive Director, GEO Foundation 

Bringing experience from years in product management and strategic relations at Microsoft headquarters during the early years of the digital age, Kelli is now turned toward another important frontier, sustainability. Responsible for GEO Certification Ltd, and managing the effective, efficient and nimble implementation of GEO's work, to meet the strategic vision of the foundation and stakeholders. 

Richard AllisonRichard Allison  

Project Manager, GEO Certified®  for Golf Facilities (for subsidiary GEO Certification Ltd.)

Richard brings valuable knowledge and outlook with a BSc in Environmental Science and a Golf Course Management Diploma. He reviews applications for GEO Certified®, works with the verifier network, and monitors trends amongst facility reports, inputting to GEO around future Standards and programme usability. A lifelong golfer interested in agronomy and nature, he enjoys supporting the people working toward certification.  

Michael BekkenMichael Bekken

Project Scientist, OnCourse® (part-time)

Michael is both an avid scientist and golfer and combines these two passions by working in sustainable golf, and as a key contributor to the OnCourse for facilities program.  Michael earned a BS in Biology and Geology and played collegiate golf at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.  Michael is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is focused on developing sustainability metrics for golf. 

Mona KarraouiMona Karraoui

Programme Manager, Credibility (for subsidiary GEO Certification Ltd.)

With 15 years experience in communications and sustainability across Europe and the Middle East, Mona is focused on ensuring credibility. She works to meet all ISEAL Codes and liaises across a diverse stakeholder network, representing golf's sustainability commitments and gathering input. Mona has a first degree from the London School of Economics, and a PCert. in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge.  

Sam ThomasSam Thomas

Programme Director, Golf Development 

Sam is focused on GEO's role in supporting and advocating sustainability in golf development, in both established and emerging markets, working with architects, developers, governments, and tourism bodies. From oversight of the programme for sustainable development and dissemination of best practice and standards, Sam's dedication and focus set a pace at GEO. He is a chartered member of the UK Landscape Institute with an MSc in Golf Course Architecture. 

John KempJohn

Manager, OnCourse® engagement

With a degree in Golf Management, and professional qualifications in Golf Course Architecture and Club Management John has worked internationally in nearly every kind of job in the golf industry - from greenkeeper to club manager, designer & builder to consultant.  He is passionate about helping those who work and volunteer in the industry to be better custodians of their clubs, courses and communities through sustainability and OnCourse.


Robert with flagsRobert Ewing

Project Manager, Sustainability Reporting

Robert’s work focuses on developing a credible and compelling system to report and communicate golf’s sustainability values and performance. A recent graduate with Msc’s in Environment and Society Studies and Spatial Planning and Environmental Policy, he is passionate about creating practical sustainability solutions for golf and collaboratively moving the industry forward.