Vice President, Grupo Puntacana Foundation
Jake Kheel is a sustainability innovator, author, and award-winning documentary filmmaker. For sixteen years he has confronted social and environmental challenges in the tourism industry as Vice President of Grupo Puntacana Foundation in the Dominican Republic. The foundation has pioneered numerous ground-breaking initiatives, launching the first Zero Waste project in the country, as well as leading one of the most expansive coral reef restoration initiatives in the Caribbean. Under his leadership, Grupo Puntacana Foundation has received numerous international awards for its environmental programs, including awards from World Tourism and Travel Council, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, and National Geographic Traveler. His book, Waking the Sleeping Giant: Unlocking the Hidden Power of Business to Save Our Planet, uses examples from his vast experience in Punta Cana to demonstrate how companies can drive breakthroughs in sustainability.
Jake is on the Board of the Center for Responsible Tourism (CREST) and former President of the National Association of Businesses for Environmental Protection (ECORED) in the Dominican Republic, an association of nearly 100 prominent companies committed to sustainability.
Jake co-directed and produced the award-winning documentary film Death by a Thousand Cuts, which explores Dominican-Haitian deforestation and escalating human conflict on the border. The film was acquired by Participant Media and Univision and screened at three dozen international film festivals. He is currently producing a hosted documentary series, Island Naturalist, to be released in 2022.
Jake has a Master’s in Environmental Management from Cornell University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.