About Us


Dr. Robert Wasserstrom and Susan Reider created the Terra Group in 1995 to help our clients improve their social performance. (Our Expertise) We focus on complex issues involving indigenous and minority peoples; human rights; free, prior and informed consent; and public participation. Our clients include major companies, international agencies and non-profit organizations operating in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. We assist lenders in evaluating corporate compliance with international standards, and we help corporate clients understand and meet these standards in difficult projects.

Internationally, we often work in conflict areas where poor governance, high levels of corruption and inter-ethnic hostility pose significant challenges. In the Niger Delta, for example, we identified, trained and managed a network of NGO partners who conducted participatory livelihoods assessments in 425 communities. We also assisted our client (an international oil company) in organizing eight independent regional development councils with clear governance and management systems, democratic decision-making and effective community oversight. As a result, conflict in surrounding areas has decreased. We have completed similar projects in Angola, Ecuador, Ghana and elsewhere. (International)

In North America, our work has centered on the social impacts of energy production and distribution. In addition to providing strategic analysis and counsel, we also contribute to public discussions of regulatory policy, social performance and public attitudes through academic and professional journals, as well as trade publications. We are frequently invited to speak at policy forums, workshops and seminars. (Domestic)

Currently, Terra Group senior partners provide strategic counsel and analysis in four areas:

  • Social investment and public participation
  • Public policy (communities, social impact and vulnerable peoples)
  • Stakeholder partnerships and initiatives
  • Academic and technical research

We also lead workshops and seminars on the oil and gas industry, social performance and international standards. In some cases, we conduct scientific and technical research on issues important to our clients. (Publications and Presentations)