Our Team

Our Team

The Birches Group Team provides a unique combination of hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge in managing international human resources programs and policies. We are innovative, focused on new ideas and creative approaches, while at the same time, grounded in the simple and pragmatic.  Our experience is truly global.


Gary McGillicuddy
Managing Partner

Gary is a founder and Managing Partner of Birches Group based in New York.  He provides executive leadership to the firm.  Gary specializes in Organization Design, including Job Design, Competencies and Performance Management, and has led large-scale projects for many of our clients in these areas.  Before forming Birches Group, Gary had a long career with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), where he was responsible for compensation and HR policy.

Lars Sandgren

Lars is a founder and Partner of Birches Group, and Managing Director of Birches Umeå, based in Umeå, Sweden.  Lars is an expert data modeler, and provides special analyses with rich, graphical elements as part of our many consulting projects.  He also works with many of our clients on salary scale design.  Lars is one of the architects of our survey methodology and Indigo™ software, and continues to innovate and improve our tools and systems.  Prior to Birches Group, Lars was part of the team that managed salary surveys for the UN system.

Lulu Belen

Lulu is a founding Partner of Birches Group.  She is responsible for oversight of our Operations Center in Manila, Philippines, and works with selected clients on compensation surveys and scale design projects.  Lulu has worked on many projects involving staff unions and other groups, where complex and difficult compensation issues needed to be addressed. Lulu was a career UN employee and part of the UNDP compensation team.  Lulu splits her time between our offices in New York and Manila.

Jeffrey Slater

Jeff is a founder and Partner at Birches Group in New York.  He has conducted surveys in over 50 developing countries, and designed compensation policies and structures for several organizations. Jeff manages some of our most important client relationships with large, international public sector organizations.  He also oversees the development and evolution of our technology solutions to ensure alignment with client needs.  Prior to forming Birches Group, Jeff gained nine years of developing market compensation experience as part of the UNDP compensation team.  He is fluent in English, French and Spanish and is admitted to the New York State Bar.

Warren Heaps

Warren joined Birches Group in New York as a Partner in 2007, following a long career in Compensation and Benefits at Colgate-Palmolive. He held the position of Director, International Compensation for ten years immediately prior to joining Birches Group. Warren has broad experience working across the globe with clients on local national and expatriate compensation projects.  He also leads our private sector marketing and engagement efforts, and coordinates the Aon Hewitt and Emergence Growth strategic partnerships.  Warren is the co-founder and editor of the International HR Forum blog, and previously held leadership positions for the Expatriate Management Committee of the National Foreign Trade Council, and was President of the Latin America Compensation and Benefits Forum.


Bea Bartolome
Programme Manager, International Organizations and Bilaterals 

Bea is the leader of the our business with international public sector organizations. She has been with Birches Group since the inception of the company, and has a wide range of experience with our clients, products and services.  Prior to this role, Bea was the Manager of our Manila Data Centre.

Sarma Calitis
Compensation Practice Leader, Riga

Sarma is a seasoned compensation professional, based in our Riga, Latvia, office. Her primary responsibilities involve supporting our survey clients in the use and interpretation of our survey data, specialized client projects, and in-country surveys.  She also provides quality control for our surveys and assists in the training of staff.  Sarma was a member of the UNDP compensation team before joining Birches Group.

Curtis Grund
Senior Consultant, International Development

Curtis leads the Birches Group International Development Practice, including the NGO Local Pay and NGO Global Pay survey initiatives, and the management of our strategic partnerships with the CHS Alliance.  Prior to joining Birches Group, Curtis had a long career with another consultancy, and prior to that, functional HR roles for the Methodist Church. He has been working with development organizations for over twenty years, and understands the unique challenges development and mission-driven organizations face in managing their human resources. He is based in New York.


What’s new

Five Steps to Benchmark your Company’s Compensation and Benefits

In human resources, salary benchmarking serves many critical needs. It helps organizations assess the competitiveness of their total compensation...

January 15, 2021 / read

Birches Group, PAYMED Consulting, Announce Partnership in North Africa

Birches Group and PAYMED Consulting have announced a collaborative partnership in North Africa.

September 22, 2020 / read

It Starts with Jobs

Job evaluation does not have to be complicated exercise. We, at Birches Group, have been able to design an...

July 10, 2020 / read

Let’s Talk About Work: Integrating HR

Rather than the disjointed disconnect that generally prevails in HR between structural policies (those governing jobs and pay) from...

July 10, 2020 / read