Beto was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where he obtained an AA degree in industrial chemistry from Escola Técnica Oswaldo Cruz and worked as an ecotourism guide in the Atlantic rainforest, while pursuing nature photography and rock climbing. Beto holds a Bachelor's of Science in Conservation and Resources Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA in Strategic Leadership from the Dominican University of California. His previous work experience includes being Director of the Brazil Program of the Rainforest Action Network, promoting forest policies, community economic development and indigenous land demarcation in the Amazon region. He also worked for Aguirre International, evaluating environmental programs for AmeriCorp-USA during President Clinton's administration and was the Manager of Sustainable Harvesting at Shaman Pharmaceuticals, developing ethnobotanical drugs from rainforest medicinal plants. As the Executive Director of Adopt-A-Watershed, he worked on watershed conservation through place-based learning methodologies. Beto also was a Program Officer with the Goldman Environmental Foundation, selecting finalists for the Goldman Environmental Prize and evaluating project proposals for funding. Beto has also consulted for Aveda Cosmetics, Conservation International, Instituto Terra, Occupational Knowledge International, and Wildlife Conservation Network, among others. He was co-chair of Grantmakers Without Borders and currently sits on the board of the Global Greengrants Fund, Earth Island Institute, and the Environmental Law Defenders Center. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.