African Wildlife Foundation has always been an organization about people. Empowering people is at the heart of our mission statement, and this philosophy extends to the relationship we have with our employees. We value dedication and initiative, and actively look for opportunities to nurture potential within our team. This is why AWF is filled with success stories—such as a one-time research intern who now manages all of AWF’s conservation work in the region in which he grew up, or a young Peace Corps volunteer who worked his way up to eventually become AWF’s chief executive officer (CEO). The staff listed below provide just a few examples of the careers in African conservation that AWF offers.
CEO, Nairobi, Kenya
Kaddu has over 20 years’ experience in conservation at grassroots, national, and regional levels in the USA, Africa, and Europe. He has worked with Oxfam UK, the World Conservation Union - IUCN, USA Peace Corps, Conservation International, and Solimar International. As African Wildlife Foundation’s CEO, Kaddu rallies the continent’s elite to lead the fight against the destruction of valuable habitats and wildlife. He believes that it is time for African voices and networks to re-imagine the conservation narrative. Kaddu has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, as well as an M.A. in Law, Policy & Diplomacy from The Fletcher School, Tufts University and an M.S. in Sustainable Resource Management & Policy from Wye College, Imperial College London.
Richard E. Holly
CFO, Washington, D.C., USA
For over 25 years, Richard has been helping companies improve bottom lines results by identifying opportunities for operational and financial improvement and implementing solutions that create value. Successes include turning around two public charities, a professional association, and a privately held communications firm. As CFO, Richard is responsible for overseeing the Finance and Administrative Functions including Information Technology, Human Resources, Facilities and Administration. Prior to African Wildlife Foundation, Richard served in a variety of financial leadership roles in not-for-profit and for-profit companies in the healthcare, education, professional services, manufacturing, and basic materials industries. Richard holds an International M.B.A. from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and a B.S. in International Public Affairs from Oklahoma State University. He is a licensed CPA in the state of Virginia, and he has also earned the right to use the CFA® charter designation. Holly is a fluent French speaker, having worked in France for 10 years and is an active member of the French American Chamber of Commerce.
Senior Vice President, Washington, D.C., USA
Craig's experiences with wildlife and conservation began in 1973 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. As an L.S.B. Leakey grant researcher in the late 1970s, Craig studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey and, in 1987, became director of Rwanda's Mountain Gorilla Project, of which African Wildlife Foundation was a sponsor. Craig has acted as Scientific Advisor for the award-winning IMAX film, "Mountain Gorilla," and with National Geographic, he surveyed the conservation status of mountain gorillas in the aftermath of Rwanda's civil war. Craig’s direct involvement with AWF began as a Senior Associate and member of AWF’s Board of Trustees. He became a full-time employee of AWF in 2001 and now serves as Senior Vice President.
Vice President, Strategy, Knowledge Management and Impact, Nairobi, Kenya
Charly began his career as a researcher focused on the economics of forest resources. Driven by his desire to “build the bridge between conservation and development” for local communities, he joined AWF in 2009 as Senior Program Officer for the Congo landscape. Known for his high standards and a knack for motivating teams in difficult circumstances, Charly took on the role of Vice President for Conservation Projects in 2015. He spends 40 percent of his time in the field to understand the challenges on the ground. Charly holds an M.S. in international management and external trade from the École Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales in Douala, Cameroon.
Vice President, Species Conservation and Science, Nairobi, Kenya
Philip, who has worked with African Wildlife Foundation for more than 20 years, faces conservation challenges from a broad perspective. His role is to deliver strong and appropriate conservation science inputs to AWF's integrated conservation strategies that take into account landscape-level approaches, social issues, and economic issues. He is responsible for issues as varied as the kind of endangerment classification a species should receive, or how resources should be allocated and oversees AWF's species program. In addition, Philip represents AWF in the international conservation dialogue, such as at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. He is also a member of the Task Force on Kenya’s Migratory Corridors and Dispersal Areas as well as Kenya's National Giraffe Conservation Task Force. Philip’s educational qualifications are extensive, including both an M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University, and numerous publications.
Vice President, International Policy and Government Relations, Washington D.C., USA
Eric leads a globally dispersed team at African Wildlife Foundation that engages governments and multilateral institutions in Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia. This team collaborates across the organization to drive policy and financing decisions that integrate wildlife and wild lands into development agendas in Africa and design new programs that deliver benefits for people and wildlife in priority landscapes. Eric started his conservation work in the backcountry of U.S. national parks and later western Uganda. Over the past 20 years, he has played key roles in program design addressing a diverse set of conservation strategies, and engaged institutional partners with the Environmental Law Institute, Earth Day Network, Conservation International, Rare, and African Wildlife Foundation. He has worked across Africa for more than two decades, but has also worked in Southeast Asia and with island states. Eric volunteers for and has served on the steering committees of the Global Island Partnership and the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group.
Vice President, Development and Public Engagement, Washington D.C., USA
Lindsay has over 30 years of experience in international development, spanning land conservation, poverty eradication, and species protection. Since joining African Wildlife Foundation in 2016, she has overseen strategy and day-to-day operations for corporate and foundation relations, membership, major gifts, planned giving, data services, as well as all aspects of marketing—print, digital and social. Over 10 years, Lindsay lived and worked in Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo, and has traveled extensively across the continent. She attained a B.A. in secondary education from the University of Vermont and a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) from Cornell University.
Vice President, Technology and Innovation, Nairobi, Kenya
Brian is an experienced international development professional with expertise in areas such as program management, microfinance, agriculture development, and value chain analysis. He has lived and worked in East and Southern Africa and comes to African Wildlife Foundation with a varied background, including positions at TechnoServe, FINCA, and AllianceBernstein. Brian joined AWF in 2012 as the program director for conservation enterprise, and has led the Classroom Africa program since early 2015. Brian holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Senior Director, Project Management & Partnerships, Nairobi, Kenya
With over 20 years of experience in wildlife research and conservation management working with African governments, protected area authorities, and local communities, Alistair provides ongoing oversight for the breadth of AWF’s projects across the continent. He also oversees the organization’s Classroom Africa program, which delivers conservation through education. Alistair obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, focusing on African wild dogs in Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park and Save Valley Conservancy, where he later initiated a successful African wild dog conservation program. After completing his Ph.D., Alistair served as the Managing Director of Chishakwe Ranch in Save Valley Conservancy, of which he was a member of the executive committee for 10 years. He joined AWF in 2014, overseeing the management of Simien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia and Manyara Ranch Conservancy in Tanzania.
Kathleen H. Fitzgerald
Senior Conservation Advisor, Nairobi, Kenya
Kathleen has 25 years of experience in integrated large landscape conservation in Africa and North America. Kathleen was a senior staff member of African Wildlife Foundation for 11 years, most recently serving as Vice President for East and Southern Africa. She has helped create and improve management of conservation areas, established co-management arrangements and Public-Private Partnerships, as well as designed innovative models for community integration in conservation. She has worked extensively on increasing conservation finance and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Manfred Aimé Epanda
Country Coordinator, Cameroon
Manfred has more than 15 years of experience in the field of conservation and development, working at the grassroots up to the national and regional level in Cameroon and within the Congo Basin. In 2006, he received a Whitley Award from the Whitley Fund for Nature for his significant contribution to community conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources in Cameroon’s Dja Biosphere Reserve. Manfred holds M.S. degrees in both Forestry and in International Relations with a specialization in Environmental Management. He joined the African Wildlife Foundation in 2015 and has been working hand in hand with Cameroonian authorities to achieve AWF’s mission to ensure wildlife thrives in a modern Africa.
Manager, External Relations, China
Jia grew her passion for conservation during her time at the Great Apes Survival Partnership under the U. N. Environment Programme in Nairobi, where she learned about the serious threats facing Africa’s great ape populations. Holding a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Nanjing Agricultural University in China, she also attended Egerton University, Kenya for a six-month exchange program. Seeing both the positive and negative impacts arising from the growing presence of Chinese business in Africa, Jia strives to ensure that the resulting relationships are mutually beneficial on the basis of environmental and wildlife conservation.
Kirstin has over 25 years of experience in international development and conservation. Passionate about primates and wildlife conservation, she started out as an anthropologist, conducting M.S. research on the interface between communities and wildlife in the Budongo Forest in Uganda, and later Ph.D. research in the Tsavo region of Kenya. For the last 15 years, Kirstin has also supported the well-known Maasai-owned and run Il Ngwesi ecotourism programme in Kenya in a strategic and advisory capacity, serving on the Board of Directors. Kirstin joined African Wildlife Foundation in 2017 and is leading the expansion of AWF in the U.K., focusing on building our network of donors, supporters and growing our profile and influence.
Sudi A. Bamulesewa
Country Director, Uganda
Sudi is passionate about biological diversity management, agribusiness, and conservation-based socio-economic ventures. With over 25 years’ experience in program design, implementation, and management, Sudi has worked with the European Union-funded Tea Development program and the World Bank-funded Environmental Management Project. For 13 years, he worked with the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), first as Program Management Specialist in the Economic Growth Office, and later on as Team Leader for the Environment and Natural Resources Management Unit. He holds an M.S. in Forestry for Rural Development from Twente University, Netherlands, and a postgraduate diploma in Institutional Management from the Uganda Management Institute. As African Wildlife Foundation's Uganda Country Director, Sudi provides leadership for all program activities in Uganda, engaging with relevant institutions and managing donor relationships.
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Washington, D.C., USA
Althea spent the first 12 years of her career developing multifaceted partnerships with corporations and foundations, while working at Free the Children, African Leadership Foundation and Plan International USA. A native of Sierra Leone, Althea joined African Wildlife Foundation in 2016 to lead the Corporate and Foundation Relations team, unable to resist the opportunity to channel her energy towards working on the development of sustainable solutions that are critical to Africa’s economic prospects. Althea holds a degree in Economics and International Political Economy from Trent University and an M.A. in Development Economics from Vanderbilt University.
Print Marketing Manager, Washington, D.C., USA
Laurie's career in the nonprofit sector began in 2003 with a photography internship at the Museum of Natural History. Her mother, an educator for over 40 years, instilled the importance of education and public service. After attending Sandy Spring Friends School, she graduated from St Mary's College of MD with a B.A. in Anthropology. The next 15 years has been in Development at nonprofits. After 10 years in Direct Marketing at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, she came to African Wildlife Foundation in 2016. Here, she manages the Print Marketing program — developing and implementing the mail plan for Membership donors, including production, budget, and metrics to drive revenue. She manages branded collateral including merchandise, ensuring accuracy and uniformity in AWF printed material.
Senior Program Design Officer, Nairobi, Kenya
Indekhwa has more than nine years’ cumulative experience in audit and assurance, financial management, program design, and management. She has worked with a wide array of both corporate and public donors, beginning her career in audit and assurance with PKF Kenya before moving to international development where she worked with MERLIN, Save the Children International, and The Norwegian Refugee Council. Indekhwa joined African Wildlife Foundation in May 2018 and is tasked with the responsibility of leading all the financial components of the program design team and ensuring compliance with agreements between AWF and public donors. She is a continuing A.C.C.A., holds an accounting degree with Information Technology from Maseno University as well as an M.B.A. in International Business Management from the University of Nairobi.