“Tom is a natural-born leader whose impressive career and abilities are matched by his drive, passion for conservation, and charisma.”— AWF Board Chair Heather Haaga
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has appointed Dr. Tom Ogilvie-Graham as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 3, 2018. He succeeds Dr. Patrick J. Bergin who retired in June 2017 after 27 years at AWF, 16 of them as CEO.
The appointment capped a seven-month international search. With over 30 years of experience in conservation, security, post-conflict reconstruction, humanitarian work, sustainable development, fundraising, and international relations, Tom will steer AWF to the next strategic level of achieving its mission of ensuring wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa.
Making the announcement, AWF Board Chair Heather Haaga said: “Tom is a highly accomplished zoologist and veterinarian who has acted on the international stage as a UK military representative on environmental policy and advised entities such as the British Parliament, Zoological Society of London, and Lewa Downs Conservancy in Kenya.”
Tom joins AWF from the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group – the only charitable provider of expert eye care in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem – which he brought to new levels of success. He is credited with developing new major funding streams, building hospitals in Gaza and Hebron, increasing access to medical services, and setting up a genetic research program with Hadassah University Medical Center during his four-year tenure.
Commenting on his new appointment, Tom said: “I’m very much looking forward to working with the chair, the board, and all the team as we embark on a new, challenging, and doubtless exciting chapter in the history of AWF.”
Tom retired from the British Army as a Brigadier General in 2011 after a distinguished career that included postings to NATO, war and post-conflict reconstruction areas in Rwanda, Palestine, Gaza, Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as serving as an Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Queen Elizabeth II of Britain.
As a coordinator of British military humanitarian and veterinary projects in Kenya, he worked with wildlife authorities on game translocations, security and anti-poaching activities (including the use of sniffer dogs), and also helped promote community engagement in conservation. Tom has also served at the ministerial level with the Palestinian Authority, Israeli government, and UN agencies on security and medical policies, as well as coordinated medical assistance to refugee camps in Palestine, Gaza, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq.
Tom, a Scotsman, is a patron of conservation charities Wildlife Vets International and Painted Dog Conservation UK (an African wild dog charity). He holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Science and a Doctorate in Animal Science from the University of Edinburgh as well as a Masters in nutrition and two law degrees. He was a post-doctoral Fulbright Fellow at Cornell University in 2001.
Tom will work out of the AWF headquarters in Nairobi and the U.S. offices in Washington, D.C.
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