• Spread the word

Our Staff

Investing in Potential

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.

Leadership Team
Headshot of Kaddu Sebunya, African Wildlife Foundation President

Kaddu Sebunya

President, 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 President, 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.

Headshot of Jeff Chrisfield, African Wildlife Foundation Chief Operating Officer

Jeff Chrisfield

Chief Operating Officer, Washington, D.C., USA

Jeff began his career as an auditor and consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and later served as Controller in a for-profit biomedical contractor. Unsatisfied with simply earning a salary, Jeff decided to join African Wildlife Foundation as Accounting Manager in 2002. He has since progressed through several positions within AWF, serving as Chief Financial Officer for several years before being appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2013. As COO, Jeff provides leadership for all of AWF’s program activities, streamlining operations to ensure that conservation goals are achieved on time and within budget. He has been key to maintaining AWF’s financial growth and stability. Jeff is a Certified Public Accountant with a B.S.B.A. in accounting and finance from American University.

Craig Sholley

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.

Kathleen H. Fitzgerald

Vice President, Programs East and Southern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Kathleen oversees the conservation programs for African Wildlife Foundation across East and Southern Africa and has been based in Africa since 2007. She has helped AWF secure land and improve land management across the continent through easements, acquisition, leases, land use planning, and the establishment of conservancies. She has completed dozens of land transactions and published numerous papers and articles on conservation and tools that can be used to protect land and wildlife in a way that supports communities. Kathleen has worked with protected areas — government, private, and community — to enhance ecological, social, and financial sustainability and she also leads AWF’s protected area finance program. Kathleen graduated from St. Lawrence University with a major in Environmental Studies and Government and has an M.S. from the University of Vermont.

Philip Muruthi

Vice President, Species Protection, 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. 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.

Headshot of Charly Facheux, African Wildlife Foundation Vice President Policy and Strategy

Charly Facheux

Vice President, Policy and Strategy, 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.

Lindsay Kosnik AWF

Lindsay Kosnik

Vice President, Development and Marketing, 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.

Headshot of Brian McBrearity, African Wildlife Foundation Vice President Management Systems

Brian McBrearity

Vice President, Management Systems, 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.

 

SHOW ME MORE
Staff
Headshot of Manfred Epanda, African Wildlife Foundation Country Coordinator Cameroon

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.  

Jia Qiao AWF

Jia Qiao

Advocacy Officer, China

Jia grew her passion for conservation during her time at the Great Apes Survival Partnership under the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, where she learned about the serious threats facing Africa’s great ape populations. Holding a Master of Public Administration (MPA) 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 Johnson

Kirstin Johnson

UK Director

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 the African Wildlife Foundation in 2017 and is leading the expansion of AWF in the UK, focusing on building our network of donors, supporters and growing our profile and influence.

Denis Galave AWF

Denis Galava

Director of Media Relations & Advocacy, Nairobi, Kenya

Denis has enjoyed a rich career in journalism, having served as a writer, columnist and managing editor with East Africa’s two largest newspapers, the Daily Nation and The Standard. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London and holds an M.S. from Oxford University, an M.A. from Coventry University, and a B.Ed from Kenyatta University. An exceptional storyteller with a passion for effecting social change, Denis joined African Wildlife Foundation in April 2017 with a vision to make AWF the focal point for innovative and practical solutions to conservation challenges in Africa.

Althea Wilson AWF

Althea WIlson

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.

Photo of AWF Print Marketing Manager Laurie Channer

Laurie Channer

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.

Nicholas Mulei AWF

Nicholas Mulei

Controller, Nairobi, Kenya

Nicholas joined African Wildlife Foundation in July 2009, starting out as a Finance Compliance Officer. He has since been promoted four times to reach his current position as AWF's Controller. He is responsible for ensuring that financial policies and procedures provide adequate controls over AWF assets, expenditures, and financial accounting. With over 10 years of experience in auditing and accounting in nonprofit organizations, Nicholas also oversees all program, donor and organization audits mandated by AWF’s donors as well as countries of operation. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with an M.S. in Finance & Accounting from Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University.

SHOW ME MORE