Paula Kahumbu

Paula Kahumbu

CEO of WildlifeDirect

Paula Kahumbu received her PhD in Ecology from Princeton University where she studied elephants in coastal Kenya. She is one of Africa’s best known wildlife conservationists. She is the CEO of WildlifeDirect and brainchild of the Hands Off Our Elephants campaign with Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya. The campaign is widely recognized for its singular successes in advocacy and the engagement of the people of Kenya to support the protection of elephants. At a popular level this never has been experienced before in Kenya or any other elephant range state. Paula is the winner of the Whitley Award 2014, National Geographic Howard Buffet Award for conservation leadership in Africa in 2010 and is a National Geographic Explorer. She received a special commendation at the United Nations Person of the Year celebrations for her critical role in creating awareness and mobilizing action around the crisis facing elephants in Kenya, and the Princeton In Africa medal (2017) for her accomplishments as a vocal advocate of wildlife, mobilizer of public opinion, and champion of African-led efforts to protect the continent’s unique wildlife heritage. She is recognized as a Kenyan conservation ambassador by Brand Kenya and in 2015 received the presidential award and title of Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW). She is the producer of two national television series about wildlife and teaches undergraduate field courses at Princeton University.