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OUR 2018 SPEAKER BIOS

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FRED SWANIKER

FOUNDER

AFRICAN LEADERSHIP GROUP

Fred Swaniker is a Ghanaian entrepreneur and leadership development expert. He has launched four organizations that aim to develop African leaders: the African Leadership Academy, the African Leadership Network, Global Leadership Adventures, and finally the African Leadership University. ALU is an innovative, pan African institution with an ambitious goal of grooming at least 3 million transformative leaders and entrepreneurs for Africa by 2060. Fred has been recognised by US President Barack Obama for his work in developing Africa’s future leaders. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, one of the fifteen best emerging social entrepreneurs in the world by Echoing Green, one of the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa by Forbes Magazine, and is a TED Fellow. Fred began his professional career as a consultant with McKinsey and has an MBA from Stanford Business School.

PETER FEARNHEAD

CEO

AFRICAN PARKS NETWORK,
ZIMBABWE

Peter Fearnhead is one of the founders of African Parks and is its CEO since 2007. Prior to that, He was a management consultant with Deloitte, before joining South African National Parks (SANParks), where he held a number of positions, including Resource Economist, Advisor to the CEO, and Head of Commercial Development. Peter was born and grew up in Zimbabwe, and graduated with a BSc in Agriculture Economics from the University of Natal and an MSc in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of Oxford.

KADDU SEBUNYA

PRESIDENT

AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION,
KENYA

Kaddu is a Ugandan national with has over 20 years’ experience in conservation at grassroots, regional and national levels in the Africa, Europe and the US. He has worked with Oxfam UK, IUCN, the US Peace Corps, Conservation International, and Solimar International. As President of AWF, 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, an M.A. in Law, Policy & Diplomacy from Tufts University and an M.S. in Sustainable Resource Management & Policy from Imperial College London.

RICHARD VIGNE

FOUNDER/CEO

OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY,
KENYA

Richard Vigne is the Chief Executive Officer of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and one of the most successful enterprises in Africa. He was born and brought up in Kenya. He is a conservation practitioner of 20+ years experience and prior to coming to Ol Pejeta he spent 6 years operating a safari company throughout Uganda and eastern Zaire (Now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Richard has completed a number of conservation and land use related consultancies for various organizations including Conservation Capital and the African Wildlife Foundation.

ANDRE RODRIGUES DE AQUINO

SENIOR SPECIALIST

WORLD BANK,
MOZAMBIQUE

André Aquino is a Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank’s Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice. He is currently based at the World Bank Country Office in Maputo, Mozambique. He previously worked with the Bank’s Climate Change Department in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he worked at the Country Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. André works on forest, landscape, biodiversity and and climate change issues. André is originally from Brazil and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Maryland in environmental policy and economics. He also has a specialization in environmental law from the Federal University of Belém (Brazil) and a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from the Catholic University of Minas Gerais (Brazil).

JOHN BAKER

CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER

WILDAID,
USA

John Baker is currently the Chief Program Officer at WildAid, an environmental organization based in San Francisco. John Baker is responsible for managing WildAid’s programs worldwide including program strategy, fundraising, international program management, media and communications, and evaluation.John Baker is also a member of the Advisory Board of Pattanarak foundation,a non-governmental organization working with disadvantaged populations on Thailand’s rural western border.

BRIAN CHILD

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA,
USA

Brian Child is a Zimbabwean and an associate professor at the University of Florida, focused on economics and governance of wildlife in southern Africa, in particular community governance and park management systems. He is currently also a Professor (Extraordinary) in the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University. He played a leading role in the development of Zimbabwe’s Communal Area Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). In Zambia, he developed a sustainable park management system and a community conservation program in the Luangwa Valley, and introduced performance-based law enforcement in the greater Kafue ecosystem. He chaired IUCN’s Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group for six years.

ARNOLD MEYER

EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

TSWALU KALAHARI RESERVE,
SOUTH AFRICA

Arnold Meyer is the Executive Chairman of Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, a 100,000 hectare southern wilderness restored to its original state by an ongoing conservation program. Meyer is Founder of the Nera Group, which focuses on emerging markets’ real estate services and co-author of “The Fastest Billion – The story of Africa’s economic success.” He is a real estate professional with over a decade of Pan-African experience serving as Managing Director of London & Regional Properties Africa, CEO of Broll Property Group and then CEO of Rendeavour. His portfolio includes residential estates in Accra, Tema, Nairobi, Lubumbashi, Lusaka and Cape Town.

GAUTAM SHAH

FOUNDER CEO

INTERNET OF ELEPHANTS,
KENYA

Gautam Shah is the founder of Internet of Elephants, an organization pursuing a vision of how technology and the Internet can better connect animals to humans, and thereby lead to stronger outcomes in the wildlife conservation space. Prior to this, Gautam spent 20 years leading and delivering complex projects for Accenture. He spent the last two years as part of Accenture’s non-profit organization, Accenture Development Partnerships, both expanding their presence in East Africa as well as working on key social programs with the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He has a keen appreciation and personal interest in social issues related to conservation and has a special affinity to working with social enterprises as it aligns with his belief in the power of the private sector to influence positive social outcomes.

LUKE BAILES

FOUNDER & CEO

SINGITA,
SOUTH AFRICA

Luke Bailes is the founder and Executive Chairman of Singita. Driven by his vision to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations, Singita opened its doors 25 years ago and has evolved into the purpose-driven hospitality and conservation brand it is today. His forward focus is on expansion of the business into new revenue opportunities and the continued sustainability of Singita’s enduring purpose.

DANIEL ZUMA

PILOT & TECHNICIAN

WILDLIFE WORKS,
KENYA

Daniel Zuma is a Conservation Pilot and Technician at Wildlife Works, situated in South Eastern Kenya. Growing up, he looked up to the planes which occasionally passed by and he pictured himself flying them. After he lost his father at a young age to a buffalo, Wildlife Works, a for profit conservation company based in the wildlife corridor between Tsavo West and Tsavo East, took him under its wing and sponsored his studies. Wildlife Works initially employed him as a Mechanic Assistant, before he later transitioned into his current role as a pilot – having graduated with a diploma in aeronautical engineering, acquiring a private pilot license in the UK and further technical training in Italy. His passion for conservation led him on his current journey of flying over the skies working to conserve and protect the forests and wildlife in the Tsavo corridor.

NONKQUBELA MAYATHULA

OWNER & DIRECTOR

5* MIARESTATE HOTEL & SPA,
SOUTH AFRICA

Nonkqubela Mayathula owns the luxurious 5* Miarestate Hotel and Spa and a 740 hectare of game farm. Driven by a sense of coming back to the Eastern Cape to unlock the potential of wildlife economy, Mayathula made a choice of entering the game farming. She invested in infrastructure to make sure that the vegetation is environmentally friendly for wildlife. Her Hotel and the farm employ a big number of employees dominated by the locals. Nonkqubela believes that her business is on a financially and environmentally sustainable path.

DR MOHANJEET BRAR

MANAGING DIRECTOR

GAMEWATCHERS SAFARIS & PORINI CAMPS, KENYA

Dr Mohanjeet Brar, is Managing Director of Gamewatchers Safaris & Porini Camps, a conservation tourism company that was one of the pioneers of community conservancies in Kenya. For over 20 years the company has been using eco-tourism as a means to protect wildlife habitat in partnership with the local communities. His family has been in Kenya for 5 generations and he has a Doctorate degree in Plant Science. Mohanjeet has served in a number of leadership roles in tourism and conservation including as Chairman of Ecotourism Kenya and as a Board Member of the Kenya Tourism Board, the Kenya Tourism Federation, Atta (African Travel & Tourism Association), the East African Wildlife Society, and the Maasai Mara Conservancies Association among others.

FRED NELSON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MALIASILI,
USA

Fred Nelson is founder and Executive Director of Maliasili, which helps leading African conservation, natural resource and land rights organizations strengthen and grow their organizations in order to achieve more. He has worked extensively on natural resource policy and governance design in Tanzania and South Sudan and carried out research on natural resource governance, enterprise, and conservation outcomes. Fred is on the steering committee of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Initiative, and is an advisor to the Acacia Conservation Fund. He earned his Bachelor from Cornell University and his Masters in Natural Resources at the University of Michigan.

ULRICO GRECH-COMBO

CEO

DEEP VR,
SOUTH AFRICA

Ulrico co-founded Deep VR in 2014 as one of the world’s early leaders in cinematic virtual reality, with principal offices in South Africa. In 2016, Ulrico, having grown up surrounded by wilderness areas, started Habitat, a conservation-led immersive storytelling division within the company. Habitat is focused on producing original natural history experiences and documentaries in the ground-breaking VR format, as well as VR for conservation NGOs.
Films from Habitat include “Exodus: The Great Migration”, “My Africa”, “Eden’s Garden”, “Walks on the Wild Side” He has over 10 years experience in the brand/entertainment intersection covering roles in sales & business development, project management, production design, experiential brand strategy.

JEROEN HARDERWIJK

CO-FOUNDER

ASILIA AFRICA,
TANZANIA

Jeroen is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Asilia Africa, an eco-tourism company that operates 20 camps in East Africa, employing 800+ staff. Asilia was the first company in sub-Saharan Africa’s Safari industry to be awarded 5-star international rating by GIIRS for its impact and sustainability performance. Jeroen is on the Governing Council of the Hotel Association of Tanzania, a Trustee of Responsible Tourism Tanzania, a Director of HoneyGuide Foundation and co-Founder and Director of Kamitei Foundation. Mr Harderwijk started his career in international investment banking in Europe (ABN AMRO) and holds MSc degrees in Business Economics and Philosophy.

PHILLIP IHENACHO

FOUNDER & PARTNER

AMAYA CAPITAL,
MAURITIUS

Phillip Ihenacho is a founder and partner of Amaya Capital, an active investor in businesses in Africa. Amaya is the founding investor of Azura Power, an Africa-focused power generation business, and was an active investor in Seven Energy, a gas infrastructure business, where Phillip served as interim Chief Executive. Prior to that, Philippe founded the investment banking firm Afrinvest after 5 years with McKinsey. Phillip has a very keen interest in African wilderness, and currently serves on the Africa Council of The Nature Conservancy, as well as the board of Trustees of the Tusk Trust. Philip has a B.A.from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

MAX GRAHAM

FOUNDER & CEO

SPACE FOR GIANTS,
KENYA

Max Graham is the founder and CEO of Space for Giants, an international conservation organisation that protects the great wildlife landscapes that Africa’s remaining elephants need to thrive. Funded in 2011, Space for Giants grew out of a decade of pioneering research into how to encourage the co-existence of people and wildlife in modernising Africa. The Giants Club initiative unites the leaders of African elephant-range states with international financiers, conservationists and celebrities. Prior to Space for Giants, Max has worked on environment and development projects in Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has published numerous scientific papers on conservation, elephant behaviour and human-wildlife conflict.

JULIE WILLIAMS

DIRECTOR OF TOURISM

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK,
DRC

Julie Williams has been the Director or Tourism for Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo since 2015. Prior to that, she has worked for 10 years with Asiali Lodges and Camps, handling a number of positions including Tanzania Country Manager.

MATTHEW BROWN

AFRICA REGIONAL DIRECTOR

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY,
TANZANIA

Matthew Brown is Africa Regional Managing Director at The Nature Conservancy. He provides strategic leadership and management to a growing program of more than 85 staff members working in seven African countries and across the United States. Prior to that, Matthiew served as TNC Africa’s director of conservation for 11 years, where he defined and oversaw all TNC Africa projects in priority places with local partners. Matthiew is a dedicated conservationist with more than 20 years of leadership, fundraising, and strategy setting experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Colby College, as well as a master’s degree in Environmental Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

DICKSON KAELO

FOUNDER & CEO

KWCA,
KENYA

Dickson Kaelo is the founder and CEO of Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association, which mission is to work with landowners and communities to sustainably conserve and manage wildlife and their habitat outside formal protected areas, for the benefit of the people of Kenya. More than 100 conservancies are members of the organisation. Beyond KWCA, Dickson has been a leader and mentor for Kenyan conservation for the last 20 years, giving tirelessly of his time to the governance of other organisations and mentoring rising conservation leaders in Kenya. He is an Honorary Warden for the Kenya Wildlife Service and 2018 finalist of the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa.

GLEN JEFFRIES

SENIOR CONSULTANT

CONSERVATION CAPITAL,
UK

Glen Jeffries is a Senior Consultant for Conservation Capital, a company working with commercial businesses in or around high-value conservation landscapes and generating economic and social benefits in ways that actively support conservation outcomes. Conservation Capital has led the development and financing of more than 75 conservation enterprise initiatives in 25 countries across Africa and Europe. Glen’s work on conservation enterprise planning focuses on innovative approaches to revenue development, governance, management, financing, and stakeholder engagement. Prior to that, Glen worked as a lawyer in the environment, land and resources department of a commercial law firm in both London and New York. He graduated from the University of Oxford in 2010, and has a master’s degree in oceans and biodiversity law from the Arctic University of Norway.

JOHN MASON

CHAIRMAN

ZAINA LODGE,
GHANA

John J. Mason is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) – a leading African conservation NGO based in Accra, Ghana. Mason has been based in Ghana for 35 years and is regarded as a leading proponent for community participation in conservation initiatives. His was an early voice drawing attention to the long-term threat of climate change to the economically crucial cocoa sector. In various African countries, he has catalyzed REDD+ and climate smart agriculture initiatives and has been instrumental in securing over USD 300 million in climate finance. He is the joint founder and Chairman of Ecolodge Company Ghana Ltd – the 1st entity operating luxury lodges inside Ghana’s national parks and community reserves. He holds degrees from University of Guelph, University of Waterloo and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

TOM LALAMPAA

CEO

NORTHERN RANGELANDS TRUST,
KENYA

Tom Lalampaa is the CEO of Northern Rangelands Trust, which supports 35 community conservancies across northern and coastal Kenya. The mission of this organization is to empower local people to take charge of their wild spaces and build sustainable economies linked to conservation, to lead peace efforts to mend years of conflict and to shape government regulations to support it all. As someone with an in-depth knowledge of the challenges attached to pastoral life in north Kenya, Tom has earned a great deal of respect among the different ethnic groups he serves. He is the founder Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA), a trustee of the Kenya Wildlife Service Board, and has also served as the Vice Chair of the Wildlife Security Task Force formed by the government of Kenya. He has been awarded the Tusk Conservation Award and the Stanford University Law School Bright Award for Environmental Sustainability.

GILLIAN PAIS, KARTIK JAYARAM, CHANIA FROST

AP, SP & ASSOCIATE

MCKINSEY,
KENYA

Gillian Pais is an Associate Partner with McKinsey in Kenya, leading projects across Africa in the areas of agricultural development (including climate-smart agriculture), forest protection and restoration, innovative financing, and clean fuels. She is the East Africa Regional Director for the Partnerships for Forests program, a DFID-funded program that aims to catalyse private sector investments in forests and sustainable land use.
Kartik Jayaram is the Managing Partner of McKinsey’s East Africa office. He leads the Africa Delivery Hub, a delivery model that helps government and social institutions across Africa effectively deliver against their commitments, driving rapid and significant results as well as long term change across a variety of issues (e.g., Conservation, healthcare, power, education …).
Chania Frost is an Associate for Africa Delivery Hub.

MICHAEL PEARCE

LECTURER, SCHOOL OF DRAMA

UNIVERSITY OF EXETER,
UK

Michael Pearce is a lecturer in the School of Drama of the University of Exeter. He is also a guest lecturer at ALU Rwanda, focusing on the culture of African wildlife tourism and conservation. His current research examines black British theatre in relation to the cultural and political spaces of Africa, the Caribbean and the USA. He has published essays and written a ten-part documentary broadcasted on BBC Radio in 2015. He promotes research-led teaching, where the process of teaching is an integral part of the research process and vice versa: the classroom is not just a place where the lecturer imparts knowledge to students but a space in which new ideas are generated. Prior to that, he has worked as an actor / deviser and facilitator in southern Africa, Europe and the UK.

DR. EDWIN SABUHORO

CEO

RWANDA ECO-TOURS,
RWANDA

Edwin Sabuhoro is a Rwandan national who received a law degree from the National University of Rwanda, a masters of science degree in conservation and Tourism from the university of Kent at Canterbury,UK and a PHD in Parks,Recreation and Tourism management at clemson university in the us.Edwin worked as, a senior Economic development Advisor for SNV and served as the the chairman of the Rwanda Tours and travel Association as well as the President of Rwanda chamber of Tourism.His efforts to improve the lives of people living in areas that are adjacent to the Mountain Gorillas’ National Park were recognized through numerous awards;IUCN 2008 Young Conservationist of the year award,2010 President Obama Yalf.In 2015, Edwin was recognized as a CNN Hero,and his work was featured on CNN African Voices.

CATHERINE DUGGAN

ASSISTANT VICE DEAN

ALUSB,
RWANDA

Catherine Duggan is Professor of Management and Political Economy and Vice Dean for Strategy and Research at the African Leadership University (ALU), Rwanda. Prior to joining ALU, she was a professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) for nearly a decade, teaching courses on political economy and leadership to MBA students and executives. She has also taught in MBA and executive education programs at Saïd Business School (SBS) at the University of Oxford, and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria.

DR. FRANCIS VORHIES

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

ALU SOWC,
RWANDA

Francis Vorhies is the Academic Director for the ALU School of Wildlife Conservation and the founder and executive director of Earthmind. He has over 30 years of international experience in sustainable development and sustainable business. His work focuses on addressing the nexus between business, the economy and biodiversity. Francis, who is American, played a key role in setting up the global programmes on economics and business at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

MICHAEL O'BRIEN

VP AFRICA FIELD DIVISION

CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL,
KENYA

Michael O’Brien-Onyeka is a Senior Vice President at Conservation International. In this role, he is leading a refreshed CI Africa strategy focused on sustaining the nature that Africans rely on to thrive. Michael has over twenty years of leadership experience in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, with Oxfam, National Democratic Institute, Amnesty International and most recently Greenpeace as Executive Director for Africa. He holds a degree in Sociology and a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy and an MBA with the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.

GREG RANSTROM

FOUNDER & CONSULTANT

CULTURE IN ACTION,
USA

Greg Ranstrom founded Outside Insights in 1988, a consulting firm focused on executive leadership and team building retreats to bolster the best of a company’s culture. Culture in Action is his most recent endeavor to nurture and evolve vital cultures.