Board of Directors
Dr. Richard Leakey – Founder
Internationally reknowned paleontologist and conservationist. Formerly Director of the National Museums of Kenya and the Kenya Wildlife Service, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Public Service, Kenya. He is a Kenyan, residing in Nairobi.
John Heminway – Chairman
John Heminway is a writer and filmmaker, with a focus on nature, science, complex people, and Africa. He is completing his sixth book. His filmmaking career spans four decades and includes many prestigious awards. “Battle For The Elephants,” which he recently produced with Katie Carpenter and JJ Kelley, was voted Best Conservation Film at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
Katherine Carpenter is an award-winning documentary filmmaker specializing in wildlife conservation and environmental science topics around the world. Most recently, she produced two National Geographic specials for PBS, Bones of Turkana and Battle for the Elephants, filmed on location in Kenya, Tanzania and China. Her films have aired on PBS, Discovery Channel, MSNBC, Fox, ABC and Disney, and been shot across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Irungu Houghton is a senior management professional with sixteen years of experience specializing in areas of public policy advice and advocacy, institutional strengthening and expansion. He has extensive work experience in Africa, North America and other countries worldwide. Irungu has recently completed a decade of service as the Pan Africa Director for Oxfam where he has been instrumental in dramatically expanding Oxfam’s work in Africa by establishing offices in Addis, Dakar and Nairobi, as well as managing multi-country development programs.
Bruce L. Ludwig
Mr. Ludwig has an almost 50 year career in institutional real estate. From 1996 until 2010 he was the Sr. Relationship Manager – Real Estate/Middle East for ING Real Estate Investment Management Group, the world’s largest real estate investment manager. Prior to joining ING, Mr. Ludwig was a founding partner of Westmark/TCW Realty Advisors from 1981 to 1995. When the firm was sold to CB Richard Ellis Westmark/TCW had 160 employees and over $4+ Billion in assets under management and he became Vice Chairman, a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of what is now CBRE Investment Advisors, part of CB Richard Ellis, (NYSE), the largest full service real estate firm in the world. Ludwig graduated from California State University with a B.S. in Finance. He is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer at professional conferences and real estate programs at USC and UCLA. He is a past Officer, Trustee, Governor and member of The Executive Committee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Mr. Ludwig was also an Officer, Director and member of the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Roundtable. For more than forty years he has been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and has served as a Trustee and also a Director of the ICSC Educational Foundation.
Educated in England, Patrick won an exhibition to study law at Cambridge University. Upon graduation from Cambridge University in 1988, Patrick took an entry level job in a London literary agency, later becoming the junior partner of Christopher Little, the agent who discovered JK Rowling, working together over the period in which JK Rowling’s profile exploded.
A life-long conservationist, Patrick travels constantly and has in recent years begun to overlap his personal interest in conservation onto his client list: to which end he has represented and sold books from Kenya such as Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s memoir, AN AFRICAN LOVE STORY, and Alan Root’s IVORY APES & PEACOCKS. From the UK he represents leading conservationists and campaigners such as Professor John Bradshaw, the father of anthrozoology, Professor Callum Roberts, the oceanographer and campaigner, and Professor Dave Goulson, the entomologist whose recent memoir, A STING IN THE TALE, was a Top 10Sunday Times bestseller in Spring 2013. More generally Patrick’s author client list extends from historians to scientists, and from human rights’ campaigners to psychologists.
Philip K. Murgor is a founder and the current Managing Partner of the firm, Murgor & Murgor Advocates. He offers invaluable work experience spanning a period of over 21 years in the legal profession as state counsel, private practitioner and as a former Director of Public Prosecutions.
Philip served as a State Counsel in the provinces and Nairobi from 1986 to 1992, during which period he successfully led, or assisted in prosecuting several high profile cases. In 1992, he resigned from the public service and teamed up with his wife Agnes to found Murgor & Murgor Advocates.
In May 2003, Philip was unexpectedly appointed by the new President Mwai Kibaki to the position of Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), a post he was to hold for two years. His mandate was to overhaul and reform an ineffective and discredited public prosecutions department. During his tenure, he initiated several key and far reaching reforms to fully professionalize public prosecutions before returning to the firm in 2005. His reform programs attracted sufficient donor funding from USAID to enable the department relocate to ultra-mordern fully equipped premises.
Harold Wackman – Secretary / Treasurer
Hal Wackman co-founded WildlifeDirect with Dr. Richard Leakey in 2004 and has been Secretary and Treasurer since then. He has worked as a civil engineer and engineering economist in Canada, a management consultant in Australia, and spent three decades with the World Bank, working on industrial, energy and Infrastructure projects and programs worldwide. He held a number of management positions at the Bank, including Chief of Industry (global), Chief of Energy Assessments (global), Chief of Energy for Eastern and Southern Africa, Chief of Energy and Industry for Eastern Africa, Chief of Energy and Infrastructure for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and Country Director for Kenya, based in Nairobi.
He is on the Board of Trustees of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, is Treasurer and a board member of the Hill Center in Washington DC, and active in an energy lecture series at the World Bank and a business planning program in Virginia high schools.
Paula Kahumbu – Executive Director
Paula is in charge. She makes sure that all our projects address important conservation concerns in an appropriate way. Paula is an ecologist and a passionate tree hugger. She spent many years studying monkeys and elephants in Kenya and worked for the Kenya Wildlife Service on wildlife policy, trade and park management issues and later managed a quarry restoration company. She is passionate about Africa and conservation, saving wild species and wild places – all for a purely selfish reason, so that she can enjoy them. Her life goal is to revert the people of the world to loving nature, starting with Joshua her son.
Joy Omulupi -Administrator
In this life Joy is a woman, with a daughter. In her next life, she’d like to come back as a bear. When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate for six months of the year. Joy could handle that. Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. Joy could handle that too. When you’re a girl bear, you give birth to children the size of walnuts while you are sleeping and wake up to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. Joy could definitely handle that.
Christopher Kiarie -Chinese Liaison Officer
Christopher researches on matters China and conservation. He is the Mandarin voice for Elephants and Rhinos. He also uses social media in China and social networks to build understanding and deliver value. He also monitors wildlife related crimes in Kenyan courts and compiling the relevant data. In his spare time, he volunteers. Chris speaks fluent Mandarin.
Loise Njagi – Communications Assistant
Loise is passionate about wildlife and knows very well the importance of conservation. She is a documentary film maker and wildlife conservation activist based in Nairobi. Having worked with different conservationists in different fields and interacted with people in different areas, she has come to learn that people lack knowledge on the importance of wildlife. Loise is in charge of Education and Public Awareness.