Board of Directors
Dr. RICHARD LEAKEY – Founder
Internationally renowned paleontologist; many of his important discoveries include the early stone age tools dating to around 1.9 million years old, evidence of early members of the genus Homo, including skulls of Homo habilis and Homo erectus, and remains of robust australopithecines A. boisei and A.aethiopicus. But the extraordinary discovery of the nearly complete 1.6 million year old skeleton of the “Nariokotome Boy” (or “Turkana Boy”), a Homo erectus youth, was undoubtedly the most important.
After Dr. Leakey was appointed the head of the Kenya Wildlife Services, (KWS) in 1989, he was no longer able to continue with fieldwork, though he remains interested in paleoanthropology. As head of the KWS, Richard successfully combated elephant and rhino poaching and oversaw a reorganization of Kenya’s troubled national park system. Although subjected to political impasses, intimidation and physical violence, he continues to fight for political justice in Kenya. Dr. Richard Leakey continues to lecture on environmental themes and is currently involved in grassroots wildlife conservation projects. In his spare time he enjoys growing grapes and producing wine on his farm near 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 film making 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.
Hemingway has been a trustee of Trout Unlimited and the Leakey Foundation. He is trustee of the White Oak Conservation Center, a member of the advisory boards of the American Prairie Foundation, Trustee Emeritus of the African Wildlife Foundation which he served as Chairman for nine years, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and, since the age of 17, a member of the Explorers’ Club where, in June 2002, he was named a “Champion of Wildlife”. In June 2013, Dr. Richard Leakey appointed Hemingway chairman of WildlifeDirect
KATHERINE CARPENTER – Television Producer and Communications Consultant
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 enthusiasm for wildlife conservation programming was nurtured while she was Vice President of Film/TV for National Audubon Productions, where she developed and produced wildlife series and specials in co-production with Animal Planet, Turner Broadcasting, PBS, Disney Channel and the BBC. Carpenter’s television honors include a Cable Ace Award for best documentary series, two Cable Ace nominations, an Emmy and an Emmy nomination, and nine Cine Golden Eagle Awards. She taught documentary film making at Princeton University.
Irungu Houghton (M.A.) is currently part time Senior Advisor to the African Green Revolution Forum, a US$3 million partnership agriculture programme owned by the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa, African Union, African Development Bank, Yara International among others. He is also part-time Senior Advisor to the Kenya Dialogues Project of the Society for International Development, a US$1 million programme committed to creating a covenant around five promises of the constitution. Ir?ng? has been recognized for his contribution to the field of development. In 2007, he was nominated by President John Kuffuor as Chairperson of the African Union to review the performance of the African Union (2003-2007). He was recently awarded the 2013 African Union Women’s Rights Award and the 2012 Oxfam International Kenny Award. Under his leadership, Oxfam also received in 2012 the Partner of Choice Award from AU-NEPAD Agency after ten (10) years of collaboration. A widely known inspirational speaker, sought-after change-facilitator, and skillful moderator, Ir?ng? has been involved in hosting and coordinating national, regional and global conferences. He has authored and commissioned numerous policy papers, research studies, training manuals and guides. He is a father of five, and loves jazz, watching movies and digital gadgetry.
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.
ALI DAUD MOHAMED
Ali Daud Mohamed is an environment and development expert with over 30 years’ experience in the public service of Kenya and has strong analytical skills and deep knowledge of the inter-linkages between environment and development from both international and national perspectives. He has extensive experience in public policy development and implementation. Ali has served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of Environment, and Special Programmes in the Office of the President of Kenya. He has been elected to many international positions including as President of the International Conference on Chemicals Management and Africa’s representative in the Standing Committee on (Climate) Finance among others. He has vast experience in Public policy development, administration and implementation, with rich experience in international cooperation issues and multilateral agreements. He is a specialist in international conventions and treaty negotiations; international project development and implementation; integrated resource management; coastal and marine environmental management
JACQUELINE RUSSELL, Attorney and Conservationist
Her interest and passion for wildlife conservation was nurtured at her father’s knee, as he became one of the earliest members of the board of directors of the African Wildlife Foundation, at whose meetings she sat on the sidelines and absorbed at an early age the urgency and vitalness of the mission to protect Africa’s wildlife. She received a Masters Degree from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and her early interest in environmental preservation and justice grew as she went on to earn a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of law. Russell went on to became an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland, litigating cases before state and federal courts and regulatory agencies on environmental issues, primarily water pollution, wetlands, and endangered species. In her role as a State prosecutor, she tried and won, dozens of cases, with her successes resulting in the reduction of pollutants in the streams and rivers that feed the fragile Chesapeake Bay. She was honored for her achievements by then Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran in 2010.She has also been a member of the advisory boards of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and Beads for Education,
Scott Asen is currently a private investor managing a portfolio of equity and real estate investments for his personal account. Scott joined the brokerage firm of Mitchell, Hutchins & Co. in 1967, where he worked in the investment advisory department with responsibility for research on small technology stocks. Between 1969 and 1974, he was a portfolio manager with Research and Science Investors, a New York based venture capital and money management firm. From 1974 until 1977, Scott was self-employed as a journalist specializing in reporting on municipal finance issues. In 1977, he became a general partner of Pioneer Ventures, a group of investment entities funded originally by a wealthy New Yorker. Throughout the following two decades, Mr. Asen had primary responsibility for managing the various Pioneer Ventures entities, which were successfully liquidated over a number of years through 2002. Scott Asen currently sits on the boards of three privately held companies, is a Trustee of Groton School and The Paris Review, and is a board member of the Island Foundation. Scott graduated from Harvard College in 1966.
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.