HRH The Duke of Cambridge, our Patron, heads the list of eminent, distinguished and dedicated people associated with Fauna & Flora International.
I have been involved with FFI since 2003, and have always greatly appreciated how the organisation works in the field. By getting local people involved, and by respecting their needs and values, we can ensure not only that they support conservation, but that they benefit from it too.
Sir David Attenborough OM FRS is a broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has spanned more than 60 years. He is best known for writing and presenting the nine Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit. He is also a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s.
Sir David’s long collaboration with the BBC Natural History Unit includes many groundbreaking nature documentaries: The Blue Planet (2001), the unit's first comprehensive series on marine life; Planet Earth (2006), the biggest nature documentary ever made for television and the first in high definition; Life (2009), focusing on extraordinary animal behaviour; The Frozen Planet (2011), a major series on the natural history of the polar regions, and the epic Africa (2013). More recently he has been collaborating with Sky, working on programmes for its 3D network including Flying Monsters 3D (2010); Kingdom of Plants 3D (2011); and Galapagos 3D (2012). His most recent project for the BBC is Blue Planet II, the long-awaited and spectacular follow-up to his earlier documentary.
A number of Sir David’s documentaries have adopted a more overtly environmentalist stance. In State of the Planet (2000), he assessed the impact of man's activities on the natural world, while The Truth about Climate Change (2006) examined global warming. He also contributed a programme highlighting the plight of endangered species to the BBC's Saving Planet Earth project in 2007, the 50th anniversary of the Natural History Unit.
Sir David became a member of FFI in 1959 and has been a vice-president since July 1979. In that time he has offered enormous support to the organisation and attended numerous events, including our centenary celebrations in 2003 and our 110th anniversary event in 2013 during which he was interviewed by Radio 4’s Libby Purves on the challenges of conservation for the future.
Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist. He had a troubled childhood and adolescence, during which he was expelled from two schools and spent three months in prison for credit card fraud. Fry secured a place at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied English literature. While at university, he became involved with the Cambridge Footlights, where he met his long-time collaborator Hugh Laurie. As half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie and also took the role of Jeeves (with Laurie playing Wooster) in Jeeves and Wooster.
Fry's acting roles include a Golden Globe Award–nominated lead performance in the film Wilde, Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, the title character in the television series Kingdom, a recurring guest role as Dr Gordon Wyatt on the crime series Bones, and as Gordon Deitrich in the dystopian thriller V for Vendetta. He has also written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award–winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which saw him explore his bipolar disorder, and the travel series Stephen Fry in America. He was also the long-time host of the BBC television quiz show QI, with his tenure lasting from 2003 to 2016.
Andrew Sykes joined FFI’s Council of Trustees as Treasurer in 2005 and served as Chairman from 2007 – 2020. He has worked in the financial services industry since 1978, and is currently Senior Independent Director of Intermediate Capital Group plc. He served previously as Chairman of Smith & Williamson from 2013 to 2020, and was a director of Schroders plc from 1998 to 2004. He is Sub Warden of Winchester College, and an external member of the investment committee of Nuffield College, Oxford.
Edward van Cutsem is Managing Director, BlackRock Family Office Partners, an American multinational investment management corporation and the world's largest asset manager. Since 1996 he has also been a Director of ECOspray, which is committed to the advancement of ethical and sustainable food production through the scientific development of naturally based pesticides and decision support systems.
Edward is involved with work at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, the Game Conservancy and Wildlife Trust and the building of the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Clinic, whilst his wife, Lady Tamara Grosvenor is interested in charities supporting stray dogs, medical dogs and orangutan conservation. The van Cutsems reside in Cheshire and joined FFI's Conservation Circle in 2010. Edward was elected to Council in 2012 and re-elected in 2016.
Gareth Rhys Williams has run a number of global businesses, in particular Vitec Group plc, the supplier of products and services to the worldwide entertainment and photographic industries, Capital Safety Group Ltd, the supplier of equipment to the oil/gas industry, and Charter International, the FTSE250 welding and industrial fans group. His most recent CEO role was at PHS Group, where he led the financial restructuring and operational turnaround, stepping down in December 2014. He was appointed as Government Chief Commercial Officer in March 2016.
Married with three young children, Sir Gareth lives in London. He enjoys travel and all aspects of the natural world and has been an attendee at FFI's Conservation Circle events. Sir Gareth's grandfather, the 1st Baronet, Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams was present at the very first meeting of the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire in 1903 and went on to serve for a number of years as the Honorary Secretary of the Society. Gareth was elected to Council in 2012, re-elected in 2016 and is a member of the Audit and Nominations Committee.
Mark has held the role of CEO for over 25 years. During that time he has been instrumental in transforming Fauna & Flora International from an organisation with a handful of active projects into a multifaceted global conservation charity with a work programme comprising more than 100 projects in over 40 countries.
He has spearheaded the establishment of innovative corporate partnerships that encourage big business to put biodiversity at the heart of the strategic planning process and developed numerous successful sustainable business initiatives in support of species and landscape conservation. Mark has been a driving force behind the establishment of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading, internationally focused biodiversity conservation organisations based in and around the city.
Mark is a zoologist with extensive field experience, gained predominantly in remote parts of Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Jo joined FFI in 2013 to lead our cross-cutting teams working on Conservation Finance & Enterprise, Extractives & Infrastructure, Agricultural Landscapes, Science & Design, and Capacity & Leadership.
A Cambridge Economist with an MBA from London Business School, Jo spent the early part of her career as a corporate banker and strategy consultant before deciding to apply these skills to the environment sector. Jo worked for ERM in London and Jakarta leading forestry, energy and environment sector assignments for the EU, DFID and World Bank, including a year seconded to the World Bank social and environmental impact assessment team in Indonesia. She also worked for WWF-Indonesia and was Team Economist for The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesia parks programme.
Jo moved to Kenya from Indonesia in 1994, recruited by Price Waterhouse in Nairobi to lead a World Bank project at Kenya Wildlife Service. She joined the African Wildlife Foundation in 1996, and became Vice President for Program Design and Knowledge Management for AWF’s programmes across 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, specialising in environmental economics, community enterprise development and environmental policy analysis. Prior to working for FFI she was also a Rural Livelihoods Advisor at DFID where she led DFID’s work on wildlife-poverty linkages.
Jo represents FFI on multiple Boards and Steering Committees and is a member of the UK government’s Darwin Expert Committee.
Jonny joined FFI in 2019 to lead our communications and fundraising teams. His love of wildlife, nurtured during his childhood years in India, ultimately led to his decision to study Biology at Manchester University. After graduating, Jonny worked for Reed Recruitment, where he obtained diplomas from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Combining his professional skills in communications and marketing with his passion for the natural world, Jonny joined RSPB. He worked for the organisation for 17 years, during which time he managed various functions across membership recruitment and development, brand, communications and marketing. In his various roles at the RSPB, Jonny was instrumental in driving the growth in membership recruitment and increase in individual giving, and he also led the organisation through a significant rebrand.
Svetlana joined FFI in October 2014 and is responsible for leading all operational functions, including Finance, HR, ICT, Governance, Legal, Risk and Facilities. She is a qualified accountant with over 20 years of broad international experience, starting her career and training with Ernst & Young in corporate audit and consulting in the USA, the Netherlands and Russia. She then gained commercial experience in industry with Cadbury Schweppes and Econergy (part of British Gas). Svetlana’s passion for sustainable development and conservation compelled her career move to the non-profit sector, and she held senior finance roles in the Institute for Sustainability and in World Animal Protection. She has led finance and operations in large established international organisations, as well as smaller start-up companies, developing and embedding operational systems, policies and procedures to mitigate risk and ensure effective global management.
Svetlana holds an MBA from London Business School, where she focused on finance, strategy and leadership. She also holds an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, where she specialised in energy, carbon trading and environmental economics. She is a US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has an MBA Gateway Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting (CIMA).
Hugo van Vredenburch is a financial services professional and presently Chairman of Interactive Investor (ii), the UK’s second largest direct investment platform with 400,000 clients and more than £35 billion of client assets. Prior to ii Hugo was CEO of the TMF Group and one of its predecessor companies from 2005 – 2014. TMF is a multinational professional services firm that provides accounting, tax, HR and payroll services to businesses operating on an international scale. It operates in 80 countries with 7,500 employees and has grown rapidly both organically and through acquisition. Prior to TMF Hugo held a variety of positions at Goldman Sachs over a 13-year period, including heading up the Equities Division in Japan, as COO of the Global Equities Division and co-leading the Pan-European Equities Franchise. He retired as Partner and Managing Director in 2005.
Hugo is also a Non-Executive Director of Ecospray and Saltus Wealth Management and a trustee of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Trust. He has had a lifelong interest in conservation, and is a member of FFI’s Conservation Circle. Hugo was elected to Council in 2018, becoming Chair in 2020.
Annette Lanjouw is a highly regarded expert in great ape conservation. She has worked with chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas in the wild, and has worked extensively in conservation strategy, program implementation, and research. She is currently CEO of the Arcus Foundation, having previously been their Co-Executive Director and lead for the Great Ape and Gibbon Programme. For 15 years Ms Lanjouw was Director of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme. She has served as scientific advisor to world-renowned wildlife filmmaker Alan Root, as Central Africa programme officer for the Wildlife Conservation Society, and as project manager and field director for the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Chimpanzee Conservation Project in eastern DRC.
Before joining Arcus, she was international programme officer for the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and from 2005 – 2007 FFI’s Regional Director for Africa & Latin America. A native of the Netherlands, Ms. Lanjouw holds a BSc in zoology and psychology from Victoria University in New Zealand, and a doctorandus degree in behavioural ecology from the Rijks Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands. She is scientific advisor to the Trust for African Rock Art, and a member of the Species Survival Commission, including the Primate Specialist Group, the Trans-boundary Conservation Specialist Group, and the World Commission on Protected Areas. Annette joined Council in 2016 and became vice-chair in 2020.
Paul Baldwin was appointed as trustee and chair of Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home in August 2019, one of the UK's oldest and most famous animal rescue centres which has cared for more than 3.1 million dogs and cats since it was founded in 1860. Prior to this appointment, he had recently retired as Chair of World Animal Protection, a global charity that campaigns against the root causes of animal suffering, with long-term strategic goals of transforming the global food system, and ending systems that result in the cruel exploitation of wild animals.
He was also a trustee of the Gorilla Organisation until 2018, an INGO aiming to save the world’s last remaining gorillas in the wild from extinction by funding grass-roots projects run by local African partners that tackle the very real threats to the gorillas’ long term survival. He served as Chair of the Board of the Disabled Living Foundation leading it through its merger with the Shaw Trust, joining the Shaw Trust board in 2016. Shaw Trust, one of the largest charities in the UK, supports people to develop their potential and live independently by providing young people and adults with skills development training, employment opportunities and services to improve their wellbeing or rebuild their lives. Other roles include being a trustee for First Rung, a North London-based charity, which provides vocational training and work-experience opportunities to young people.
In his previous career, Paul spent nearly 20 years working in the banking industry for Union Bank of Switzerland, Kleinwort Benson, Goldman Sachs, and most recently as a Managing Director in Global Markets at HSBC. Paul has a degree in Engineering from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected to Council in 2016 and became Treasurer in February 2017.
Jeff Blumberg has worked in the financial services industry since 1998. Jeff is Chief Executive Officer of Egerton Capital (UK) LLP, an asset management firm headquartered in London, England. Prior to joining Egerton Capital in 2010, Jeff spent ten years at Goldman Sachs Asset Management – first in New York, then Princeton, and then London. Jeff graduated from Harvard University in 1998 with BA degree in Government.
Born in Johannesburg and raised in South Africa and then Canada, Jeff developed a love of wildlife and appreciation of the importance of conservation at a young age; growing up involved many trips to Kruger National Park and other game reserves in southern Africa.
In addition to wildlife conservation, his interests include photography and squash. In addition to his role as trustee of Fauna & Flora International, Jeff is a trustee of Rhino Conservation Botswana, and a Director of Fondation Segré in Switzerland. Jeff was appointed to Council and joined the Audit Commitee in 2020.
Until 2016 David Gibson was Group General Counsel and Company Secretary for Rexam PLC, the multinational consumer packaging company. He has a 30-year track record in private practice and FTSE 100 board level management and extensive experience across all areas of corporate and commercial law, both in the UK and globally. He is now developing a portfolio career of advisory, non-exec and trustee roles, becoming a trustee of the Architectural Association and joining FFI’s Council in 2016. He currently serves on the Audit and Remuneration Committees.
Anna Gavazzi Asseily is Head of Content for the first Climate Summit of Founders Forum, a new platform that brings together leaders and entrepreneurs to tackle some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Anna graduated from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy and was Director of Gagosian Gallery, following a 15 year career in the Art World across Europe and US, having most recently established and directed Gagosian Gallery in San Francisco, CA. After returning to London, she switched gears and began applying herself to environmental advocacy – with the goal of raising awareness on plastic pollution and wildlife conservation. She is active with several environmental and wildlife conservation organisations, including FFI where she and her husband are Conservation Circle members and are also providing support to our fundraising and communication activities. Anna was elected to Council in 2019 and joined the Nominations Committee in 2020.
Senator Abshiro Halake is a nominated member of the 12th Parliament of Kenya focusing on the special interests of women and other vulnerable groups including, youth, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. She is the vice chairperson the Senate Standing Committee on Information, Communication & Technology (ICT), a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy and also Delegated Legislation and the current Chairperson for the Centre for Multiparty Democracy Kenya (CMD-Kenya). Senator Abshiro holds an MA in Business Administration and an MS in Management and Organizational Development from the University of Cumbria and United States International University–Africa respectively, and a BA in Education from Kenyatta University. She is a certified professional in strategy and balanced scorecard; executive coaching and international business development, trade policy analysis and marketing.
Senator Abshiro started her career at the Canadian Embassy in 2000, rising to the position of Trade Commissioner in 2003 where she was responsible for Canadian trade in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Eritrea. In 2009, she joined the public sector as the first woman Deputy Director, responsible for strategy and change, at Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS). She then became Deputy Secretary General Special Programs & Head of the Global Fund Unit for the Kenya Red Cross where she was responsible for managing grants and mobilizing resources for special programs and projects, including management of 55 civil society organizations to which the Kenya Red Cross Society sub-grants the Global Fund finances, and multi-million-dollar grants for HIV/AIDS interventions. In all Senator Abshiro has more than 15 years’ experience in senior management in Humanitarian Response and Diplomacy; Grants Management; Conservation; International Trade and Investment; Strategy and Risk Management and Business Development; together with an in-depth understanding of Conservation, Community Mobilization and Empowerment Strategies for conservation business and social sector interventions in health, education entrepreneurship and micro-financing. Senator Halake was elected to Council in 2021.
Diana van de Kamp was educated in the US at William and Mary University, Virginia, where she received a BA in Philosophy and Political Science. She worked for her US Senator in Washington, DC focusing on environmental legislation. She then continued her studies in Philosophy at King’s College London, prior to starting her professional career in New York with Institutional Investor/Euromoney, moving to London in 1990 to be Director of Corporate Membership Sales for Europe and Asia.
In 1997, she founded WildInvest, a registered UK and US endangered species conservation charity. WildInvest is a membership group of individuals, who donate to a portfolio of 12 early stage conservation projects, which are led by local conservationists working in their own countries to save endangered species. She is also a Trustee of the Awana Catchment Trust on Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. Diana was elected to Council in October 2014 and re-elected in 2018, having served two previous terms from 2005 – 2013. She was appointed as Secretary to FFI's US Board in 2016.
From an early age Benjamin has lived by the principle that we are all custodians of the planet, with a responsibility to safeguard the world for future generations. Over the years he has been involved in a wide range of social initiatives, from interfaith activities to arts and cultural heritage. More recently, his passion for the environment has driven him to focus on conservation and the natural world. As an avid explorer and adventurer, he has endeavoured to share his experiences, creating unique property ventures where people can be transformed by meaningful contact with nature. Benjamin is a strong believer in social investments, launching an impact investment portfolio focusing on technology, healthcare, and education. He endeavours to bring a multidisciplinary approach, and collaborates extensively with FFI to develop new ventures and non-traditional models for conservation. Benjamin was appointed to Council in 2020.
Richard Plackett retired from the asset management industry in 2015 after a long and successful 25-year career, which began as a venture capitalist and small cap fund manager at 3i. After seven years, he moved to M&G where he eventually took charge of the overall UK investment process. In 2002 he joined Merrill Lynch (now BlackRock) becoming head of UK small and mid-cap investment with responsibility for the BlackRock UK Special Situations Fund. Mr Plackett completed his chartered accountancy exams in 1989 coming second in the nationwide rankings and has an MA in economics from Queens’ College, Cambridge. He was elected to Council in 2016, is a member of the Nominations Committee and chairs the Audit Committee.
Dr Liz Rogers is an environmental and sustainability professional with over 30 years of experience mainly with bp and previously in conservation and consultancy sectors. She retired from bp as Vice President Environmental Technology in December 2020. In this role Liz established decarbonisation technology strategies including nature-based solutions, carbon capture use and storage opportunities and supported technology startup investments. Liz held a variety of global environmental roles in bp and most recently, was instrumental in the development of bp’s sustainability strategy, objectives, and environmental and social governance. She has considerable experience in several industry, Non-Governmental and United Nations Environment Programme activities and strategic university relationships. During her time with bp, Liz worked with FFI on several activities including the joint bp-FFI agreement signed in September 2020. Liz was a Board member, Director and Vice Chair of IPIECA (the oil and gas industry trade association for environmental and social issues) and a Board member of the Carbon Capture Storage Association (CCSA). She has a PhD, Masters and Degree in environmental sciences and is a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. Dr Rogers was elected to Council in 2021, also joining the Executive and Audit Committees.
Kimberly Stewart was born in the USA and now lives in Scotland. She grew up spending her holidays in the Great Northwoods of Wisconsin and, having had the good fortune to travel extensively in Africa, she developed a deep and lifelong passion for the natural world. Kim has a BSc in Radio, Television and Film Communications from Northwestern University. She has always enjoyed the telling of true natural history stories, with head and heart, to empower people's love and understanding of our shared natural world. Kim’s filmmaking career took her from documentary production in New York to comedy production in Hollywood. She then moved to natural history filmmaking with IMAX, which, in turn, led her to connect with the BBC natural history unit in Bristol. Kim served for 12 years (2006-2018) on the board of Wildscreen U.K. and primarily focused on ARKive.org. This was a global on-line resource bringing the best film-clips and photographs of life on earth into one accessible place free to the global public. Kim was Chairman of Wildscreen USA and established the board, which focused primarily on fundraising for the global development of ARKive.
Kim currently serves on the board of Rainforest Trust and Regua in Brazil. She also supports several Africa-based conservation/humanitarian projects. Kim is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a member of the Royal Geographical Society. She, her husband, David, and their children are also closely involved with Winchester College as it strives to bring its students a deeper awareness of nature’s importance and its relevance in all subjects taught at the college. Kim was appointed to Council in 2020.
Richard is Managing Director of Iceland Foods. Richard (40) graduated in geography, qualified as a chartered surveyor and developed his own property businesses in Poland and the UK before joining Iceland Foods (the company founded by his parents Malcolm and Rhianydd in 1970) in 2012. He spent a year as a shelf-stacker and cashier before becoming an Iceland store manager and then moving to head office, where he took up his current role in 2018.
Richard is a committed environmentalist who has led all Iceland’s recent sustainability initiatives including the removal of palm oil from the company’s own label range in 2018, its pledge to eliminate plastic packaging from the Iceland own label range by the end of 2023, the recent publication of the full plastic footprint of the business and its call for transparency in plastic reporting.
Richard is a trustee of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and of Surfers Against Sewage, as well as an Ambassador to the Wildlife Trusts, Patron of the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a member of No.10’s Small Business Council and the DEFRA Council for Sustainable Business, The Prince’s Responsible Business Ambassador for Wales at BITC, and a regular panellist on BBC1’s Question Time.
Outside family and business, Richard’s greatest passions are trail running, skiing, surfing and climbing. He was elected to Council in 2018 and joined the Nominations Committee in 2020.
Professor Joanne Webster FLS FRSB is the Royal Veterinary College’s Chair in Parasitic Diseases, Director of the Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases (CEEED) and Associate Director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research (LCNTDR). Joanne also holds a Professorial Chair in Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine, Hon. Senior Research Fellowship at the NHM, London and Hon. Professorial Chair in Infectious Diseases at Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases, China. She is an Expert Advisor on a World Health Organization’s (WHO) Guideline Development Group (GDG) and their Global Working Group on Monitoring of Drug Efficacy, amongst others. Joanne is also on the Management Board of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) and Research working group of the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance (GSA). Between its inauguration in 2003 to 2014, Joanne served as co-Director of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI). During this period, these activities provided approximately 300 million anthelminthic preventative chemotherapeutic treatments for children and at-risk adults across sub-Saharan Africa, and were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize and Medal for International Public Health Impact. SCI was also listed as the top UK charity by ‘Giving what we can’ and in the top two International charities by ‘Give Well’.
Joanne’s research and disease control activities have been awarded a number of high-profile Prizes, Medals and Recognitions (e.g. CA Wright Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Parasitology (2005); NC3Rs prize (2007); Queen’s Anniversary Medal for International Public Health Impact (2008); Royal Society of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine/Elsevier citation prize (2009); Chalmers Memorial Medal to recognise Outstanding Contribution to Tropical Medicine (2013); Finalist (top three) BBSRC Innovator of the Year for International Impact (2018); named in an International Woman’s Day List of ‘Five Inspirational Women Shaping the Future of International Development’ (2019); and ‘Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for unwavering excellence in their chosen fields’ (2021). Professor Webster was elected to Council in 2021.
Hugh Sloane is a financial services professional with work experience in Hong Kong, Tokyo and London. He earned a First Class degree in Economics and Politics from Bristol University in 1977 and an M. Phil in Economics from Oxford University in 1979. In 1993 he cofounded Sloane Robinson Investment Management Ltd. Hugh has supported FFI for more than twenty years and was previously a vice-president. He was elected to Council in 2021.