ACC Founder and Conservationist, David Western

Dr. David Western, Founder & Chairman — Nairobi, Kenya/San Diego, CA, USA

Dr. Western is founding executive director of African Conservation Centre. Raised in Tanzania and now a Kenyan citizen, he has spent over 37 years engaged in research in Kenya studying the interactions between livestock, wildlife, and humans, with the aim of developing conservation strategies applicable at an ecosystem scale. As former director of Kenya Wildlife Service and conservation director for Wildlife Conservation Society, Dr. Western has been active in many areas of conservation, including community-based conservation, international programs, conservation planning, ecotourism, training, directing governmental and non-governmental organizations and public education. He and his wife, Dr. Shirley Strum, spend several months each year in California, where Dr. Strum is professor of anthropology at the University of California at San Diego. Their daughter Carissa is in graduate school in conflict resolution and international peace, and their son, Guy, is currently studying at UC Santa Barbara.

ACC Trustee, Mr. George G. Maina, Vice Chairman

Mr. George G. Maina, Vice Chairman — Nairobi, Kenya

George G. Maina has a vast experience in the business sector. He is the current board chairperson of British American Tobacco (BAT) Kenya and also serves in the boards of NIC Bank and Afrika Investment Bank Limited.

ACC Director, Lucy Waruingi

Mrs. Lucy Warauingi, Executive Director — Nairobi, Kenya

Lucy Waruingi has been working with the African Conservation Centre (ACC) for over 20 years. Lucy was appointed Executive Director of African Conservation Centre in July of 2012. Lucy holds a BSc in Computer Science and statistics from University of Nairobi and an MSc. in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).

Lucy has had long interest in the management and interpretation of biological and environmental data for decision-making and informing initiatives that enhance local livelihoods in rich biodiversity areas. She is part of a regional effort in East Africa that is seeking to develop a framework for the mobilization of biodiversity information for the sustainable management of natural resources.

Lucy is the current chair and a founder member of the Society for Conservation GIS, Kenya Chapter and a member of the Society for Conservation Int’l Board of Directors.

ACC Trustee, Dr. Mary Ann Burris

Dr. Mary Ann Burris, Member

Dr. Burris is the founding director of Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH). She has over 30 years of experience in public health, traditional medicine, community development, and women’s rights. She was responsible for the Ford Foundation’s health programs in China (1991-1995) and in East Africa (1996-2003). In 2003, she founded the Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health in Kenya.

Dr. Burris brings to the ACC Board her international experience with the human dimensions of health and its reliance on community and environmental balance, and an insistence on the importance of culture and values. She also brings her curiosity and understanding of philanthropy, fund-raising, and organizational dynamics.

Dr. Burris’ vision for conservation in Africa is one defined by strong and rigorous connections between efforts aimed at protecting human, animal, and plant health with those aimed at building peace and community cohesion in urban and rural environments, while honoring what is valuable and beautiful in our indigenous cultures.

ACC Trustee, Mr. Stefano Cheli

Mr. Stefano Cheli

Stefano has lived in Kenya all his life and started Cheli & Peacock Safaris with his wife Liz in 1985. Over the next 35 years, their high-end mobile tented safari company grew to include a portfolio of boutique lodges and camps designed and built by Stefano. They also had the management contract of Lewa Safari Camp, and won the tender to run tourism on the Loisaba Conservancy.

Stefano has been a passionate conservationist in Kenya for many years, and his company invested in important and vulnerable conservation areas. He has served as a Trustee for ACC for 19 years, was a co-founder and Chairman of the Mara North Conservancy, a co-founder of Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF), board member for Northern Range Land Trust and a major contributor to Kenya’s tourism policy as board member, vice-chairman and chairman of Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO). Stefano and Liz also founded the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust (now rebranded the Land & Life Foundation). The Cheli’s sold their business to Elewana Afrika in 2014 but kept the ownership of Kitich Camp, now called Kitich Forest Camp. In addition, Stefano was a pioneer of the Ecotourism Society, and was one of the first lodge groups to have Gold eco-rating and to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles in the early 2000s.

Dr. Sopiato Likimani — Nairobi, Kenya

ACC Trustee, Dr. Nick Oguge

Dr. Nick Oguge — Nairobi, Kenya

ACC Trustee, Ms. Connie Maina

Ms. Connie Maina — Nairobi, Kenya


Mr. Michael S. Ole Tiampati — Nairobi, Kenya

Mr. Tiampati is the National Coordinator at Pastoralist Development Network of Kenya (PDNK) where he works to promote sustainable livelihoods for pastoralists.

Mr. Tiampati has 17 years working experience in civil society groups and NGOs that promote pastoral livelihoods in Kenya, East Africa, Horn of Africa and Southern Africa. He previous worked as a journalist for 7 years in Kenya and other countries.

Mr. Tiampati’s vision for conservation in Africa is the integration of technology and experiential learning in addressing the challenges of climate demographic changes, degradation and livelihoods systems in the continent. Policies should be crafted to combine nature conservation, community wellbeing and production systems in order to see better results.

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