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Mike Watson Appointed New CEO of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

February 14, 2011

Dear Friends:

The Chairman and Board of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy ("Lewa") are delighted to announce that Mr. Mike Watson has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Lewa effective April 1st,  2011.

This follows the completion of a three year contract by Dr. Jonathan Moss, who moves to take on a wider conservation role across the region.

Mike is well known to Lewa, having been Lewa’s Wildlife and Security Manager from 1996 to 2002. He has served as an officer in the British Army, and is an accomplished helicopter and fixed wing pilot. His international conservation career spans wildlife capture work in South Africa, work with FFI in Mozambique, and his current role as Executive Officer of the Kibodo Trust, a position he has held since 2005. He brings strong leadership to Lewa at a critical stage in its transition under Project Milele.

Much has been achieved by Lewa over recent years – and we are in an extremely strong position in terms of our administration, finances, and efficiency. We are justifiably proud of our achievements in serving a genuine conservation agenda, supporting the real needs of neighbouring communities, and applying donor funds responsibly. Nevertheless, much yet needs to be done, particularly in light of the escalating poaching threat faced by our rhino, the need to continue to enhance Lewa’s income generating capacity, and the opportunity to further Lewa’s connectivity with adjacent areas. We are very pleased that Mike will be leading our determined efforts to both address these challenges, and sustain Lewa’s role in transforming the landscapes and communities of northern Kenya through conservation.

Mike has worked in Kenya for more than 12 years and has great knowledge and experience of the conservation issues relevant to northern Kenya. He is already resident on Lewa, together with his wife, Sarah, and their two children.

Francis Ole Kaparo
Chairman, Board of Directors
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy