Board Members

The management of the organization lies with a Board of Trustees and the Chief ExecutiveOfficer. The board is composed of seven diverse professionals, with common ground in  their passion for wildlife conservation in Africa.


John Lemon

John is the ZCP Chairman and brings several decades of experience with large carnivore research and conservation as the Director of Painted Dog Conservation Inc and the Curator of Perth Zoo.

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Dr. Vincent Nyirenda

Dr. Nyirenda brings decades of expertise as a wildlife biologist in Zambia, former Head of Research for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and a Senior Lecturer at Copperbelt University with areas of expertise including ecology, human-wildlife conflict, 


Rob Clifford

The Operations Manager for Robin Pope Safaris and a long-term board member Rob has helped facilitate immeasurable in-kind and direct support for field operations and logistics in Zambia


April Johnston

April worked in research in wetland ecology and Everglades Restoration from 1995-2006 at the South Florida Water Management District. Her research in isolated wetland trophic cascades between macroinvertebrates and wading birds led to a reduction in permitted water use by utilities during Florida's dry season.

In her time as a state Senior Environmental Research Scientist , she worked in a leadership position in collaborative federal-state teams to design and implement a ten-year Everglades Restoration ecological monitoring and assessment plan. She was also part of a multi-agency adaptive management task force charged with developing nimble and responsive resource management strategies for large federal and state agencies. During this time she worked intensively in developing and improving internal state systems to streamline budget-procurement processes for resource management work.

In 2006 she moved to Montana where she served first as Conservation Director and later as Executive Director of a wildlife-habitat nonprofit called American Wildlands. Her conservation work with this non-profit focused on working with state and federal biologists in mapping landscape corridors used by large and meso carnivores and ungulates and working to create private-public partnerships to protect key wildlife movement areas. She was also primarily responsible for fundraising via grants for the organization.

April has the unique experience of having served as a funder and a grant-writer in her work with both state agencies and non-profit work. She also has worked heavily in non-profit management, and as a state reseacher, and has the ability to see and implement process improvements in agencies that are often burdened by proverbial red tape.

April became involved in volunteering with the Zambia Carnivore Programme in 2014 and helped secure their 501c(3) status. She is passionate about the work ZCP does with both the wildlife and people of Zambia. Her primary role is helping ZCP with high-level administrative processes.

In 2010 April left formal conservation work to pursue working with her favorite ungulate- horses, and has a successful private equine physiotherapy practice. She returned to graduate school in 2014 to initiate pursuit of a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree and looks forward to adding human patients to her practice in late 2020.

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Dr. Nyambe Nyambe

Dr. Nyambe is currently the Secretariat of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) and brings several decades of experience in conservation and policy to this position.  He was formerly Director of WWF-Zambia and has worked with a wide array of conservation organizations and issues throughout his career. 

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Frans Schepers

Frans played a key role in helping the organization grow through his former position within WWF-Netherlands. He joined the board in 2014 after accepting a role as Managing Director for Rewilding Europe.  He brings over 30 years experience in international conservation programmes and initiatives from across the world.


Dr. Kellie Leigh

Kellie founded the programme’s activities in 1998 and over ten years expanded the organization from “one researcher and a Toyota Hilux” into a highly successful and internationally collaborative conservation programme. The endangered African wild dog was ZCP’s first flagship species and the programme aimed to conserve it and other highly mobile mammal species across the landscape in the beautiful Lower Zambezi National Park. Over the following years Kellie successfully developed the organization’s multifaceted approach to conservation of combining research, community education and on-ground conservation activities. She also secured the organization’s sustainability and its capacity to deliver a diverse range of conservation outcomes by establishing partnerships with organizations such as the Zambia Wildlife Authority, local NGO’s including anti-poaching and community education organizations, University research partners, ecotourism operators and international donors. During her time in Zambia, Kellie completed her PhD through the University of Sydney; her key fields of research expertise include conservation biology, population genetics, and behavioral ecology. Integrated into management and policy documents, her research findings and recommendations attracted funding and support from WWF-Netherlands from 2005 onwards, enabling rapid expansion into South Luangwa and beyond. Kellie has been awarded numerous research grants, awards and scholarships which provided additional core funding for the work. She resigned from the Board of Trustees in 2009, now applying her expertise and experience back home in Australia, Kellie hopes to help change Australia’s record for having the worst mammal extinction rate in the world.