SSC Leadership and Steering Committee

The governance structure of the SSC must be re-constituted every four years, as per the IUCN Statutes.

SSC is governed by a Steering Committee, which is headed by the Commission Chair. The Steering Committee represents a balance of regional and thematic perspectives, and provides overall direction to the work of the Commission.

The SSC Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, can establish various SSC Sub-Committees and Task Forces.The Chairs of these Sub-Committees or Task Forces are often members of the SSC Steering Committee.

The SSC Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, must appoint Chairs for the various SSC Specialist Groups at the beginning of each Quadrennium. Specialist Group Chairs are then mandated by the SSC Chair to appoint group members. 

Contents of this page:

SSC Chair and Deputy Chair
SSC Steering Committee members and institutional observers



Simon Stuart

Dr Simon N. Stuart

SSC Chair

Simon Stuart is the Chair of the SSC and has undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Cambridge, with fieldwork in Tanzania and Cameroon. He has over 25 years of experience with the IUCN and the SSC. Simon started work on the African Bird Red Data Book in 1983. He joined the IUCN Secretariat in 1986, and was Head of the Species Programme (1990-2000), Acting Director General (2000-2001), Head of the Biodiversity Assessment Unit (2001-2005), and Senior Species Scientist (2005-2008). He was elected for a second term as Chair of the SSC at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on Jeju island in South Korea in 2012.

See full profile and 2013-2016 priorities

Jon Paul Rodriguez

Dr Jon Paul Rodríguez

SSC Deputy Chair

Jon Paul Rodríguez is Professor at the Center for Ecology of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigations (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas ― IVIC), and he is a founder, past Board Member (1987-2001, 2009-2012) and President (2001-2008, 2013-present) of Provita (a Venezuelan conservation NGO established in 1987). His undergraduate degree in biology is from Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas (1991). He was then awarded a Fulbright scholarship for a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University (1999).

See full profile and contact details

Prof Luigi Boitani

Prof Luigi Boitani

Luigi Boitani is Professor of Conservation Biology and Animal Ecology at the University of Rome, and Head of the Department of Animal and Human Biology. He is also Founder and Director of the Masters program “Conservation of animal biodiversity”. He is Affiliated Professor at the Department of Natural Resources, Idaho University, Moscow and member of the College of Graduate Studies.

See full profile and contact details

Onnie Byers

Dr Onnie Byers

Onnie earned her Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the University of Minnesota and completed a post doctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo in Washington D.C. She was a member of the National Zoological Park's Mobile Laboratory Research team, and participated in reproductive studies involving cheetah, pumas, tigers and giant panda.

See full profile and contact details

Claudio Campagna

Dr Claudio Campagna

Claudio is a Wildlife Conservation Society conservation zoologist, with an MD from the University of Buenos Aires and a PhD in animal behaviour from the University of California at Santa Cruz. For his work on the conservation of the Patagonian Sea, he has been elected a Pew Fellow in marine conservation.

See full profile and contact details


Topilztin Contreras MacBeath

Prof Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath

Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath is Professor at the Biological Research Center of the Autonomous University of the State Morelos, in central Mexico, where he is also Head of the Conservation Biology work group. His main research interests are related to freshwater ecosystems and endangered fish species conservation. He has described and published aspects of the biology and ecology and conservation of Mexican Freshwater fishes.

See full profile and contact details



Rosie Cooney

Dr Rosie Cooney

Rosie Cooney is Chair of the CEESP-SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi) and is also on the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General. Rosie is a specialist in biodiversity policy and management, with a background in zoology and law, and over twelve years of experience in international and national policy research, analysis and development.

See full profile and contact details


John Donaldson

Prof John Donaldson

John Donaldson is Chief Director of Applied Biodiversity Research at the South African National Biodiversity Institute and is the Harold Pearson Professor of Botany at the University of Cape Town. He manages a diverse applied biodiversity research programme dealing with contemporary conservation issues, which includes projects on threatened species and ecosystems, invasive species, sustainable use, impacts of genetically modified organisms, and links between biodiversity and ecosystem services.

See full profile and contact details

Piero Genovesi

Dr Piero Genovesi

Piero Genovesi earned a Master degree in biological sciences and a PhD in animal ecology at the University of Rome. He is senior conservationist with the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research in Rome, and research associate with the Concordia University, Montreal. He was a member of the IUCN Red List Committee from 2011 to September 2013.

See full profile and contact details

Brahim Haddane

Dr Brahim Haddane

Brahim Haddane is an IUCN Regional Councillor for Africa. In 1980, he became involved in the mobilisation of Civil Society and Public Opinion to promote nature conservation, the fight against the overexploitation of natural resources, the degradation of biodiversity and pollution of the environment, whilst defending the idea of the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from natural resources.

See full profile and contact details

Axel Hochkirch

Dr Axel Hochkirch

Axel Hochkirch is the manager of a scientific laboratory and assistant professor in the Department of Biogeography at Trier University, Germany. He is an expert in insect biodiversity and conservation genetics, and the author or co-author of nearly 100 publications dealing with a broad field of biodiversity-related topics (conservation biology, population genetics, ecology, behavioural biology, taxonomy, phylogenetics, evolutionary biology). Axel has been active in conservation since his youth, having been involved in several conservation projects in Germany, particularly for grasshoppers, bush-crickets and crickets (Orthoptera), but also for dragonflies, butterflies, amphibians and birds. See full profile and contact details

Mike Hoffman, Senior Scientific Advisor to the SSC

Mike Hoffmann

Michael Hoffmann, a South African national, is currently based in the UNEP-WCMC office in Cambridge, UK, where he serves as Senior Scientific Officer to IUCN’s Species Survival Commission. Mike provides technical and scientific support to the work of the Commission and helps ensure uptake of Commission-based research in appropriate policy arenas.

See full profile and contact details

Hans de Iongh, Netherlands

Prof Hans de Iongh

Hans de Iongh has been a member of the Board of the Netherlands Committee for IUCN since 1987, Chair of the Committee (1990 - 2000), and Vice Chair (2000 - 2003). In October 2008 he became Regional Councillor for West Europe. Since 2003, he has been a member of the Supervisory Board of IUCN NL and Biodiversity Advisor to the daily board. Hans is an active member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, especially the Sustainable Use Specialist Group, the Sirenia Specialist Group and the Cat Specialist Group.

See full profile and contact details


Vololoniaina H. Jeannoda

Prof Vololoniaina H. Jeannoda

Vololoniaina Jeannoda is a professor of Botany at the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology where she teaches mainly Plant Systematics to undergraduate and graduate students.
As a University professor, she has worked with many students supervising their Master or PhD research in various themes, such as plant architecture, plant systematics, ethnobotany, plant ecology, mangroves, integrated coastal zones management. Over the last ten years, she has been at the head of a multidisciplinary international team that focused on Madagascar wild and cultivated yams. Her research on yams has brought her to be involved in many activities dealing with yam inventory, systematic, ecology, uses, promotion, sustainable management, conservation, and local community participation. She has participated as an expert to many yam related projects such as the Bioversity International project on crop wild relatives’ conservation. See full profile and contact details


Olga Krever

Olga Krever

Olga Krever is an expert on biodiversity conservation and protected areas in Russia. In 1986 she graduated from Kazan State University, Biological Faculty, Dept. of Nature Conservation. After she had worked at the Crane Breeding Center of Oka State Nature Biosphere Reserve and in the scientific and educational department of the Kazan ZOO, she joined the IUCN from 1998-2003 as a Coordinator of the Programme on biodiversity conservation and as Manager of projects on Protected Areas of the Representative Office for Russia and CIS countries. See full profile and contact details

Mirza Kusrini

Dr Mirza D. Kusrini

Mirza Kusrini is lecturer in the Department of Forest Resources Conservation & Ecotourism at Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia. She is an enthusiastic advocate of amphibian and reptile conservation and serves as Chair of the Indonesian Herpetologist Society. Her research is mostly on the biodiversity and ecology of amphibians. See full profile and contact details


Dr Frédéric Launay

Dr Frédéric Launay

Frédéric Launay is Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi, UAE. His role is to advise the Secretary General on any environmental topics or management issues within the Agency and is also responsible for the management of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). See full profile and contact details


Gabriela Lichtenstein

Dr Gabriela Lichtenstein

Dr Lichtenstein has a MSc in Biology, University of Buenos Aires (1992) and completed a PhD in Behavioral Ecology, King´s College, University of Cambridge (1997) and a Post-doc at the Dept of Geography, University of Buenos Aires (2001). Since 2001 she has been working as an Independent Researcher (Investigadora Independiente) at the National Research Council (CONICET), Argentina, and since 2009 she has also been a Lecturer for Master courses at the University of Buenos Aires and University of San Martin (UNSAM). In 2007, Dr Lichtenstein was appointed Chair of the SSC's South American Camelid Specialist Group (UICN SSC GECS). Her interest in South American camelids started in 1997 while working for IIED-AL when she coordinated research on Community based vicuña management in Peru for the Evaluating Eden Project. From 2001-2005, she took part in the EU funded MACS Project where she studied economic and socio-cultural impacts of vicuna use in Andean countries and their policy implications. See full profile and contact details


Dr. Susan Lieberman

Dr Susan Lieberman

Dr Susan Lieberman has worked in international biodiversity conservation, at the intersection between science and policy, for more than 25 years. She is currently the Executive Director of Conservation Policy for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where she works to direct WCS policy engagement in multiple intergovernmental fora in support of WCS’ conservation programs to conserve wildlife and wild areas, working closely with governments, IUCN, NGO partners, and others. See full profile and contact details

Jeff McNeely

Mr Jeffrey A. McNeely

Jeffrey A. McNeely is Senior Science Advisor at IUCN, where he has worked since 1980. Before joining IUCN, he spent twelve years in Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal, conducting research and practical application of resource management activities. He has worked in over 85 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe, often advising governments, universities, and the private sector on conservation issues. He makes over 35 public presentations each year on various conservation topics. See full profile and contact details


Patricia Medici

Dr Patricia Medici

Dr Patrícia Medici is a Brazilian conservation biologist whose main professional interests are species conservation, particularly tapirs, landscape ecology, and community-based conservation. Patrícia has a Bachelor's Degree in Forestry Sciences from the São Paulo University (USP - Universidade de São Paulo), a Masters Degree in Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais), Brazil, and a Ph.D. Degree in Biodiversity Management from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom.

See full profile and contact details

Gregory M. Mueller

Dr Gregory M. Mueller

Gregory Mueller serves as Negaunee Foundation vice president of science at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Before joining the Garden, Dr. Mueller worked for more than 23 years at The Field Museum as the curator of mycology in the Department of Botany. His research and training programs focus on the biology, ecology, and conservation of fungi, especially mushrooms. He has authored six books and nearly 100 journal articles. He is Chair of the IUCN Mushroom, Bracket, and Puffball Specialist Group; member of the Science Advisory Council for the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy; member of the Chicago Wilderness Executive Council; and member of the Mayor's (Chicago) Nature and Wildlife Committee. See full profile and contact details



Dr Russell Mittermeier

Dr Russell A. Mittermeier

President of Conservation International, Dr Russell A. Mittermeier, has a long-standing affiliation with SSC and the wider IUCN, beginning in 1974. He is Chair of the SSC Primate Specialist Group and was elected IUCN councillor at the 3rd and 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress. See full profile and contact details

Jean Michel Onana

Dr Jean Michel Onana

Jean Michel Onana is a Senior Researcher at the National Herbarium of Cameroon: a specialised botanical research station of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Development (IRAD). Since 2005, he has been Director of the National Herbarium, coordinating the study of the flora of Cameroon. Within the scientific department of IRAD, Dr Onana is head of the Biodiversity Programme. He holds a doctorate in plant taxonomy and phytogeography, and is accredited to direct research in botany/ecology with focus on plant biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. See full profile and contact details


Dr Yvonne Sadovy

Dr Yvonne Sadovy

Yvonne Sadovy has worked in the area of reef fish biology, conservation and management for over 20 years, initially from a purely research perspective and increasingly applying that work to the areas of reef fish conservation and management. She received her PhD from the University of Manchester, which was followed by a long association with Puerto Rico, first with the University of Puerto Rico and then as the first female Director of the government’s Fishery Research Laboratory. See full profile and contact details

Mark Stanley Price

Dr Mark Stanley Price

Mark was founder Chair of the SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group from 1988 to 2000, based on his pioneering work to re-introduce the Arabian Oryx to Oman between 1979 and 1987. He has remained very active in the SSC since then, and carried out the major study on voluntarism in the SSC in 2000. After directing the African Wildlife Foundation in Nairobi 1987-1999, he was Chief Executive of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust from 2001 to 2008.

See full profile and contact details

Nunia Thomas

Nunia Thomas

Born, raised and educated in the Fiji Islands, Nunia Thomas is the Director of Fiji’s only local membership based conservation organization – NatureFiji-MareqetiViti ( Nunia was one of the first recipients of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation scholarship for postgraduate research in conservation and taxonomy for Pacific Islanders under the supervision of international experts. This scholarship was awarded at the University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Applied Sciences under the South Pacific Regional Herbarium where Nunia and three other Melanesian students were trained in Herpetology, Botany, Ornithology and Ichthyology from 2003 to 2007. See full profile and contact details

Yan Xie

Dr Yan Xie

Yan is an Associate Research Professor at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, focusing on Amur Tiger and Protected Areas conservation. From 2005-2012, she was the China Country Program Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) during which time she led the WCS China Programme working in Qiangtang and Pamir in western China, Amur tiger habitat in north-east China, and a long-term programme on controlling wildlife trade. See full profile and contact details



Institutional Observers


Dr Elizabeth Bennett

Dr Elizabeth Bennett

Dr Elizabeth Bennett is currently Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) based at WCS’s head office in New York. In this role, she oversees WCS’s species conservation programmes around the globe, and in WCS’s zoological collections in New York. Prior to this, she oversaw WCS’s global programmes on hunting and wildlife trade, including addressing bushmeat issues in Africa and wildlife trade in China.

See full profile and contact details

Dr Stuart Butchart

Dr Stuart Butchart

Dr Stuart Butchart is Head of Science at BirdLife International – a global Partnership of over 120 national environmental organisations. He oversees a team of scientists helping the BirdLife Partnership to set robust priorities for conserving species and sites, understanding the key threats to biodiversity and identifying the priority solutions required. See full profile and contact details


Dr Jonathan Baillie

Dr Jonathan Baillie

Dr Jonathan Baillie is Director of Conservation Programmes at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) where he is responsible for overseeing conservation and research projects in over 50 countries worldwide. He is also responsible for the conservation policy work of the Society. Dr Baillie’s involvement with IUCN started in 1995 when he co-edited the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals with Brian Groombridge.

See full profile and contact details

Dr Jon Hutton

Dr Jon Hutton

Jon Hutton is an authority on many aspects of international wildlife conservation policy, including CITES and wildlife trade, protected area management, community-based conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. Jon is Director of UNEP-WCMC and continues on the board of Directors at ResourceAfrica (UK), a position he has had since 1998. He was also Regional Director for Africa within Fauna and Flora International. See full profile and contact details 


Wendy Elliott

Wendy Elliott

Wendy is the Lead, Species Conservation Strategy for WWF-International, responsible for shaping the development of WWF's species conservation strategies across the globe, and supporting their effective implementation. Over 12 years with the WWF International Species Programme Wendy has also led extensive international policy and campaign efforts to benefit a variety of species conservation objectives, including on topics such as wildlife crime and extractive industries. See full profile and contact details.


Taej Mundkur

Dr Taej Mundkur

Taej Mundkur, from Pune, India, undertook both a BSc (1982) and an MSc (1984) in Microbiology from Pune University. He then switched to his real passion - waterbird ecology - and completed a PhD from Saurashtra University, Rajkot (1990). He serves as Flyway Programme Manager at Wetlands International and is responsible for developing and coordinating migratory waterbird and wetland programmes across the world’s major flyways. He serves as Chair of the CMS Flyways Working Group. See full profile and contact details



Will Turner

Dr Will Turner

As Chief Scientist at Conservation International, Will Turner oversees conservation and research in a variety of areas including biodiversity, economics, conservation planning, policy, and monitoring. Dr. Turner studied computer engineering at the University of Texas and earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. See full profile and contact details



IUCN Secretariat


Jane Smart

Dr Jane Smart

Jane Smart is Global Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group and Director of IUCN’s Global Species Programme. The Biodiversity Conservation Group comprises the Global Species Programme, Global Protected Areas Programme, World Heritage Programme, as well as the Invasive Species Initiative and TRAFFIC. See full profile and contact details


Jean-Christophe Vié

Dr Jean-Christophe Vié

Jean-Christophe joined the Species Programme in 2001 as its Deputy Head. He oversees many diverse aspects of the Programme, including biodiversity assessments and input into several international agreements. He took the responsibility of developing SOS (Save our Species), which he oversees now. His involvement with IUCN started 21 years ago when he was invited to join the SSC. In early 2000, he joined the IUCN West Africa Regional Office where he was in charge of coordinating all aspects of the IUCN programme in Guinea Bissau. See full profile and contact details

Steven Broad

Mr Steven Broad

Steven Broad is Executive Director of TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. He is responsible for TRAFFIC’s global operation as a partnership between WWF and IUCN, and leadership of a team of 120 staff based in 30 countries world-wide. TRAFFIC delivers research findings, policy advice, capacity building and public outreach to address conservation and development concerns related to trade in wild animals and plants, ranging from trade in ivory and tiger products to fisheries, timber and medicinal plants.

See full profile and contact details


Dr Thomas Brooks

Dr Thomas Brooks

Thomas Brooks, from Brighton, U.K., holds a B.A. (Hons) in Geography from the University of Cambridge (1993) and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee (1998). He heads Science and Knowledge at IUCN. He also holds visiting positions at ICRAF-the World Agroforestry Center in the University of the Philippines Los Baños and in the Department of Geography of the University of Tasmania. He has extensive field experience in tropical forests of Asia, South America and Africa.

See full profile and contact details



Richard Jenkins

Dr Richard Jenkins

Richard is the UK Manager of IUCN's Global Species Programme in Cambridge, UK. His early career focussed on bird conservation and ecology and he spent many a happy day in the reed beds and upland rivers of Wales. During the last decade, Richard lived in Madagascar where his work concentrated on species conservation and he established a national NGO that supports communities to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. See full profile and contact details


Support the Red List 50 campaign
  • Donate to IUCN Red List
Read the special Quadrennium issue
  • Species 54
An overview of the IUCN SSC network
  • Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran)
The Latest Amazing Species

search for species
  • IUCN Red List Logo
Follow us

Facebook Flickr Twitter Youtube