SSC Steering Committee

A detailed profile of each Steering Committee member is found below:

Simon Stuart, SSC Chair

SSC Chair

Dr Simon Stuart

The Innovation Centre
University of Bath
Broad Quay
BA1 2BQ, United Kingdom

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 as Chair of the SSC at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October 2008.

Simon recalls “My interest in conservation started as a child, earlier than I can remember. A fascination for wild animals and plants has always been in my blood. A career in conservation was the only option for me. I have been privileged to have been closely associated with IUCN and the Species Survival Commission (SSC) for 25 years, most of that time as a member of the IUCN Secretariat. The SSC is in many senses my home.”

Before becoming Chair of the SSC, Simon coordinated the IUCN/SSC biodiversity assessments, including those on mammals, reptiles, amphibians and marine species. He says: “This has brought home to me how seriously the status of very many species is deteriorating, despite our best conservation efforts. There are some notable exceptions, but overall we are not keeping pace with the ever growing threats. This is leading to not only the loss of species, but is also jeopardising the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on wild species. The SSC has made, and is continuing to make, huge strides in the delivery of species-related data. This is excellent. However, conservation delivery does not just happen as a result of making the data available. I want to see the SSC be proactive in working with countries and regions, and with a larger array of partners, to help stimulate the conservation actions need to stem the rising tide of extinctions.”

Simon’s priorities include:

  • Running a series of regional and national consultations, building up to a global gathering at the proposed IUCN Species Congress at which we shall present a worldwide agenda to address the Species Crisis. This agenda will be built through a bottom-up process from the regions and countries, and will be underpinned by SSC’s data and knowledge.
  • Putting the SSC’s species assessment work on to a sustainable footing. This involves consolidating and strengthening the Red List Partnership, expanding the number of institutions in it that support our work, and exploring new options for more stable funding.
  • Making the SSC’s biodiversity dataset much more broadly representative of the world’s biomes and species, with a target to complete major assessments of marine, freshwater and dryland species, and plants, by 2012.
  • Reporting on whether or not the 2010 Biodiversity Target has been achieved, through the second edition of the Global Species Assessment. The SSC will also expand the delivery of the IUCN Red List Index as an indicator for the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 7 (on environmental sustainability).
  • Exploring the factors that lead to conservation success on the ground or in the water, as a basis for developing practical guidance, linking to the ongoing work of the SSC Species Conservation Planning Task Force.
  • Investigating the importance of species for human livelihoods, and factors that determine whether or not use is sustainable. Given the importance of broader ecological and social factors in achieving sustainable use, the SSC will work jointly with the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy.
  • Focusing on newly emerging threats for which we have no immediate remedies, such as climate change, emerging infectious diseases, and ocean acidification, and producing advice on mitigation.



Jon Paul Rodriguez

SSC Deputy Chair

Dr Jon Paul Rodríguez

Centro de Ecología
Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC)
Apdo. 20632, Caracas 1020-A

Geographic areas of expertise: Neotropics, especially Venezuela

Jon Paul Rodríguez is at the Center for Ecology of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigations (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas ― IVIC), and he is a founder, past President (2001-2008), and current Board Member of Provita (a Venezuelan conservation NGO established in 1987). His undergraduate degree in biology is from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas (1991). He was then awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University (1999). While at Princeton, he became a fellow of the Princeton Environmental Institute Research Initiative in Science and Engineering (PEI-RISE). In addition to serving on the Steering Committee of SSC, Jon Paul is actively involved in the development of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, an initiative led by the Commission on Ecosystem Management. His work focuses on understanding patterns in the spatial distribution of threatened species and habitats, as well as the underlying causes of these patterns, and the development of policy guidelines for biodiversity conservation. He is author or co-author of more than 100 publications, including many peer-reviewed articles in acclaimed scientific journals.

Prof Luigi Boitani

Prof Luigi Boitani

Prof of Vertebrate Zoology

University of Rome - La Saplenza Dept of Animal & Human Biology
Viale Universita 32
Rome 00185, Italy

Geographic areas of expertise:
Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe

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. Luigi’s primary research focuses on the study of wolf ecology in Italy, modelling of mammal distributions in Italy, Africa and South East Asia, and protected areas design and management in Italy and Africa. He is a member of more than 25 professional organizations, working groups, and Boards of Governors including Founder and President of the Institute of Applied Ecology, Rome. Luigi has been involved with IUCN and SSC for many years, including as one of the leaders in the development of the Species Information Service, Red List Committee member, and a member of several Specialist Groups.

Onnie Byers

Dr Onnie Byers

Chair - Conservation Breeding Specialist Group

12101 Johnny Cake Ridge Road
Apple Valley, MN 55124

Geographic area of expertise:
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. Onnie joined the SSC’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group in 1991 as a Program Officer and was promoted to the position of Executive Director in 2005, and appointed Chair in 2011. In addition to leading the organization, Onnie shares with CBSG’s Program Officers responsibility for organization, design and facilitation of a wide range of Species Conservation Planning and other CBSG workshops. Onnie is dedicated to the transfer of these tools and processes to conservationists around the world through the establishment and nurturing of CBSG's regional and national Networks, the work of the SSC’s Species Conservation Subcommittee, and the development and implementation of mass collaboration tools for conservation. Onnie serves on the Conservation and Sustainability Committee of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and is on the Board or Directors of Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (EWCL). 

Claudio Campagna

Dr Claudio Campagna

Research Biologist

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas
Centro Nacional Patagonico, Boulevard Brown s/n
PO Box Casilla de Carreo No 67, Puerto Madryn
Chubut 9120, Argentina

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. Claudio divides his efforts into three areas: field research on the biology of marine mammals, conducted at Peninsula Valdes (Argentina); conservation work; and writing essays and fiction. He is convinced of the urgent need to promote the conservation agenda using creative communication tools. Claudio has been published widely in scientific literature, served on the SSC Steering Committe between 2004 and 2008, is Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Marine Conservation Sub-Committee, and is a member of the Pinniped Specialist Group.

Topilztin Contreras MacBeath

Prof Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath


Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos
Av. Universidad #1001 Col. Chamilpa
Cuernavaca, Morelos, México CP 62210

Geographic areas of expertise: Mesoamerica

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. Since 2005, Topis has been representative for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean for the Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, created by IUCN-SSC in collaboration with Wetlands International. Since 1997, he has coordinated the Mesoamerican Network of Biotic Resources (REDMESO) which brings together 23 public universities in the Mesoamerican region. The network conducts research projects and develops technologies designed to support the sustainable management of ecosystems, having respect for cultural and biological diversity. Topis has also been involved in many commissions related to biodiversity and natural resources conservation and management, such as the Invasive Species Commission related to NAFTA and has served as an advisor to the Mexican Government in Sustainable Development issues. He is President of the advisory Committee of the Natural Protected Area “Corredor Biológico Chichinautzin” where he has been working for 20 years with other researchers, local authorities and stakeholders in designing and implementing strategies directed towards the sustainable management of the area.


Rosie Cooney

Dr Rosie Cooney

Institute of Environmental Studies

NSW 2052

Rosie Cooney is Chair of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi). Rosie is a specialist in biodiversity policy and management, with a background in zoology and law, and over twelve years experience in international and national policy research, analysis and development. Her experience includes working on wildlife trade and CITES for ResourceAfrica and WWF International; coordinating The Precautionary Principle Project for IUCN and project partners; and consulting governments, NGOs and the private sector in Australia and internationally. She teaches at the Institute of Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales. Her major areas of expertise are; sustainable use of wildlife; conservation and local livelihoods; international wildlife trade regulation; and environmental governance, with a strong focus on seeking approaches that both meet human needs and conserve biodiversity. Rosie holds first class Honours degrees in Zoology and in Law from the Australian National University and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Cambridge.

John Donaldson

Prof John Donaldson

Chief Director Applied Biodiversity Research
South African National Biodiversity Institute
Private Bag X101
Pretoria 0001
South Africa

Geographic expertise: Africa

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. His own research has focused on the ecology and conservation biology of cycads, sustainable use of plant populations, analysing trends in threatened species, and conservation in production landscapes. His research has mainly taken place in Africa but he has been part of projects in Africa, Asia, Australia and Central America. He has served as a member of the IUCN’s SSC Plant subcommittee since 2005 and has been Chair of the SSC Cycad Specialist Group since 1997. He also served as the African representative on the CITES Plants Committee from 1998-2004. He is author of over 60 scientific papers and book chapters in conservation and ecology.

Brahim Haddane

Dr Brahim Haddane

Director of Exotic Gardens
B.P. 5117 

Geographic areas of expertise: North Africa, Mediterranean Basin
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. He began by creating the Moroccan Association for the Protection of the Environment (ASMAPE). In the process, he got involved with IUCN and became a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). After which, he increased his contribution by working with other commissions, in particular the Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) and the Species Survival Commission (SSC).

Mike Hoffman, Senior Scientific Advisor to the SSC

Senior Scientific Officer to the SSC

Mike Hoffman

UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre,
219 Huntingdon Road,

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. He has extensive experience with the IUCN SSC Species Survival Commission and the IUCN Red List categories and criteria, workshop facilitation, networking, and data analysis. Mike previously worked in the IUCN Species Programme (2005-2010), including as manager of the Biodiversity Assessment Unit in Washington, DC, and in the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International (2003-2005). His original area of expertise is mammalogy, having spent time at the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa (1996-1999), and at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford, UK (2000-2002). He is a member of the IUCN SSC Afrotheria, Antelope, Canid and Wolf Specialist Groups, serving as the Red List Authority focal point for canids. He has co-edited six books (including three volumes of the forthcoming The Mammals of Africa) and authored 27 book chapters and 21 peer-reviewed papers (6 in the journals Nature and Science).”

Hans de Iongh, Netherlands

Prof Hans de Iongh

Associate Professor Conservation Biology
Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML)
Leiden University, P.O.Box 9518
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands 

Geographic areas of expertise: Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia

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. He is also a member of the African Lion Working Group (affiliated with the Cat Specialist Group), and he has contributed to the Ecosystem Management Group for several years. Hans was also involved in the preparation of National and Regional Conservation Action plans for the African Lion and for the dugong in Indonesia and SE Asia. He is a member of the Netherlands CITES Commission, Chair of the Van Tienhoven Foundation and member of an Advisory Group to the Ministry of LNV on Red Lists in the Netherlands. He has been active in the development of harmonization of Red Lists in Europe and contributed to and initiated several National Conservation Strategies for threatened species and Red Listing in Europe. Hans de Iongh has long standing experience with IUCN and the IUCN network. 

Mirza Kusrini

Dr Mirza D. Kusrini

Department of Forest Resources Conservation & Ecotourism
Bogor Agricultural University
Kampus IPB Darmaga . PO BOX 168, Bogor 16001
West Java, Indonesia

Geographic areas of expertise: Southeast Asia
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. Mirza is also passionate on conservation education for children. She leads several conservation education project in Indonesia through wildlife camps, teacher training and school counselling. 

Dr Frédéric Launay

Dr Frédéric Launay

Assistant Secretary General - Science & Research
Environmental Research & Wildlife Development Agency
PO Box 45553
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Geographic areas of expertise:
Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, China, Mongolia, Pakistan, North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, Libya)

Frédéric Launay is Assistant Secretary General for Science & Research (ASGSR) at the Environmental Research & Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA) in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Besides being Chair of the SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group, his other duties include Director, WWF-UAE and Chairman, IUCN/SSC Houbara Bustard Working Group which is based at the National Avian Research Center in Abu Dhabi , UAE. Frédéric is also involved in CITES implementation in the UAE. In his current position he is specifically responsible for all the research and conservation activities of the organisation as well with collaborations with international organisations and conventions, and has established collaborations with over 12 countries in Central Asia, Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. He is also Director of the WWF-UAE Project Office.

Danna Leaman

Dr Danna J. Leaman

98 Russell Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7X1

Geographic areas of expertise: Global
Danna Leaman is affiliated with the Canadian Museum of Nature as a research associate, focusing on conservation and sustainable use of economically important plants. Danna is a founding member of the SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group, which she has chaired since 2000, and has been a member of the SSC Plant Conservation Sub-Committee since 2004. She is a Trustee of FairWild Foundation representing IUCN, and is a consultant and advisor to other organizations working on plant conservation and sustainable use.).

Dr. Susan Lieberman

Dr. Susan Lieberman

Executive Director - Conservation Policy

Wildlife Conservation Society
2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10460 USA

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. Prior to joining WCS, she worked for four years as Director, International Policy at the Pew Environment Group, focusing in particular on treaties, regional fisheries management organizations and other intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, to provide science-based research, policy analysis and expertise to ensure the sustainability of marine species and ecosystems.

From 2001 to 2009, Dr. Lieberman was the Director of the Species Programme of WWF-International, based in Europe. She led all programmatic, scientific, and communications aspects of work on endangered and threatened species at the global level, as well as all international policy issues pertaining to species conservation. She directed WWF programs on the conservation of flagship species of international conservation concern, including tigers, African and Asian elephants, African and Asian rhinos, giant pandas, African and Asian great apes, whales, marine turtles, and polar bears. As part of this portfolio she directed WWF’s science-based policy and advocacy pertaining to several international treaties, including CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. She served as an institutional observer on the IUCN SSC Steering Committee for several years, on behalf of WWF, and has been a member of the Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group for many years.
Dr Lieberman worked for the US Government at the US Fish and Wildlife Service (including as Chief of the Scientific Authority) from 1990-2001. She conducted postdoctoral research on tortoises in Mexico and on prosimians. Her Ph.D. research at the University of Southern California focused on tropical ecology and amphibians and reptiles in Costa Rica.


Jeff McNeely

Mr Jeffrey McNeely

Ch. du Lavasson 9
1196 Gland

Geographic areas of expertise: Global, having worked in more than 80 countries, especially Asia.

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.

As Chief Scientist, a position he held until his retirement from IUCN in 2009, he was is responsible for overseeing the work of the world’s largest conservation network, with over 1,000 institutional members and 10,000 scientists and other specialists working in biological conservation. As Senior Science Advisor, a largely voluntary position, he advises IUCN on a wide variety of conservation issues. He has written or edited over 40 books and 500 popular and technical articles on a wide range of environmental topics, as well as serving on the editorial board of 14 international journals. He is currently working to link biodiversity to sustainable agriculture, human health, biotechnology, climate change, energy, and more traditional fields of IUCN interest such as species, protected areas, ecosystems, and economics.

He is Chairman of the Board of Ecoagriculture Partners, Chair of the Policy Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology, a Member of the Scientific and Technical Council of the International Risk Governance Council, Science Patron of Earthwatch Europe, a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Environmental Conservation, a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, a Member of the UNEP International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, an A.D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University an Adjunct Professor at Peking University, a Member of the World Cultural Council, and a Member of the Order of the Golden Ark.

Patricia Medici

Dr Patricia Medici

Rua Licuala, 622, Residencial Damha 1
CEP: 79046-150
Campo Grande
Mato Grosso do Sul

Geographic areas of expertise: South America

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. For the past 19 years, Patrícia has worked for the Brazilian non-governmental organization IPÊ - Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research) of which she was one of the founding members in 1992. Since 1996, Patrícia has coordinated the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative, a nation-wide lowland tapir research and conservation effort in Brazil, which was first established in the Atlantic Forests of São Paulo State and later expanded to the Brazilian Pantanal. Patrícia has also been the Chair person of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) since 2000, and facilitator of the Brazilian Network of the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) since 2004. 



Dr Russell Mittermeier

Dr Russell Mittermeier

President - Conservation International

1919 M Street N.W.
Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20036, USA

Geographic areas of expertise:
South America, Madagascar, Suriname, Global

President of Conservation International, Dr Russell A. Mittermeier, has a long-standing affiliation with SSC and the wider IUCN, beginning in the 1970s. He is Chair of the SSC Primate Specialist Group, member of the Commission on Ecosystem Management, and was elected IUCN councillor at the 3rd and 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress. Russ serves as advisor to many international conservation institutions – he is UNEP special envoy for the Great Apes Survival Project among many other roles. Previously he served as Chairman of the World Bank Task Force on Biological Diversity, Vice-President for Science, World Wildlife Fund, and Vice-President for Species Conservation, WWF. Under Russ’s leadership, collaboration between CI and IUCN/SSC has grown significantly.


Dr Yvonne Sadovy

Dr Yvonne Sadovy

Associate Professor

Department of Ecology & Biodiversity
The University of Hong Kong
Pok Fu Lam Road
Hong Kong

Geographic areas of expertise: Tropical, global

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. She currently works at the University of Hong Kong, where she is an Associate Professor and the recent recipient of nine major research grants. Her work has led to contact with a wide range of fishing communities and with government officials and local NGOs in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the western Pacific, and she brings this wealth of regional knowledge and marine conservation expertise to the IUCN SSC Steering Committee. She chairs the IUCN SSC Grouper and Wrasse Specialist Group, is Director of the Society for the Conservation of Reef Fish Aggregations (SCRFA) and serves in an advisory capacity on a number of boards, including the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong World Wildlife Fund, the Scientific Panel of the Palau International Coral Reef Center and the editorial boards of Conservation Biology, Fish and Fisheries, and Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries.

Prof Michael Samways

Prof Michael Samways

Department of Entomology and Centre for Agricultural Biodiversity
Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
University of Stellenbosch
Private Bag X1
Matieland 7602

South Africa

Geographic areas of expertise: Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Global

Michael Samways is Professor in the Department of Entomology, and Director of the Centre for Agricultural Biodiversity at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He is an enthusiastic advocate of invertebrate conservation and serves as Chair of SSC’s Southern Africa Invertebrate Specialist Group. Michael is Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and a Fellow of the University of Natal. He serves on the editorial boards for several journals. An authoritative and passionate invertebrate conservationist, he has published a variety of books and numerous other publications on invertebrates, their ecology and conservation and specialises in the invertebrates of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Islands.

Mark Stanley Price

Dr Mark Stanley Price

Senior Research Fellow
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU)
University of Oxford,
Tubney House, Tubney
Abingdon Road
Abingdon OX13 5QL, UK

Geographic areas of expertise:
East Africa, West Asia

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. Mark is now a research fellow at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford and Chair of the new SSC Species Conservation Planning Sub-Committee, which will be responsible for helping SSC Specialist Groups to move beyond Red Listing to implement our new guidelines “Strategic Planning for Species Conservation”. Mark will also be heading the Re-introduction Specialist Group’s task of updating the Re-introduction Guidelines and IUCN policy on the translocation of species, in particular to take account of climate change.

Xie Yan

Dr Yan Xie

China Country Director - Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

C208, Institute of Zoology
Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOZ/CAS)
No. 1-5 Beichen Xilu, Chaoyang Dist.
Beijing, 100101

Geographic areas of expertise: China

Yan is now the China Country Program Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and an Associate Research Professor at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. She leads 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. She served as coordinator of biodiversity studies under the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a high level governmental advisory body, for over 10 years, where she made a great contribution to the country’s conservation policy. She is dedicated to provide biodiversity information for better conservation decision making — the Conserving China's Biodiversity website and the China Species Information Service (CSIS) have become the most important biodiversity information hubs in China. Yan also led the evaluation of more than 10,000 species for the China Red List. She is a prolific writer with many important conservation books under her belt including A Guide to the Mammals of China published in 2008.

Institutional observers


Dr Stuart Butchart

Dr Stuart Butchart

Head of Science - BirdLife International

Birdlife International
Wellbrook Court
Girton Road

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. BirdLife is the Red List Authority for all birds on the IUCN Red List, and Stu has been involved in this work for over a decade, including leading the development of the Red List Index, sitting on the Red List committee since 2004 and chairing the Red List Technical Working Group from 2009 to 2013. He has worked in conservation science at BirdLife since 2002, having carried out a PhD and post-doctoral research in behavioural ecology at the Department of Zoology, Cambridge, UK. His research publications have covered topics including detecting extinctions, assessing extinction risk, Data Deficient species, deforestation, climate change impacts, protected areas, reintroduction, conservation breeding, invasive alien species eradications, quantifying conservation success, biodiversity indicators, monitoring and ecosystem services.


Dr Jon Hutton

Dr Jon Hutton

Director UNEP-WCMC
219 Huntingdon Road
CB3 0D, UK

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. He is Chair of the SSC Sustainable Use Specialist Group. 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. Jon retains a strong academic interest in conservation and sustainable use and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography in the University of Cambridge and a Senior Associate of Hughes Hall, Cambridge. His experience ranges from the management of zoological collections though field ecology, practical wildlife management and conservation policy to integrated land-use planning, institution-building, programme management, public awareness and fundraising.


Carlos Drews

Dr. Carlos Drews

Director of the Global Species Programme

Avenue du Mont-Blanc
1196 Gland

Carlos Drews is the director of WWF´s Global Species Programme. A native of Colombia, Carlos has a Ph.D. in Zoology from Cambridge University and has carried out research into wildlife behavioural ecology in Africa and Latin America. Before joining WWF in 2003, he was on the academic staff at the International Institute for Wildlife Conservation and Management, based at the National University of Costa Rica. He headed up WWF´s marine work in Latin America until 2009, including the conservation of marine turtles, whales and dolphins, fisheries, and marine habitats. His recent publications address the link between biodiversity and society, including attitudes and practices toward nature in Central America, the economics of marine turtle consumption and conservation, a concept and methodology for species conservation with a livelihoods focus and, more recently, adaptation to climate change. He currently leads WWF´s efforts to save elephants, rhinos, great apes, pandas, polar bears, tigers, sea turtles and cetaceans from extinction. An avid runner, Carlos lives with his wife and two kids in Switzerland, drinks lots of tea and is fond of Asian cuisine.

Dr Jonathan Baillie

Dr Jonathan Baillie

Director of Conservation Programmes

Zoological Society of London
Regent's Park


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. This was the first time the New Categories and Criteria had been applied to all species on the Red List and was also the first comprehensive assessment of mammals. Dr. Baillie assisted in further developing the IUCN Categories and Criteria and produced the first guidelines for applying the new system. He assisted in the development of the IUCN Categories and Criteria at the regional level and has worked with countries such as Mongolia to produce national Red Lists. He has also led the development of a National Red List website, a central source for National Red Lists data and Action Plans. In 2004 Dr. Baillie contributed to the Global Mammal Assessment and was the lead editor of the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: A Global Species Assessment. In 2006 he created and headed the ZSL Indicators and Assessment Unit. During this time he assisted in the development of the Red List Index and as co-chair of the Red List Index Working Group, led the development of the IUCN Sampled Red List Index (SRLI). The SRLI project has now provided robust estimates of the conservation status of all vertebrates, a number of invertebrate groups and in the process, has more than doubled the number of invertebrate conservation assessments. Dr. Baillie is now assisting with the development of Red List Categories and Criteria for ecosystems.

Taej Mundkur

Dr Taej Mundkur

Flyway Programme Manager

Wetlands International
Horapark 9, Ede, The Netherlands

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.

Taej started his career with Wetlands International (then called the Asian Wetland Bureau) in Malaysia in 1991where he coordinated waterbird programmes, and ended up there as Regional Director of Wetlands International Asia–Pacific. He developed the Asian Waterbird Census and spearheaded coordination of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy (1996-2006) involving governments, conventions, NGOs, technical experts and others. He also advised development of flyway initiatives in the East Asian - Australasian and Central Asian flyways.

Promoting an integrated approach to tackling zoonotic diseases on birds, poultry and people, he supported the UN-led Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and he spent a year at the FAO in Rome strengthening capacity of veterinarians and wildlife staff in Africa, Europe and Asia, for which he was nominated as a CMS Champion in 2008.

Taej has been an active member of several waterbird specialist groups and currently coordinates them at Wetlands International.


Dr. Gregory Stone

Dr Gregory Stone

Executive Vice President

Global Marine and The Moore Center for Science, Conservation International,
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22202, USA

Dr Gregory Stone, Executive Vice President of Conservation International, is a leading expert on ocean science/conservation who has given a TED talk and appeared in Discovery Channel and National Geographic documentaries. He has received numerous awards including the US Navy and National Science Foundation Antarctic Service Medal. He is widely published in scientific literature, National Geographic Magazine, and three award winning books, (most recent, 2012, UNDERWATER EDEN, University of Chicago Press).

Dr Elizabeth Bennett

Dr Elizabeth Bennett

Vice President for Species Conservation, WCS

Wildlife Conservation Society
2300 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10460

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. An experienced field conservationist, she spent more than 20 years in Malaysia, initially conducting field research on primate ecology and the impacts of hunting and logging on wildlife, then moving into the government policy and legislative arena. Her involvement with IUCN goes back to 1988 when she co-authored the first Threatened Primates of Africa Red Data Book, she is a long-term member of the Primate Specialist Group, and an active participant in all recent IUCN Congresses. Elizabeth writes extensively, with more than 110 scientific and popular publications, focusing especially on wildlife conservation in tropical forests, including primate conservation, and hunting and wildlife trade.


IUCN Secretariat


Jane Smart

Dr Jane Smart

Global Director, IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group Director, IUCN Global Species Programme

IUCN Headquarters
Rue Mauverney 28
1196 Gland

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. Jane also takes a lead role in facilitating work to implement the Valuing and Conserving Biodiversity Area of IUCN’s Programme (2012-2016). As Director of the Global Species Programme, Jane is responsible for around 45 staff based in Switzerland, Washington DC, US and Cambridge, UK and is responsible for managing the compilation and production of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ™. She is focal point for the Species Survival Commission.

Jane trained as a botanist and began her professional life as a plant ecologist. In 1989 Jane founded Plantlife International, becoming its first Chief Executive. In 1993, she initiated Planta Europa, the network of organizations working for plant conservation across Europe. Prior to joining the IUCN Secretariat Jane was Chair of the IUCN UK National Committee, as well as a long standing member of the IUCN SSC Plant Conservation Committee. In 2003 she was awarded the OBE for services to international conservation.

Dr Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Head, IUCN Species Programme

Dr Jean-Christophe Vié

Deputy Head of Species Programme

IUCN Headquarters
Rue Mauverney 28
1196 Gland

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. His involvement with IUCN started 14 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. Jean-Christophe has extensive field experience in various parts of the world including Africa, South America, Saudi Arabia and the USA, where he spent 15 years. He started his career as a wildlife veterinarian with a main interest in primates. He has worked on the reintroduction of the Arabian Oryx and designed projects covering a wide variety of Neotropical species. His strong commitment to conservation led him to create an NGO (Kwata) in French Guiana where he spent 8 years. He has also published a number of scientific articles.


Dr Thomas Brooks

Dr Thomas Brooks

Head, Science and Knowledge

IUCN Headquarters
Rue Mauverney 28
1196 Gland

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 is the Head of 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 is an ornithologist by training, with extensive field experience in tropical forests of Asia, South America and Africa. His interests lie in threatened species conservation (especially of birds) and in biodiversity hotspots (especially in tropical forests), and he has authored 171 scientific and popular articles, including 64 indexed in the ISI ‘Web of Science’ of which 19 have been in ‘Nature’ or ‘Science’ . He has served on the SSC Red List Sub-Committee since 2001, on the SSC Steering Committee since 2004, and as co-chair of the SSC-WCPA joint taskforce on ‘Biodiversity and Protected Areas’ since 2009. 


Steven Broad

Mr Steven Broad

Executive Director

TRAFFIC International
219a Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom

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. Working for IUCN and TRAFFIC since the mid-1980s, Mr Broad built up diverse experience in trade research, regulation support, policy, training and facilitation work. He was TRAFFIC’s regional director for the ASEAN region, based in Malaysia during 1993-1995, before taking up his current post.

Mr Broad has a B.Sc in Environmental Studies from the University of Hertfordshire and is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, the WWF UK Programme Committee and the Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade of the World Economic Forum. He also serves as an advisor to the Pew Marine Fellowship Program and the Whitley Awards for Nature Conservation, is Chair of the board of directors of the Marine Aquarium Council and has recently joined the board of FairWild Foundation.