About Us: Meet the Team:
Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D. APW/TPW Executive Director
Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld is a woman with a passion for Africa and for conservation. Residing in Tanzania, Laly co-founded the African People & Wildlife Fund in 2005 to help rural communities conserve and benefit from their wildlife and natural resources. Laly first traveled to the continent with the National Outdoor Leadership School in 1992. Moved by the remarkable wildlife, cultures and landscapes of East Africa, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to evaluate a community-based conservation (CBC) project in southern Kenya. In 2005, Laly received her Ph.D. from Yale University for novel research combining wildlife ecology and social ecology in an interdisciplinary study of human-lion relationships, interactions and conflicts on the Maasai Steppe of Northern Tanzania. Today, with 20 years of on-the-ground experience in East African wildlife conservation, Laly specializes in human-wildlife conflict prevention, species conservation focusing on lions and other big cats, community empowerment and engagement in natural resource management, conservation education, and the development of conservation incentives for rural people. Laly is a Distinguished Alumni of the Yale Tropical Resources Institute, a National Geographic Explorer and six-time National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee, an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and a recipient of the 2016 Lowell Thomas Award for Open Space Conservation from the historic Explorers Club.
Charles Trout Director of Programs
Charles Trout is the Director of Programs of the African People & Wildlife Fund. Raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he has spent the last 20 years living around the protected areas of Tanzania, including the Serengeti National Park and the Selous Game Reserve. Prior to APW, Mr. Trout worked with several conservation and tourism companies. He has experience working in all four corners of Tanzania particularly in developing village agreements with tourism outfitters and in managing human-wildlife conflict mitigation programs. Mr. Trout is a graduate of the Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.
Tanzania People & Wildlife Fund Staff
|Elvis Kisimir Human-Wildlife Conflict Program Officer
Elvis Kisimir is the Tanzania People & Wildlife Fund’s Human-Wildlife Conflict Coordinator. Mr. Kisimir is a well respected community member of Narakauo village. He oversees TPW’s Livestock Predation Officers and related program activities, including the installation and monitoring of all our Living Walls. He is a Disney Conservation Hero award winner.
|Neovitus Sunday Sianga Maasai Steppe Conservation Education Program Officer
Neovitus Sunday Sianga is the Conservation Education Program Officer of the Tanzania People & Wildlife Fund. Neovitus joined TPW in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Dar es Salaam. He is the recipient of the Sydney Byers Scholarship and is also pursuing his Master’s in environmental management at the University of Dar es Salaam.
|Revocatus Magayane Maasai Steppe Conservation Education Program Officer
Revocatus is the Conservation Education Program Officer of the Tanzania People & Wildlife Fund. One of our most recent additions to the staff, Revocatus helps lead our expansion efforts in adult and youth education.
|Everest Mollel Conservation Enterprise and Development Program Assistant
Everest Mollel helps to lead small project implementation and enterprise development and acts as community liaison during meetings. He holds a degree in environmental science from the University of Dar es Salaam.
Warriors for Wildlife
|Gerald Raphael Head Village Game Scout
Gerald Raphael is our Head Village Game Scout. He and his team work in Loibor Siret, where Gerald grew up. He has been working for TPW since 2010. He leads the team of other game scouts to protect natural resources, eliminate poaching, and halt illegal activities such as charcoal harvesting.
Watch our Local Heroes profile on Gerald Raphael.
|Saruni Moses Head Human-Wildlife Conflict Officer
Saruni Moses is the Head Human-Wildlife Conflict Officer of the Tanzania People & Wildlife Fund. He initially worked with Dr. Lichtenfeld as a research assistant participating in the collection of local attitudinal surveys. Mr. Moses is a community member of Loibor Siret village.
|Human-Wildlife Conflict Officers
Human-Wildlife Conflict Officers collect comprehensive information on livestock depredation incidences for TPW’s human-wildlife conflict prevention project. Information collected by the officers includes the time of day, GPS location, species, relevant habitat, weather, circumstances of the attack and information about the livestock owner. All officers are local community members.
Watch our short video on the role of Human-Wildlife Conflict Officers in saving big cats.
|Village Game Scouts
Village Game Scouts work to prevent poaching and other illegal activities such as charcoal harvesting. They work closely with the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) and with other anti-poaching units along the border of Tarangire National Park from organizations such as WCS. They are highly trained to locate and apprehend poachers, as well on tasks such as rescuing injured wildlife and destroying illegal charcoal kilns. All village game scouts are local community members.
Community environmental trainers co-teach our natural resource management courses all across Northern Tanzania. These trainers were selected through a tough application process and put through many days of training.
Our trainers are:
Mama Helena Mbarnoti, Mr. Erasto Ngira, Mwl. E. Mbise, Ms. Paulina Sempoly, Ms. Winfrida Mollel, Joseph Lembaji, David Robert, Mzee Jumanne Labia, Stella Joely
Spotlight on a Community Trainer: Mama Helena Mbarnoti
Mama Helena is a community trainer who specializes in women’s entrepreneurship and the development of environmentally-friendly businesses. Highly respected on the Maasai Steppe, she is also the sole female member of the community’s Reto-o-Reto (“Interdependency”) committee which established the areas first Watershed Conservation Area. Helena Mbarnoti works across the Steppe training other community leaders how to care for and benefit from their shared resources.
|Maxi Isanya Noloholo Environmental Center Camp Manager
Mr. Maxi Isanya is the Noloholo Environmental Center Camp Manager. With 14 years of bush camp experience, Mr. Isanya is responsible for the day to day activities required to live at a successful center. Prior to his employment with TPW, he worked in safari camps within the Selous Game Reserve and outside the Serengeti National Park. Mr. Isanya says he enjoys making sure the center is secure, clean and orderly. We are thankful for this and for the notion that, after a long day in the hot sun, we’ll find a good joke and a hearty laugh waiting for us back at camp!
|Paulo Matanya Vehicle Maintenance and Driver
Mr. Paulo Matanya is TPW’s Vehicle Maintenance Officer. Mr. Matanya is responsible for all vehicle and machine running, maintenance and up-keep. He is also a driver for TPW. Mr. Matanya is a valuable asset helping to take care of many of the day to day activities required to operate a field-based organization, keeping our vehicles running in extremely difficult conditions.a
|Tumaini Nnko Noloholo Environmental Center Deputy Logistics Manager
Mr. Tumaini “Tuma” Nnko is the Noloholo Environmental Center Deputy Logistics Manager. Tuma is responsible for the logistics of day-to-day camp activities and special events, in particular ensuring all the staff are fed and that operations are running smoothly. He is famous for his skill in the kitchen and is able to cook a variety of world cuisines.
|Annaely Njau Noloholo Environmental Center Deputy Transportation Officer
Mr. Annaely Njau is our Deputy Transportation Officer. He ensures the smooth operation of our vehicles which allow our program officers to keep our programs running. We need our vehicles in great shape for wildlife monitoring, transporting chain link for Living Walls, and for transporting community members to important program sites. Annaely joined us as a volunteer in 2012 and quickly became indispensable!
|Rashid Lary Noloholo Environmental Center Maintenance Officer
Rashidi Lary is the Noloholo Environmental Center Maintenance Officer. He oversees all construction and repair work at Noloholo, from building staff quarters to ensuring our lights stay on. He has decades of experience managing staff members, and his behind-the-scenes efforts ensures that our staff and visitors are always comfortable.
African People & Wildlife Fund Staff, North America
|Jennifer Chin Engagement Manager
Jennifer Chin is based in New York, NY and serves as APW’s Engagement Manager, helping to organize external communications, development, events, and hiring. She also serves as APW’s webmaster. Jen started with APW in 2012 as an intern, with research interests in financial and social incentives for wildlife conservation. She has extensive experience in communications and business development. Jen received a dual Master’s of Environmental Management (MEM) and Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from Duke in 2012. She also holds a BSJ from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
|Deirdre Leoniwata Media Director
Deirdre Leowinata is based in Toronto, Canada. She started as a biologist, completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Ottawa in 2012 with a specialization in evolution, ecology, and behaviour. That degree ignited a passion for novel science communication, leading to a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Visual Communication through a joint program between Fleming College and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. She fell in love with the wilds of Africa in 2009, and now acts as APW’s Media Director.
Board of Directors
Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, President
Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld is a woman with a passion for Africa. She lives in Tanzania and is co-founder and executive director of the African People & Wildlife Fund and a research affiliate of Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has over 15 years of experience in East Africa working with large carnivores, local communities and community-based conservation programs. Dr. Lichtenfeld received a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2005 for her research combining wildlife ecology and social ecology in an interdisciplinary study of human-lion relationships, interactions and conflicts. She is a National Geographic Explorer, a member of the African Lion Working Group, the Yale Large Carnivore Group, the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative and the recipient of the Fulbright Award. Her work has been featured on National Geographic Wild and the Discovery Channel Canada.
Charles Trout, Vice-President
Charles Trout is co-founder of the African People & Wildlife Fund. Raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he has spent the last 20 years living around the protected areas of Tanzania, including the Serengeti National Park and the Selous Game Reserve. Prior to APW, Mr. Trout worked with several conservation and tourism companies. He has experience working in all four corners of Tanzania particularly in developing village agreements with tourism outfitters and in managing human-wildlife conflict mitigation programs. Mr. Trout is a graduate of the Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.
Jonathan D. Meade, Secretary
Mr. Meade is the Vice President of Planning for the Heritage Conservancy in Doylestown, PA, which aims to preserve the natural and historic resources of the region through conservation and land acquisition programs. His work involves developing river conservation plans, open space plans, implementing outreach and education programs and strategic planning. His extensive experience in protected area planning, most recently with the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., includes management, business, strategic and financial planning. Mr. Meade received his MS from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and was a Fulbright Scholar in western Canada in 1996-1997.
Rosalie Ballantine, Treasurer
Ms. Ballantine is currently retired and devoted to environmental issues. She is serving her 3rd term as an environmental commissioner in the Bernardsville, NJ community. She also enjoys taking courses at Drew and Rutgers Universities. Prior to retirement, she worked for many years at the law firm of Pitney, Hardin, Kipp & Szuch in NJ. Ms. Ballantine holds a BA from Smith College and an MA from New York University in art & archeology.
Mark L. Lichtenfeld, Director
Mark L. Lichtenfeld is a senior vice-president of investments for the Lichtenfeld Group at UBS Financial Services in NJ. He began his career at Bear Stearns in 1994 and continued with Prudential Securities before joining RBC Dain Rauscher (formerly Tucker Anthony) in 1997. He received a bachelor’s with honors from Rutgers College and was a Henry Rutgers Scholar. In addition to APW, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Mr. Lichtenfeld lives with his wife, Laurie, and children, Summer and Charlie, in Bernardsville, NJ.
Ann C. Smith, Director
Ann was born in Norfolk, Virginia and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in English. She has 2 sons and lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Santa Barbara, California. Her passions include hiking, cross country skiing, wildlife photography, travel, and wildlife conservation. She has traveled to East Africa many many times and has been a supporter of the African People and Wildlife Fund since 2006. She founded PAWS of Jackson Hole which helps the local Animal Shelter and assists in many animals issues in the local community. Besides serving on the APWF Board, she is also on the Board of !21 and Wyoming Untrapped both located in Jackson Hole. In Santa Barbara she serves on the Board of the Diana Basehart Foundation.
Virginia Lynch Dean, Director
Virginia brings to the African People & Wildlife Fund an extensive background in film, theater and television development and production, including experience in documentaries, commercials, breaking news, publishing, finance, and the arts. She recently completed an International Relations Masters Program with a concentration in media. Presently, she volunteers at Audubon, and Pequot Library, while working on shorts.
Board of Advisors
Stephen R. Kellert, Ph.D., Member, APW Board of Advisors
Tweedy/Ordway Professor of Social Ecology and Co-Director of the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Professor Kellert’s work focuses on understanding the connection between human and natural systems with a particular interest in the value and conservation of nature and designing ways to harmonize the natural and human built environments. His awards include the National Conservation Achievement Award (1997, NWF); Distinguished Individual Achievement Award (Society for Conservation Biology, 1990); Best Publication of the Year Award (International Foundation for Environmental Conservation, 1985);Special Achievement Award (NWF, 1983); Fulbright Research Award; as well as being included among 300 individuals listed in \“American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present.\” He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences, is a member of IUCN Species Survival Commission Groups, and has been a member of the board of directors of many organizations.
Oswald J. Schmitz, Ph.D., Member, APW Board of Advisors
Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology and Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Professor Schmitz’s research examines the dynamics and structure of terrestrial food webs. His specific focus is on plant-herbivore interactions and how they are shaped by carnivores and soil-nutrient levels, both at the level of herbivore foraging ecology and plant-herbivore population dynamics. He is also examining how natural systems are resistant and resilient to natural and human-induced disturbances. His approach involves developing mathematical theories of species interactions in food webs and testing these theories through field experiments. The work deals with a variety of ecosystems and herbivore species, ranging from moose deer and snowshoe hare in northern Canadian forests to insects in New England old-field ecosystems.