WCS Staff

Meet the WCS conservationists and specialists from around the world at the World Parks Congress 2014.  For general inquiries or to schedule a meeting,  please contact wpc@wcs.org.

Select WPC Stream:
Matthew Hatchwell
WCS Director for International Policy and Programme Development
Matthew is the Director for WCS International Policy and Programme Development based in London, UK. HIs policy focus includes engagement with the World Heritage Convention to help safeguard the protected areas at the heart of WCS Global Priority Regions, forest policy, and managing the impacts of extractive industry on biodiversity. Matthew previously directed the WCS country programme in Madagascar and the WCS office in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, prior to moving back to Europe in 2002. In Congo, he helped establish Nouabale-Ndoki National Park and co-managed, with government counterparts, a capacity-building programme for protected area managers nationally. He now represents WCS on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Leadership Programme, a joint capacity-building programme with two other international conservation NGOs. In Madagascar, he was instrumental in the creation of Masoala and Sahamalaza/Iles Radama National Parks and completed the Masoala National Park management plan in 1998. He is co-author of books on Masoala and on the role of zoos and aquaria in in situ wildlife conservation.
Michel Masozera
Country Program Director, Rwanda
A former Project Director in Nyungwe, returned as Country Director in 2010. Extensive experience in environmental economics and PES.
Muthanna Pandira
Assistant Director, India
Mr. Muthanna Pandira Medappa obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Arts in 1991 and Law in 1995 from the University of Mysore. Muthanna’s association with WCS-India dates back to the year, 2000. Based in Hunsur, Karnataka, Muthanna’s area of expertise covers the Malenad Mysore Tiger Landscape and extends into Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Besides effective conservation interventions to secure wildlands – Muthanna has played a key role in motivating more than 600 families from Nagarahole and over 100 families from the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary to relocate under the government sponsored relocation program. He was awarded the WCS Service Award in 2006 in recognition of his outstanding service to wildlife conservation.
Oscar Loayza
Deputy Director, Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape Conservation Program
Oscar Loayza is an agronomist by profession with specialization in rural development in protected areas and specialty degree in human geography and methodologies for environmental and social research. It has started its activity as a researcher in South American camelids and precisely from its relationship with Vicuña 1996 has taken over as director of the National Wildlife Ulla Ulla , from which it has served more than 11 years working in areas protected from Bolivia as director Ulla Ulla- Apolobamba (1996-2001) and Madidi (2001-2004) and as Director of Planning National Service of Protected Areas ( 2004-2006). After a brief stint as head of Foundation Intercoopera issues Water and Biodiversity (2006-2007) , has initiated activities in WCS where he currently holds the position of deputy director of the conservation program of the great landscape Madidi - Tambopata and responsible coordination component of territorial management and protected areas
Ray Victurine
Director, Business & Conservation Initiative
Ray Victurine leads the WCS Business and Conservation Initiative, which engages with industry and governments to support policies and practices that seek to balance conservation objectives with development interests through design and implementation of best practices aimed at reducing and compensating for impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ray has more than 25 years experience working on conservation and sustainable development issues in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and has lived and traveled extensively throughout these regions promoting sustainable development programs and policies that achieve conservation outcomes and economic development objectives. Ray is trained as a natural resource economist with a focus on water resources. Prior to joining WCS, Ray was an environmental consultant focused on sustainability and conservation financing. He also contributed to the establishment of two conservation trust funds in Africa and Asia, and also worked in Uganda where he contributed to national environmental policy, tourism development, and creation of a national-level private conservation financing institution and land trust.
Ruth Starkey
Technical Advisor, Tanzania
Ruth Starkey started her career in conservation in Lope National Park, Gabon having completed her degree in conservation biology in the UK. As a research assistant the range of field work on mandrills, elephant, phenology and great apes captivated her into a continuing her studies in conservation. After her Masters from UCL, UK, she continued to work with WCS in Gabon – managing the Langoue Bai project in Ivindo National Park, followed by the Loango National Park project. Ruth’s work now focuses on Law Enforcement Monitoring including rolling out a standardized ranger based monitoring in all of Gabon’s national parks.
Scott Stanley
Country Program Director, Laos

For nearly 30 years, Scott Stanley has been assisting developing countries to better manage their protected areas, especially focused on facilitating the involvement of forest-dependent communities through innovative collaborative management initiatives. Scott holds a BSc in forest management and a MSc in tropical silviculture and ecology, and began his career overseas with CATIE (Agricultural and Forestry Research and Teaching Center) in Costa Rica. In the early 1990s, Scott helped establish Guatemala’s first community-based forest management concessions in the Petén, and now 17 communities are managing more than 500,000 hectares of the Multiple Use Zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve under FSC certification. Scott worked 15 years in Indonesia, mostly in Borneo (Kalimantan) where he led The Nature Conservancy’s program that documented a new population of orangutans and worked closely with local governments to establish two orangutan reserves.

In 2007, Scott founded Forest Carbon Consultants to assist private sector and NGOs to plan, implement, and monitor REDD projects, and for more than six years was involved in 12 REDD projects throughout SE Asia and the Pacific. Scott was the chief technical advisor for the Rimba Raya project, the first REDD project to have their methodology approved by VCS and Indonesia’s first project to sell carbon credits.

In January 2014, Scott began working with the Wildlife Conservation Society as the Country Program Director in Laos and is leading the development of an innovative Payment for Environmental Services (PES) initiative in conjunction with Theun Hinboun Hydropower Company.

Shirley Atkinson
Assistant Director, Wildlife Health & Health Policy
Shirley Atkinson is Assistant Director of the Wildlife Health & Health Policy Program, and helps oversee and manage the AHEAD and HEAL programs. Born and raised in southern Africa, Shirley began her career as a wildlife ecologist focusing on the nutritional ecology of black rhinos. During that time, she received her Master’s in Tropical Resource Ecology from the University of Zimbabwe and became intimately involved in rhino conservation issues. In the United States, she continued to follow her passion for wildlife conservation in the academic community, teaching at a private university and partnering in the establishment of a multi-disciplinary undergraduate program in conservation science. She initially joined WCS in 2006 as the North America Program's Senior Program Coordinator, overseeing a range of conservation and research efforts, and has worked on wildlife management and planning efforts for the states of Montana and Nevada.
Simon Hedges
Asian Elephant Coordinator & Ivory Trade Policy Analyst
Simon is WCS's Asian Elephant Coordinator & Ivory Trade Policy Analyst. He has almost 25 years of experience of wildlife conservation-related research and survey work, endangered species and protected area management, and wildlife policy formulation, including the writing and implementation of wildlife action plans. The majority of his time since 1988 has been spent in Southeast Asia. Since 1998, Simon has focused on Asian Elephants, particularly on survey method development and human–elephant conflict assessment and mitigation. He began working for WCS in January 2000: co-managing the Sumatran Elephant Project for the WCS Indonesia Program for three years until he was hired by WCS’s region-wide Asia Program in 2003 as the Asian Elephant Coordinator (the position he still hold). As part of his job, he oversees (as the main technical advisor) WCS’s Asian Elephant projects in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. He chaired the IUCN/SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group from 1995 to 2005, has been the Co-Chair of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group since 2005, and he is a member of the Canid Specialist Group. He was a member of the IUCN/SSC Species Conservation Planning Task Force and he is a member of IUCN Red List Technical Working Group and the CITES Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) program’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG). He has published in journals ranging from Molecular Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Journal of Animal Ecology to Tropical Biodiversity, Kukila, and Gajah. He has also contributed chapters to several peer-reviewed books and edited (and contributed to) the book, Monitoring elephants and assessing threats: a manual for researchers, managers and conservationists (published in 2012).
Susan Lieberman
Vice-President, International Policy
Dr. Susan Lieberman has worked in international biodiversity conservation, at the intersection of science and policy, for more than 25 years, including extensive experience with international wildlife trade and intergovernmental policy. She is now the Vice President, International Policy with WCS. She was Senior Director, International Environmental Policy with The Pew Charitable Trusts from August 2009-July 2013; from 2001-2009, she was the Director of the Global Species Programme of WWF-International. She worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior (Fish and Wildlife Service) from 1990-2001, including several years as Chief of the CITES Scientific Authority. She obtained her Ph.D. in tropical ecology (focused on amphibians and reptiles) from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where she also did postdoctoral research (on desert tortoises and prosimians). Sue is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Steering Committee, co-chair of the SSC Policy Subcommittee, and a member of the IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

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