WCS at WPC

Staff

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.
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Select WPC Stream:
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.
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.
Susan Tressler
Vice President, Program Development
Susan Tressler is the Vice President, Program Development (PD). She oversees PD operations and services, with special attention to European bi-lateral and multi-lateral funding strategies. Susan has nearly 30 years experience in program development, communications and fundraising, working with US domestic and international NGOs. In addition to development roles in US-based institutions, Susan coordinated fundraising, communications and partnerships for the global IUCN Species Survival Commission during the 1990s, and from 2000-2005 consulted with a variety of international organizations on multi-lateral project and proposal development, program evaluation and fundraising strategies. Susan joined the WCS Global Conservation Program late in 2005 to establish the Program Development unit, coordinate and strengthen government and agency relations, and facilitate large-scale government funding initiatives. T: (718) 741-8162 Skype: susantressler

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