After graduating University in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s I took up the position of Conservation Advisor to the Forestry Department in the Eastern Caribbean Island nation of Saint Lucia where I served for over 12 years. This role involved helping to oversee the work of the department’s wildlife and conservation education divisions including the censusing of threatened and endangered Psittacines; the drafting of legislation (1980 Wildlife Protection Act); serving as government representative to CITES; as well as developing an innovative community outreach and engagement program to promote wildlife and wild land conservation. The latter involved using the emotive key of pride to promote the protection of the island’s newly designated National Bird – the endemic and then critically endangered Saint Lucia Parrot(Amazona versicolor) whose numbers had declined to fewer than 150 individuals. Today, the population of Saint Lucia Parrots, is estimated to number between 1750 and 2250 individuals and scientists note that "there is little doubt that the species has undergone an order-of magnitude increase in population size over the last 30-40 years; while its geographic range has expanded by 74%".
In January 1988, I joined the international NGO Rare; initially as its Director for Caribbean Programs, later becoming Director for Conservation Education and later still to become that organization’s Senior Vice President.
Working with my colleagues at Rare we developed the organization’s signature social marketing toolbox and model (Rare Pride) for building local constituencies for the environment that has been replicated in more than 350 sites in almost 60 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, China and the Pacific. Through this program, Rare has enabled hundreds of partner organizations to build their public outreach and communications capacity using innovative, yet simple, social marketing tools to raise awareness of environmental threats and then to garner public support for changes in human behavior with resulting measurable, sustained conservation results.
Today in my role as Senior Vice President and Ambassador I am focusing my attention on the development of a lower-cost, lighter version of Rare’s traditional Pride Program, providing Rare and its partners with a complementary product offering that will help it to scale its efforts and impact.
I serve as a trustee on Rare’s board and am co-chair of its Board’s Committee on Culture and Values
When not working, I enjoy traveling and photography.