Congratulations to Dr Winnie Kiiru
The Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) Foundation offers warm congratulations to its departing Director of Government Relations, Dr Winnie Kiiru, who has been appointed Executive Director of Mpala, in Kenya, one of Africa’s leading ecological research centres.
The EPI Foundation’s CEO, John Scanlon AO, said, ‘Winnie has been an integral part of the EPI since its launch in 2014. Her vast depth of knowledge and outstanding diplomatic skills have played a crucial part in its success. We are all proud of Winnie for being appointed to such a prestigious position and, while she may be leaving the Foundation, Winnie remains a dear and lifelong friend of the EPI .’
Dr Kiiru worked for both Stop Ivory and the EPI Foundation, which have served successively as secretariats to the EPI, an alliance of 22 African member states committed to elephant conservation. Alex Rhodes, a trustee of the EPI Foundation, said ‘Winnie worked skilfully and tirelessly with African governments for the closure of domestic ivory markets and to end the ivory trade. We’ve come a long way over the past decade- poaching is much reduced and some elephant populations are recovering - and Winnie is an important part of this good news story.’
The EPI Foundation’s Greta Iori, who was a fellow of the Women For The Environment Africa (WE Africa) programme co-founded by Dr Kiiru said, ‘Winnie has been and will always be a huge inspiration to many. Her impact covers a huge range - elephant conservation, community upliftment, protesting urban land grabs - and she is a pioneer for African women environmentalists everywhere. We will miss her but look forward to working with her closely in the future.’
The Mpala Research Centre, in Laikipia County in central Kenya, is run in a partnership between Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institute, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the National Museums of Kenya. Its scientists work to ensure that sustainable livelihoods and economic advancements are synonymous with wildlife conservation.