TenBoma director profiled as one of Vice’s “Humans of the Year”

This article, written by Kaleigh Rogers, originally appeared on Vice’s Motherboard on March 2, 2017.--KB

Faye Cuevas Is Protecting Elephants Using Counterterrorism Techniques

Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, Lieutenant Colonel Faye Cuevas said she never imagined she would end up spending her days tracking poachers in the Serengeti. 

It wasn't a straight shot from her hometown to Kenya, either: first she spent years serving as a counterterrorism intelligence expert in the US Air Force, fighting against Al Qaeda and Joseph Kony. Oh, and she also earned her law degree at the same time.

"If, at the time, you would have said 'hey Faye, you're still going to be in the Air Force 20 years later,' I would have thought it was crazy," Cuevas told me. "There I was: a kind of rudderless poli-sci major, and then not too long after that I'm an intelligence officer, and then not too long after that I'm an intelligence officer with special operations command."

Cuevas's years in the Air Force gave her valuable expertise in collecting intelligence on terrorists in order to improve our efforts to stop them. But in 2015, she made the leap to conservation, and is now using those skills to collect similar intelligence on poachers, in an effort to stop the decimation of elephants…

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