When elephant poaching escalated rapidly following sales of stockpiled ivory in 2008, Matt Collis understood that tackling consumer markets was the only way to eliminate the value of ivory. Thanks to his vision, the UK Conservative Party pledged to ban all ivory sales, and a decade on the UK now has one of the most stringent ivory bans in the world.
After moving from the UK to IFAW’s Oceania office, Matt grew IFAW’s network of unlikely partners by forming an alliance with the New Zealand shipping industry to protect endangered whales from deadly collisions near the Port of Auckland. He also advised Australian government delegations to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Following his return to the UK, Matt led IFAW’s engagement with a range of international conventions, institutions and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), as Director of International Policy, before taking on the role of Deputy Vice President for Conservation in 2021. In this role, Matt oversaw IFAW’s work on landscape conservation, marine conservation, wildlife crime, community engagement and international policy. In 2023, Matt became Deputy Vice President for Policy, continuing to oversee IFAW’s international policy and marine conservation work, as well as IFAW’s work on climate change and national advocacy efforts by IFAW’ network of regional and country offices.
Matt holds a degree from the University of Leeds and has first-hand experience of working on conservation projects in central America, south east Asia and Oceania. He is based in the United Kingdom.
Deputy Vice President - Conservation, IFAW United Kingdom
Director, International Policy, IFAW United Kingdom
Acting Director, Marine Conservation Program, IFAW United Kingdom
Policy and Campaigns Manager, IFAW Australia
Government Relations Manager, IFAW United Kingdom
Parliamentary Advisor, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children United Kingdom
Bachelor of Arts, Politics and Parliamentary Studies University of Leeds, United Kingdom