James Isiche

Regional Director - East Africa

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Every time James enters Amboseli National Park he enters conflict. His job is to protect wild, roaming elephants and other wildlife against poaching and diminishing spaces on which these animals depend/thrive. His mission - ensuring the delicate landscape can remain intact.

It’s been his mission for a while. James started his career as an Assistant Warden at the Aberdare National Park in Kenya. Even back then, his focus was stewardship. Serving, investigating, and protecting the land and its wildlife were his directives. It was difficult, worthwhile work.

From there, James rose through the ranks, serving as an Area Warden and then an Assistant Director for Tsavo National Park, Kenya’s largest, and eventually helping draft the very national policies that govern his work today.

We have a responsibility to bequeath this world to the next generation. And I think that, with IFAW, and the supporters backing us, we’re up to the task.

As IFAW’s Regional Director for East Africa, James protects elephants and their habitat on an even bigger scale. His team works closely with the wildlife authorities in Eastern Africa, including Ethiopia Wildlife Authority,Kenya Wildlife Service, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism in Tanzania, to develop model projects for conserving landscapes as well as combating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking. In Kenya, Meru and Tsavo National Parks have benefitted immeasurably from IFAW’s on the ground work . They are also working to improve conditions for elephants in Murchison and Kidepo National Parks in Uganda. And, of course, his team manages IFAW’s research project in Amboseli National Park to help understand the movement of elephants in the larger landscape and determine the linkages that need to be protected to allow this to happen.

Key aspects of James's work are partnering with local communities that live with wildlife as well as understanding the importance and evolution of trans-border wildlife conservation. In his years with IFAW, James has led the development of cooperative projects in Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and several West African countries. He continues to nurture excellent partnerships with intergovernmental agencies such as the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, Horn of Africa Wildlife Enforcement Network and the East African Community in efforts to fight wildlife crime in Africa and is an active lobbyist for IFAW at CITES.

As he drives progress forward, he also educates. Each year, James’s team engages hundreds of children in animal action education. For him, it’s part and parcel of the larger mission for which he’s fighting.


Member, National Steering Committee to draft the 2007 Kenya Wildlife Policy and Bill, Kenya

Assistant Director, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya

Area Warden, Tsavo West National Park, Kenya

Assistant Warden, Aberdare National Park, Kenya


Master of Science, Wildlife Management, University of Reading, United Kingdom

Integrated Environmental Management Course, Kenya

Land Use Planning for Protected Areas Course Zschortau, Germany

Communicating for the Environment, Conservation Education Course

International Centre for Conservation Education, Guiting Power, United Kingdom

Scientific Research Fellowship, Forest of the Black Lemur, Project, Earthwatch Institute, Madagascar

Strategic Studies, National Defence College, Kenya

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