Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare

Jason Bell

Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare

Jason leads strategy and operations for IFAW’s programmatic campaigns and international operations.  The VP provides strategic guidance and direction to ensure the effective implementation of IFAW’s priority campaigns and programs across the organization.

Since joining IFAW, Jason has worked on a range of animal welfare and conservation issues including; ending the ivory trade; ending unethical “canned” hunting practices in South Africa; promoting sustainable, non-consumptive  tourism (e.g. boat-based whale watching); lobbying for more stringent wildlife protection measures through CITES, ending commercial whaling, promoting ethically and scientifically sound conservation management approaches for elephants in Southern Africa; landscape conservation in Africa and Asia; and government relations .  

Previously, Jason was the Regional Director, Southern Africa and Director of IFAW’s Elephants Program, which has since evolved to be IFAW’s Landscape Conservation Program.  More recently, he served as the Vice President for International Operations, working with offices around the world to implement IFAW’s mission globally.

Under Jason’s leadership, IFAW has worked to secure habitat for elephants in Southern and East Africa, as well as India and China. He has also been involved in elephant translocation projects, in one case moving an entire herd of 83 elephants from an area in the Phirilongwe region, Malawi where they were in constant violent conflict with local villages. He has also worked to ensure that the South African Government changed its approach to elephant management from one focused on managing elephant numbers with resultant culling, to a more scientifically sound approach focused on spatial management of elephant populations.

Jason believes that you cannot achieve impact for wild and community animals without the necessary support and buy-in of local people, and while leading IFAW Southern Africa he worked to engage communities as a critical part of both conservation and animal welfare impact.  

Jason also has a very keen interest in politics and advocacy, which stems from his work as a political campaigner during his graduate studies at the University of Pretoria. He is particularly interested in the nexus between science, politics and wildlife protection.


Researcher, University of Pretoria


Bachelor of Science, Zoology, University of Pretoria
Honors Degree, Ecology, University of Pretoria

Press contact

To schedule an interview with Jason Bell, contact:
Christina Pretorius
Communications Manager, IFAW Southern Africa
Tel: +27 (21) 701 8642
Mobile: +27 (82) 330 2558
Email: cpretorius@ifaw.org