OPP’s board and team come from different backgrounds, but all share a passion for conservation. The board and the team firmly believe that OPP’s community-led model of conservation will help to spearhead sustainable change in the landscape, creating a better future for both the people and primates who live along the Ontulili River.
Camille is a Kenyan born mural artist and landscape painter who spent 6 years at University in Italy learning Ancient Renaissance painting techniques, studying the History of Art, Museology and Collections. Camille paints murals on commission for international private & corporate clients, oil on canvas and tempera on panel which she exhibits locally and internationally.
Camille is passionate about the environment and was Secretary of Karura Forest, Nairobi (2010-2015) and coordinated the Lewa Conservancy Art for Schools Program sponsored by The Matisse Foundation (2016-2021) with the support of leading professional East African artists which enabled hundreds of children in rural towns gain exposure to alternative livelihood opportunities.
This program is now in line with Kenya’s new Competency-Based Curriculum. This initiative is now being replicated by Camille and interested donors near her home in Nanyuki whereby she hosts professional artists in residence who then give back by running children’s community art classes on weekends in support of bringing Art and Nature together for the benefit of the younger generation.
H.E. PROF JUDI WAKHUNGU
H.E. Prof Judi Wakhungu is Kenya’s Ambassador to France, Holy See, Portugal, Serbia and Monaco. From 2013 to 2018 she served as Kenya’s Minister of Environment & Natural Resources. Her legislation during her tenure as Minister is globally unmatched.
These include banning single use plastic bags in Kenya in 2017; leading burning of Kenya’s ivory & rhino horn stockpiles in 2016 to curb illegal wildlife trade; enacting the Wildlife & Conservation Act 2013; Climate Change Act 2016; Water Act 2016; amending Environment Act 2015 & Forestry Act 2015. Leading the Waste Management Bill, and many other Environment & Conservation Regulations.
Prof Wakhungu is a recipient of many Awards including Honorary Doctorate of Science from University of Reading, Oceans Award 2018, Clark R, Bavin Award 2016, Distinguished Alumni Awards from Penn State University & St. Lawrence University. As Kenya’s first woman pioneer in Geology, she has the distinction of mentoring many STEM students. She will also serve as the Ontulili Primates Protection patron.
Alpana Patel is a 64-year-old Kenyan citizen currently residing in Nanyuki and is a well-respected business woman and entrepreneur who owns a popular local restaurant.
She has lived in the Laikipia area where conservation and environment are issues that have become close to her heart. She is the Vice Chairman of the local Nanyuki Cottage Hospital and has served on their Board for the last 25 years.
Alpana was Chair of the Jane Goodall Institute Kenya Trust for primates for over 20 years which was a voluntary position and during that time she organized fundraisers as well as conservation activities in collaboration with Dr. Jane Goodall and also started her Roots & Shoots tree planting and conservation projects.
Celline Achieng’s commitment to environmental and sustainable natural resource management, is driven more by her love of nature and a clean environment; formal education has just enhanced this.Celline has over two decades in the environment, natural resource management, and conservation sector in the Eastern Africa region and beyond and is the incoming Executive Director of Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF).
Prior to joining LWF, Celline worked with the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Umande Trust, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS), Africa Nazarene University (ANU) and Wetlands International.Celline holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Kenyatta University and a Bachelor of Science (Botany and Zoology) degree from Moi University Nairobi, Kenya.
She is also an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Audit (EA) Lead Expert, registered with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and therefore a member of the Environment Institute of Kenya (EIK) and a member of the East Africa Wildlife Society.
Celline enjoys traveling, particularly to remote and scenic areas, exploring new places and meeting people with diverse cultural backgrounds. Celline is delighted to join the Ontulili Primates Protection Board.
Eric Murungi is a talented and dependable Accountant with over 10 years’ experience in Financial Management and is currently doing a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management, Graduate in B/com. Eric is a certified public Accountant Kenya (CPAK) and has demonstrated organizational and management skills in Project Management.
He is able to prioritize multiple and complex tasks and works independently when required being a dedicated Team Leader. He is known for working above and beyond the call of duty. Eric currently works as a Finance Manager at Sam Elimu Foundation in Nanyuki Kenya.
Donna Shepperd is a born Canadian who has spent her grown-up life permanently based on the continent of Africa, working for the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo in the countries of Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Togo and Benin. She works with different wildlife species, but has focused most on hippopotamus, mountain bongo, and western sitatunga.
In Donna’s international conservation work, spanning 25 years now, her emphasis is on long term biodiversity monitoring studies, community approaches to conservation, and training of young scientists. Donna’s teams are dedicated to bringing tangible, measurable programs to nature and people for the benefit of both.
Donna is passionately committed to the protection of wild spaces and wild species, with the overall goal ensuring her life is a legacy to a healthy planet. Sheppard has devoted her life to this endeavour.
Now based in Kenya in the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo’s Mountain Forest Conservation Partnership with Rhino Ark Kenya Charitable Trust, Donna is leading Kenyan field teams striving to research and recover the critically endangered mountain bongo.
Donna also loves climbing mountains, discovering other African countries and travel adventures and doing yoga. She is an avid football fan, and has a Master’s degree in primatology (following a study conducted on Redtail monkeys in Budongo Forest, Uganda) and recently completed her doctoral degree looking at conservation values in West Africa, documenting sacred forests found in Liberia and Ghana.
Alice Frederick is a retired agricultural teacher and therefore very knowledgeable on matters relating to Agricultural Conservation. She is a former patron of the 4k club: Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya which loosely translates as coming together, to act and help Kenya.
Alice believes in communal development that engages everyone around her. She has experience of bringing women together and started a project called table banking which has seen several of her community members educate their children and construct permanent houses.
She’s also a dedicated family member, a mother and wife and a small-scale farmer who is determined to see the conservation of the Ontulili river and forest by the promotion of environmental conservation, protection of the primates and adoption of conservation agriculture. Alice firmly believes human beings can peacefully and harmoniously co-exist with knowledge and the right information.
Faith’s career in environmental conservation begun during her childhood days, during then residents from her community used to suffer from animal raiding the farm from Tsavo national park. Her interest in studying environmental conservation sparked. She currently holds a master’s degree in environmental pollution and a degree in environmental education. She believes the right attitude and perception can drive a positive change in environmental conservation. To her there is no problem that exist in the field of conservation without a solution. Faith has a vast experience in community conservation.
OPP is privileged to have two advisory members support the organization’s efforts.
Deborah is working as an advisory consultant in the initial set up and development stages of the program. Deborah brings a wealth of knowledge from the private sector, including business management, large scale partnership management and program management. Deborah is currently working at the African Management Institute as a Senior Partnerships and Program Manager, but comes from a long family background in wildlife conservation and is passionate about preserving East Africa’s natural environment and wild species.
Wanjiku is currently the Communications Manager at Maliasili, an organization that exists to enable talented local conservation organizations to become more effective at what they do, overcome their challenges, and achieve greater impact. Prior to this, Wanjiku worked for eight years at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy as the Senior Communications Officer and at Space for Giants as a Communications Manager. Wanjiku now lives in Nanyuki and joins the team on the Board as well as bringing her many years of knowledge in conservation communications.
MARCUS NGUGI GITAU
Marcus leads operations at Mea LABs, an entity of Mea Ltd. Marcus has 5 years of
experience in the agricultural sector, with an emphasis on innovation and development. He
is a graduate of Sussex University ranked number one in the world for Development. His Masters thesis identified a trajectory towards sustainable agricultural practices in Kenya, for which he received a Distinction. He will be working with the local community about best agricultural practices, planting trees and educational support for the primate project.