About BirdLife International

Who are we?

BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership. Together we are 120 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country or territory – and growing. 

We are driven by our belief that local people, working for nature in their own places but connected nationally and internationally through our global Partnership, are the key to sustaining all life on this planet. This unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.

BirdLife is widely recognised as the world leader in bird conservation. Rigorous science informed by practical feedback from projects on the ground in important sites and habitats enables us to implement successful conservation programmes for birds and all nature. Our actions are providing both practical and sustainable solutions significantly benefiting nature and people. 

“In our six intriguing years with BirdLife, we have been both astonished and inspired by what can be accomplished by a dedicated group with the passion, outreach, and professionalism of the BirdLife Partnerships. It is an amazing organisation.”

Margaret Atwood & Graeme Gibson, Joint Honorary Presidents of the BirdLife Rare Bird Club

How do we work?

Each BirdLife Partner is an independent environmental not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation or NGO. Most Partners are best known outside of the Partnership by their organisation’s name. This allows each Partner to maintain its individual national identity within the global PartnershipPerhaps you might recognise some of the 120 BirdLife International Environmental NGOs Partners  from their logos below.

BirdLife Partners work together in a collaborative, coordinated fashion across national boundaries to build a global Partnership of national conservation organisations.

The BirdLife partnership has 6 Regional BirdLife Coordination Offices throughout the world and a Global Office in Cambridge, UK – together known as “The BirdLife International Secretariat”. The Secretariat co-ordinate and facilitate the BirdLife International strategies, programmes and policies.


BirdLife in numbers

  • As the world’s largest nature conservation partnership BirdLife Interntional has more than 10 million members and supporters.
  • This comprises 2.72 million members, and 7.2 million people who supported BirdLife Partners in 2015 without being members.
  • BirdLife Partner Environmental NGOs worked with over 4,000 local groups, including action at more than 1,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas; and our work involved 1.9 million young people (under 18).
  • The BirdLife Partnership employs nearly 8,000 staff supported by 5,000 volunteers.
  • BirdLife partnership has a combined budget of US$ 636 million as of end of 2014.

Our Board


Honorary President


Her Imperial Highness

Princess Takamado of Japan

Honorary Vice-Presidents:


Baroness Barbara Young of Old Scone (UK)

Dr Gerard A Bertrand (USA)

Mr A P Leventis (UK)

Mr Ben Olewine IV (USA)

Mr Peter Johan Schei (Norway)









Chief Executive

Patricia Zurita


Khaled Anis Irani


Nick Prentice



Council of BirdLife International

 Africa: Achilles Byaruhanga (Uganda) and Idrissa Zeba (Burkina Faso)

 Asia: Sarath Wimalabandara Kotagama (Sri Lanka) and Shawn Lum (Singapore)

 Americas: Peg Olsen (USA), Jaqueline Goerk (Brasil) and Yvonne A Arias (Dominican Republic)

 Europe:  Nada Tosheva-Illieva (Bulgaria), Fred Wouters (Netherlands) and  Mike Clarke (UK)

 Middle East: Imad Atrash (Palestine) and Assad Adel Serhal (Lebanon)

 Pacific: Philippe Raust (French Polynesia) and Paul Sullivan (Australia)



 Our Executive Team





Director Partnership & Regions

Hazell Shokellu Thompson

Director of Science, Policy & Information 

Melanie Heath

Chief Development Officer

Phil Woollam

Director of Conservation

Richard Grimmett




Chief Operating Officer

John de Wet



 Our Regional Directors






Regional Director for Africa

Julius Arinaitwe

Regional Director for Americas

Esteban Lasso

Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia

Angelo Caserta

Regional Director for Middle East

Ibrahim Al-Khader



Regional Director for Pacific

Don Stewart

Regional Director for Asia

Vinayagan Dharmarajah


    See also: 

    Our Partners - where do we work?

    BirdLife's Honorary President

    BirdLife Secretariat Finances


    Next Page: Our Vision and How We Are Effective