12 Feb 2014

BirdLife International announces Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson as Acting CEO

Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson is Acting CEO of BirdLife International
By Adrian Long

Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson

Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson is Acting CEO of BirdLife International after the recent resignation of Dr Marco Lambertini, who is joining WWF International as their Director General.

"Marco will be greatly missed by our Partnership of conservationists from around the world that together are BirdLife International", said Khaled Irani, BirdLife’s Chairman.

"BirdLife has clear strategic direction, with even greater ambition following our World Congress last year, and the move reflects the respect for the work and achievements of the entire BirdLife Partnership. I'm sure it will lead to even stronger collaboration between BirdLife and WWF".

“The BirdLife Partnership has never been stronger and better focused to push forward its conservation agenda to conserve birds and all nature, working with people towards sustainability”, said Marco Lambertini. “I consider BirdLife a very successful, vibrant and exciting organisation, with a unique model for conservation action.”

Khaled Irani added, “I am very pleased that Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson will assume immediate responsibility as BirdLife’s Acting CEO to work with Marco on transition, and to lead the organisation through to the appointment of a new CEO later this year. Hazell has a deep knowledge and understanding of the BirdLife Partnership and is highly respected throughout our organisation. He has the full support of our Council, and it is exciting to have an African Conservationist leading BirdLife as we implement our new strategic conservation objectives across the world”

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Hazell is currently BirdLife’s Global Director for Partnership, Capacity and Communities; prior to that he was the Regional Director of BirdLife International’s conservation programme in Africa.  An ornithologist by training, he has more than 25 years experience in management, capacity development, and strategic planning. He conducted the first comprehensive study of the rare White-necked Picathartes (Picathartes gymnocephalus) in West Africa; and is a past Vice-President of the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone

“I am excited and honoured to have been offered the opportunity to lead BirdLife through this transition”, said Hazell.  “With our strong, unique Partnership, democratic grass-roots governance and local to global capacity for conservation across the world, I am confident BirdLife is poised to build on its successes and continue to achieve even more of its conservation agenda through the transition and beyond.”

BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership. Together we are 120 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country or territory – and growing with 13 million members and supporters, over 7,000 local conservation groups, including action at 2,750 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) and involving 2.7 million children. BirdLife Partners manage or own 1,553 reserves or protected areas covering 4.3 million hectares of natural areas globally.  We employ 7,400 staff with a combined budget of US$ 539m.