On April 1, 2023, Dr. Luthando Dziba is joining the Wildlife Conservation Society as its East Africa, Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean Regional Director, based in Kigali.

A renowned conservationist in Africa and internationally, Dr. Dziba brings more than 15 years of experience in the conservation and nature-based tourism sectors. He recently worked as the Managing Executive for the Conservation Services Division at South African National Parks (SANParks), where he also served as Acting CEO.

Dr. Emma Stokes, WCS Vice President of Field Conservation, said: “We look forward to welcoming Dr. Dziba to WCS’s Global Conservation Program. He brings with him extensive management and conservation leadership experience, along with a passion for science, and policy. Dr. Dziba will lead an excellent team of WCS colleagues across Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya and look to strengthen and expand our conservation impact in the region.”

WCS’s Global Conservation Program leads the organization’s mission to conserve a portfolio of the world’s largest and most ecologically intact wild places on the planet, providing habitat for more than 50 percent of the world’s biodiversity, supporting abundant populations of the world’s most magnificent wildlife, and sustaining over 300 million of the world’s most vulnerable people. WCS’s East Africa, Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean Region uses science and conservation to help protect some of the world’s most spectacular wild places and wildlife. Through its regional programs, WCS builds capacity and support via partnerships with Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, local decision-makers, regional stakeholders, and national governments. 

At SANParks, Dr. Dziba led various programmes including veterinary services, scientific services, conservation planning and cultural heritage covering a wide range of areas that contribute to SANParks’ core mandate. He also led SANPark’s participation in international agreements such as Transfrontier Conservation Areas. Dr. Dziba has been an advisor to South Africa’s delegations to IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) plenaries, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). He serves as the Co-chair of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and on the Advisory Board of Witwatersrand University’s Global Change Institute. He brings extensive experience in managing and advising large national and international institutions across the public, private, and academic sectors.

Before joining SANParks, Dr. Dziba managed the Ecosystem Services research area at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), leading a team of researchers undertaking cutting edge research on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Coastal Systems and Earth Observation.

Dr. Dziba also is a member of various boards, including the Board of Trustees of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and of the National Parks Trust, and the Boards of WWF Netherlands and Leadership for Conservation in Africa. He holds a PhD in Rangeland Science from Utah State University (USU) and an Executive Development Programme Certificate from Wits University Business School.