Dr. Winnie Kiiru – Executive Director


Dr. Winnie Kiiru is a highly accomplished research scientist and wildlife biologist with over 25 years of experience in wildlife management, environmental policy, and global environmental advocacy. She is a thought leader in the wildlife and environmental space, known for her strategic leadership and dedication to conservation in East Africa. Dr. Kiiru has excelled in governmental and non-governmental roles, focusing on organizational leadership, strategic planning, resource mobilization, and financial management. She’s also been a mentor for women in conservation leadership, promoting gender equality and diversity.

Since February 2023, Dr. Kiiru has served as the Executive Director of Mpala, where she continues to advance research, environmental policy, and cross-sectoral conservation partnerships. She was on the inaugural Board of Trustees of the Wildlife Research and Training Institute and  she contributed immensely to the establishment of the institute. Additionally, she has chaired The Board of Karura Forest for the last seven years, preserving the legacy of Professor Wangari Maathai.

In recognition of her contributions to conservation, Dr. Kiiru received the Order of the Grand Warrior Award in 2022 and the Woman of Excellence Award in 2016. She earned her Doctorate in Biodiversity Management from the University of Kent in 2012, focusing on human-elephant conflict around Amboseli National Park in Kenya.