Work & Experience
Extensive tertiary education augmented by 20 years of conservation-related work experience in project management, sustainability, environmental consulting, ecotourism and conservation photojournalism.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND TERTIARY TRAINING
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION EXCHANGE
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, North Carolina, USA
Awarded a semester abroad exchange scholarship with a focus on leadership and sustainability
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Graduated cum laude with 11 distinctions
MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
Centre for Wildlife Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Graduated with first-class honours
BACHELOR OF COMMERCE WITH HONOURS IN ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
FOUNDER AND CEO, NATURAL CAPITAL
- Implementing a dynamic and adaptive acquisitions strategy – combined with intimate knowledge of Africa and its concessions – to attract serious ESG-conscious investors.
- Bidding for high conservation value concessions through formal tender processes.
- Deal structuring and buying out distressed hunting companies to secure the underlying leases and create prime wilderness investment opportunities for HNWIs.
- Linking conservation-minded HNWIs with protected area investment opportunities where their considerable resources – and desire to improve the status quo – can drive much-needed investment into the neglected high value concession areas that surround, buffer and link national parks and other core conservation areas.
CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONSERVE GLOBAL
- Designing and co-creating a dynamic new conservation organisation that focus on effective conservation management of the protected area estate ‘beyond national parks’.
- Fundraising and donor development, as well as building a blended revenue model to achieve greater financial resilience for the organisation.
- Identifying, attracting and retaining top talent to grow the intellectual capacity available within Conserve, as well as recruiting and empowering the project teams for this ambitious new conservation organisation.
- Pro-actively addressing the conservation crisis unfolding in abandoned, neglected and under-resourced hunting blocks in Africa: an enormous and often-overlooked sector of the continent’s conservation estate.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GRUMETI FUND
Singita Grumeti Reserves, Western Serengeti, Tanzania
- Responsible for effectively managing and allocating an annual USD 5 million budget to safeguard and sustainably manage the 350,000-acre Singita Grumeti Reserves concession area in the western corridor of the world-renowned Serengeti ecosystem.
- Recruited and built one of the most experienced, professional and gender balanced senior management teams in the conservation sector (comprising a PhD, three double Masters and four Masters) driven by a clear vision and sense of shared purpose.
- Held the role of Executive Board Member, fully accountable to a Board of Trustees, investors and donors as well as familiar with 501(c)3, donor and grant reporting requirements.
- Delivered strategic guidance to 160 full-time conservation staff and 60 dry season contract workers within the operational divisions of conservation management, anti-poaching and law enforcement, community outreach, research and monitoring, and stakeholder engagement.
- Led a major restructure and streamlining of the Grumeti Fund that achieved significant efficiency gains and cost savings of USD 1.5 million annually against a backdrop of ongoing programmatic expansion.
- Secured sustainable, annuity-styled funding by co-designing and leading the Grumeti Fund external fundraising initiatives that saw third party contributions increased 4 500% to USD 3,240,958 during Steve’s five-year tenure
- Achieved a year-on-year reduction in illegal activities (i.e. poaching incidents and snares removed) with no elephants poached on the concession between 2015 and 2020, contributing to a quadrupling of the mammalian biomass since project inception.
PROGRAM MANAGER, SISHEKE CONSERVATION PROJECT
Javelin Capital & Javelin Zambia, South Africa and Zambia
- Designed and implemented a ground-breaking private-public partnership with the Barotse Royal Establishment to develop a 3,000,000-hectare commercial conservation venture in the Sisheke Chiefdom of southwest Zambia – a key region in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area
- Drafted the Sisheke Conservation Project concept note and developed the business plan.
- Conceptualised, negotiated and signed contractual agreements between Javelin Zambia, the Barotse Royal Establishment, Peace Parks Foundation and Nedbank Capital to catalyse the Sisheke REDD+ Carbon Project and unlock the immense carbon credit potential of this innovative and sustainable development project.
OPERATIONS MANAGER & HEAD GUIDE
Sausage Tree Camp & Old Mondoro Bush Camp, Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
- Head hunted to set up effective operational systems while nurturing and developing team capacity.
- Managed ecotourism operations and oversaw all daily wilderness activities.
- Supervised eight field staff, coordinated guide scheduling, and led canoe and walking safaris.
- Facilitated nature guide training and mentored local safari guides while actively participating on Conservation Lower Zambezi’s safari guides examination board.
- Collected field data and behavioural observations for the African Wild Dog Conservation (AWDC) and Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) predator research projects
OPERATIONS MANAGER & HEAD GUIDE
Apoka Safari Lodge, Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda
- Recruited to set up and operationalize a Dutch-funded sustainable ecotourism project in rural Uganda.
- Mentored, trained and directly supervised the work performance of 30 staff members.
- Managed the budget, processed payroll accounts and monitored project expenditures.
- Pioneered Uganda’s first walking safaris and introduced a comprehensive apprenticeship training program that produced northern Uganda’s first fully qualified safari field guides.
- Convened multi-stakeholder meetings, involving the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, Kidepo park warden, local communities and ecotourism enterprises, to cultivate and strengthen business relationships.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
MEMBER OF AFRICAN CLIMATE & DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE AT UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
- Achieved MBA Top Student Awards in Leadership and Operations Management at the UCT GSB
- Awarded an exchange scholarship to attend the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, USA
- Winner of the highly competitive CEO x1 Day competition – www.ceox1day.co.za
- Open Water Scuba Instructor, Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), USA
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTO-JOURNALISM
AVID ADVENTURER, TRAIL RUNNER, HIKER, MOUNTAIN CLIMBER AND SCUBA DIVER
ADVENTURE TRAVEL TO EXPERIENCE NEW PLACES AND DIVERSE CULTURES
CONSERVATION AND WILDLIFE