David Banks leads The Nature Conservancy’s Africa team. After earning his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Natural Resource Management at the Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA), David held leadership positions for the Conservancy in Indiana and Alaska before being named Africa director in 2007. See the links below to read articles by and about David.
David in the News
Banks and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Zambia comment on the Great Elephant Census for National Geographic. Read the article
David Banks reacts to the results of the Great Elephant Census in The New York Times. Read the article
Africa program director David Banks shares his experiences in the field and views on conservation in his ongoing column. Hear from David
David recalls the wonders and occasional horrors of a scientific survey in Africa's newest and largest marine reserve. Read post
The second leg of David's two-week journey takes him to Zambia's Kafue National Park and to visits with tribal elders. Read post
On the first leg of a two-week project tour, David travels to the Mahale Mountains and visits villagers along Lake Tanganyika. Read post
Kenya’s first new national park in 25 years will provide long-term benefits to wildlife and people. Read post
Stark contrasts between Tanzania and Ethiopia convince David that conservation must connect with people. Read more
David reflects on the first gathering of elders from Tanzania's Hadza people and their imperiled lands and culture. Explore
David Banks joins Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants to capture and collar an elephant for tracking. Explore
Regional Managing Director of Africa
David Banks leads The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to protect wildlife and wild places in Africa, the cradle of humanity.
David traces his career path from Texas, where he grew up exploring his grandfather’s ranch by foot and on horseback. His roots in nature inspired him to serve others and do his part to leave the world a better place.
As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, David worked with communities to help restore forests in the West African Sahel. He joined the Conservancy in 1994 as an intern in Indiana, where he was finishing his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Natural Resource Management at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). He went on to lead the organization’s work in Alaska, spending time “in the bush” with wolves and grizzlies and cementing his love of untamed nature. He was named Africa director in 2007.
For David, Africa represents Earth’s last best chance to protect vast landscapes that still function much as they have for millions of years. Twenty years after first discovering the wonders of Africa’s landscape and people, David returned to the continent where he feels most at home. He lives with his wife and two sons in Arusha, Tanzania.