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Photo from the Upper Tana Watershed in Kenya.
The Nature Conservancy is working to protect the Upper Tana Watershed in Kenya and provide cleaner, more reliable water for Nairobi. The Nature Conservancy is working to protect the Upper Tana Watershed in Kenya and provide cleaner, more reliable water for Nairobi. © Nick Hall

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Ademola Ajagbe joins The Nature Conservancy as Regional Managing Director, Africa

Headshot for Ademola Ajagbe - Regional Managing Director, Africa
Ademola Ajagbe Headshot Headshot for Ademola Ajagbe - Regional Managing Director, Africa © Ademola Ajagbe / TNC

Today, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced that Ademola Ajagbe, a recognized conservation leader, fundraiser, and manager, has been named as the organization’s regional managing director, Africa. Mr. Ajagbe, most recently Africa regional director for BirdLife International, will begin his new role on December 1, 2021, and will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mr. Ajagbe brings 20 years’ experience working in conservation across Africa. He has worked at the intersection of the environment and development sectors to deliver solutions that benefit people and nature. In this new role, Mr. Ajagbe will lead TNC’s efforts to execute strategies in Africa to address some of the planet’s biggest challenges leveraging his strong background working with international organizations, inter-governmental agencies, and the business sector.

“Ademola is joining TNC at exactly the right time as we work to tackle the dual biodiversity and climate crises,” said Matt Brown, managing director for global conservation at TNC. “His background working in conservation across Africa coupled with his tremendous leadership skills will help take our work to the next level as we strive to protect the continent’s unique natural wonders, improve people’s lives, and support vibrant and sustainable economies.”

TNC’s work in Africa spans nine countries and includes working with local communities to strengthen community resource rights, governance, and livelihoods; leveraging public-private partnerships that invest to preserve freshwater; and combining science with government relations and innovative financing to protect the ocean.

“The African continent is the most vulnerable to climate change’s effects. Yet, it’s also poised to play a leading role in fighting it,” said Ajagbe. “From ambitious renewable energy targets and smart development to protecting freshwater resources to influencing the way in which land is used to increase agricultural yields sustainably, The Nature Conservancy is working across the region on smart, science-based, collaborative, and scalable solutions. I’m looking forward to joining the organization at such a critical time to help us deliver on our goals.”

Prior to his appointment as director of BirdLife International’s Africa program, Mr. Ajagbe served as head of conservation and team leader for conservation action and policy at the organization. He has also held senior roles at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Geomatics Nigeria, Zartech Agricultural Farm, and Yankari National Park.   

He holds a B.Tech. degree in fisheries and wildlife from Federal University of Technology in Akure, Nigeria and a Master of Science degree in conservation biology from A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, University of Jos, Nigeria.

A native of Nigeria, he is an avid birdwatcher, and in his spare time, enjoys long walks in the wild, beholding the wonders and beauty of nature.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.