A new era at the Kasiisi Project


We have exciting news. As of March 15th 2023, I am stepping down as Executive Director, handing over the reins to Sonya Kahlenberg PhD., who will act as Interim Executive Director for at least the next 12 months. Sonya could not be more perfect for this role. She knows Kibale well. She did her doctoral research in Kibale National Park with chimpanzees and co-directed the Kibale Snare Removal Project with our Ugandan project director, Dr. Emily Otali, for two years. She was an early partner with the Kasiisi Project, serving as volunteer, advisor, co-director and for many years board member. She is an avid conservationist with wide-ranging experience including two decades in the nonprofit sector, international field research, collegiate-level teaching, and leading impactful projects around the globe. Her conservation work has centered on iconic flagship species, such as great apes, but also extends to landscape-level and community-centered approaches. She was the first Executive Director for the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center, an organization focused on Critically Endangered Grauer’s gorillas in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She helped build GRACE into an award-winning organization. Also, Sonya recently served as the Senior Director of Strategy and Operations for Legado, a nonprofit that works in Africa and Latin America to support holistic and community-centered approaches in conservation, and as Senior Advisor to the Macaw Recovery Network, which protects and recovers macaw populations in Costa Rica. She says she is excited to return to Uganda to help guide the Kasiisi Project towards an exciting future, but not as excited as we are to have her. I will stay on the Board to provide continuity, and we hope that you will continue to have the same confidence in the project and our work that you did with me, as we move, under Sonya’s expert guidance, into our next phase.

Elizabeth Ross
Executive Director: The Kasiisi Project