Sonya Kahlenberg is a wildlife conservationist with wide-ranging experience including two decades in the nonprofit sector, international field research, collegiate-level teaching, and leading impactful projects and teams around the globe. Her conservation work has centered on iconic flagship species, such as great apes and macaws, but also extends to landscape-level and holistic approaches working at the intersections of conservation, livelihoods, education, and health. 
Sonya took the role as Kasiisi Project’s Interim Executive Director in 2023 but is neither new to the project nor Kibale. She previously served as Kasiisi Project’s Assistant Co-Director, as an advisor, and on its Board of Directors. Sonya also studied chimpanzees in the Kanyawara sector of Kibale for her PhD and served as past Co-Director of the Kibale Snare Removal Program.
Prior to The Kasiisi Project, Sonya was Senior Director of Strategy and Operations for Legado, a global nonprofit working to ensure that conservation adopts a more holistic, locally-led approach. She was also the first Executive Director for the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center, an organization and gorilla sanctuary focused on Critically Endangered Grauer’s gorillas in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Sonya is also deeply committed to working alongside and advancing leadership by indigenous peoples and local communities and looks forward to working with the talented KFSP team to move their incredible work into its next chapter.