Dr Max Graham
Founder and CEO
Max Graham is a fluent Kiswahili speaker who has worked on environment and development projects in Afghanistan, Ecuador, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Gabon. He has been involved in elephant research and conservation since 2000 and in 2006 was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has published numerous scientific papers on elephant behaviour, human-elephant conflict and wildlife conservation, and in 2012 became a member of the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group. Max is a visiting academic of the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge and the chairman of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum’s Conservation Committee. He has been based in north central Kenya for more than a decade.
Director of Legal Strategy
For 15 years, Shamini applied her keen analytical and communication skills in her career as a criminal barrister in Britain before moving into the field of legal diplomacy and capacity building on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She initially focused on building legislative, prosecutorial and judicial capacity in counter-terrorism in Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, and also in wildlife trafficking in Kenya. Using a combination of technical expertise and an ability to communicate with and persuade many different audiences, she has achieved tangible impact in conflict environments namely in Mogadishu and Hargeisa. More recently, in the context of wildlife trafficking, in Kenya, Botswana and Uganda she has instigated changes in national prosecution policy, agreement on inter-agency cooperation and measures to reduce delay in the progress of criminal trials. She currently directs the law enforcement strand of Giants Club activities.
Dr Lauren Evans
Co-Founder and Director of Conservation
Lauren has worked in elephant conservation in East Africa for 12 years, carrying out a PhD and post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge on human-elephant conflict (HEC) and the politics of elephant conservation in Kenya. She has coordinated Space for Giants’ research and conservation work since the organisation was established. This has included developing regional and national HEC-mitigation strategies in Amboseli, Laikipia and Gabon; understanding elephant behaviour in the context of HEC; assessing the social and political impact of electrified fencing; and working out how to secure land for wildlife amid Africa’s surging economic growth.
George has more than 10 years of experience in remote sensing and GIS work. His world-class skills have supported Kenya’s leading research institutions with mapping and GIS analysis solutions. His daily tasks involve working with leading software programmes and emerging applications to create and maintain GIS and RS data and/or maps, which are combined with geographically-referenced data on land use, land cover, environment, infrastructure, administrative details, in support of Space for Giants’ conservation management.
Laikipia Project Officer
A member of the Space for Giants team since early 2013, Sammy now helps implement our Laikipia field programmes. Sammy collects all the data coming in from the field and keeps a close eye on the movements of our collared bull elephants. He works closely with Daniel, Wahome and our scouts to mitigate human-elephant conflict, and helps to monitor the illegal killing of elephants, as well as assisting to roll out our drama group across the county.
Joseph Wahome identifies and monitors those elephants in Laikipia whose behaviour drives the greatest challenge that the species faces: conflict with people. These are the fence breakers and the crop raiders. Joseph’s work often includes taking calculated risks to get close to the subjects of his research, when his many years of paramilitary training stands him in good stead. The information he collects is critical to help Space for Giants to understand problem elephants and how best to manage them. Joseph has recently been equipped with tools like camera traps and an early warning system that alerts him when certain collared elephants are nearing fences. These new technologies are helping Joseph to provide a greater variety of information regarding ‘problem animals’ and their behaviour.
Charles focuses on monitoring the illegal killing of elephants. He monitors movements of elephants in poaching hotspots on a daily basis, and gathers information on potential poaching risks. He is also responsible for reporting any incidences of the death of an elephant, be it by natural or illegal causes.
Laikipia Programme Manager
Maurice is a passionate Conservation Biologist from the Netherlands with his roots firmly in Africa. He spent the two years before joining the Space for Giants team exploring the world, trying to make himself a successful photographer and leading a snow leopard research study in Nepal. Working towards ensuring the future of the world’s last wild places as well as the animals and communities that depend on them is Maurice’s main passion. Securing a future for our gentle Giants fits that bill.
Born in Kenya but raised in Britain, Mike spent the decade between 2005 and 2015 as Africa Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. Of all the news that he covered, he found himself repeatedly drawn to stories of how global environmental challenges will most likely be most acutely felt in Africa, which has contributed so little to causing the damage in the first place. Conservation – of species and environments, but also of the opportunity for people sustainably to benefit from their natural resources – seems to Mike to be the number one issue of importance facing modern Africa. Space for Giants, with its attention on securing space but also to winning crucial local communal and political will for that, is a perfect fit for Mike’s post-journalism career. A key part of his work with be to gather a small group of African journalists working for their national media in all four Giants Club countries, who will become Space for Giants African Conservation Journalism Fellows. Having Africans report strong stories of African-led conservation success to African media audiences is key to global success in our work, Mike believes.
Executive Director, Space for Giants USA
Martha is the former executive director of Aspen Valley Land Trust and has worked in land conservation and land use for decades. She is a former newspaper publisher, business owner and local official, and has been involved with dozens of nonprofit organizations both as a board member and staff. Martha is deeply committed to issues impacting the long-term survival and prosperity of elephants and all species. She has been involved with Space for Giants since 2010 and works from her office in Colorado.
Philanthropy Director, Space for Giants USA
Lexi Bowes-Lyon uses her knowledge and connections of the art world to stage unique events to raise funds and create social awareness of the plight of Africa’s elephants. She is instrumental in working with donors to fund critical projects and is at the forefront of innovation and forward thinking on how the philanthropic community can stay current in today’s world. She is deeply committed to conservation and her love of the natural world. Lexi grew up in Scotland and now lives and works in New York City.