© John Dickens
Robert-Jan van Ogtrop
Position: Chairman

Robert-Jan van Ogtrop is the former CEO of Bols Royal Distilleries and subsequently became CEO of Remy Cointreau, prior to becoming an industrial partner at CVC Capital Partners where he is currently on the advisory board. Recently Robert-Jan became a partner at Phatisa, a private equity firm operating in Africa. Furthermore, he is the Founder and acting Chairman of the Circle Economy, a social enterprise with the goal to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and continues to be an active investor in companies with the objective of making them circular focused. Robert-Jan proactively pursues opportunities in which he can combine his business experience with activities focused on nature conservation and on development in Africa, amongst others as chairman of African Parks, chairman of the TBL Mirror Fund, as a board member of the Wilderness Foundation and as a founder of the Foundation for Natural Leadership. He is also a non-executive board member at various companies..

Mavuso Msimang
Position: Board Member

Mavuso Msimang has a BSc and an MBA from the US International University in California. He was a senior member of the African National Congress and served on the Military High Command of Umkonto we Sizwe. In 1977 he joined the United Nations, working in Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia. He subsequently worked for the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and CARE International as Country Director in Ethiopia and Kenya before being appointed Head of Emergency Planning for WUSC working out of Ottawa, Canada. He returned to South African in 1993 and served in a number of positions including Executive Director of SA Tourism, CEO of South African National Parks (SANParks) and CEO of the State Information Technology Agency. Mavuso was one of the original Founders of African Parks.


Valentine Chitalu
Position: Board Member

Valentine Chitalu is a United Kingdom qualified accountant and holds a Masters Degree in Development Economics from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. Valentine is an entrepreneur in Zambia and Southern Africa, specialising in private equity and local private sector development. Until December 2003, Valentine worked for CDC/Actis in London and Lusaka. He was previously Chief Executive Officer at the Zambia Privatisation Agency. Valentine also worked for KPMG Peat Marwick in the United Kingdom in the early part of his career. Valentine holds several Board positions in Zambia, Australia, South Africa (Super Group Ltd) and the United Kingdom (CDC Group Plc) and he is Chairman of Zambian Breweries, MTN (Zambia) Ltd and the Phatisa Group, a Pan African Equity Group with US$290 million under management. Valentine has served on the Board of African Parks Zambia from its inception.

James Lembeli
Position: Board Member

James Lembeli was educated in Tanzania and completed his Diploma in Journalism. He is currently studying for his MA in Communication through Leicester University, UK. He started his career as a Bank Clerk with the Central Bank, then as a journalist with Kiongozi Newspaper. James was then appointed as Public Relations Officer for the Co-operative Union of Tanzania before moving to Germany where he was presenter/editor for Radio Berlin International, and then Radio Deutsche Welle. From March 1994 until 2005 James was appointed as Chief Manager for Public Relations for Tanzania National Parks. Since 2005 James has served as a Member of Parliament.

Peter Fearnhead
Position: Chief Executive Officer, African Parks

Peter Fearnhead is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of African Parks. He has been involved in formal conservation since the age of 13, where in his native Zimbabwe he developed a 2,000-acre wildlife reserve on the school campus. He graduated with a BSc in Agric Economics from the University of Natal and an MSc in Agric and Resource Economics from the University of Oxford. His professional career started as a management consultant with Deloitte specializing in strategy, before joining South African National Parks (SANParks), where he held a number of positions, including Resource Economist, Advisor to the CEO, and then Head of Commercial Development. Peter has been at the forefront of innovations in conservation for over twenty years particularly where this has involved crowding-in the commercial sector as a conservation strategy. Amongst other initiatives, Peter conceptualized and implemented the commercialization program at SANParks turning the organization around from near bankruptcy; established a mechanism whereby the South African Government funded land acquisition to expand parks; concluded multiple contract-park agreements which expanded the national conservation footprint; formulated African Parks; and established the African Parks Endowment Fund. Today African Parks manages 10 protected areas in 7 countries, covering 6 million hectares.

Rosette Chantal Rugamba
Position: Board Member

An 18 year veteran in the tourism sector, Rosette is the founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa, a Tourism and Business Conservation Consultancy firm and Luxury Tour Company based in Rwanda, operating throughout East Africa. In 2003, she was appointed Director General of Rwanda tourism (ORTPN) where she drove the revitalisation and development of tourism in post conflict Rwanda and conservation of the three national parks in Rwanda. She spearheaded the formation of the first trans-boundary collaboration between Rwanda, Uganda and DRC to form the Greater Virunga Trans-boundary collaboration in the pursuit to protect the Mountain Gorilla. Currently, she serves as Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on sustainable tourism in Africa. Rosette has served as Deputy CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and was appointed as a board member of African Parks Network in 2013.

Ted Woods
Position: Board Member

Ted Woods is an African who has worked primarily in the financial sector across his career.  He is a Chartered Accountant with Chartered Financial Analyst and MBA qualifications.  He was Chief Executive of Deutsche Bank’s businesses in South Africa and he is a non-Executive Director of Standard Bank Group, which has operations in 20 African countries.

Ted holds close interests in conservation and wildlife management, and is currently working on a formal project in Kruger National Park involving 265 tree species found within the park. Ted brings to the Board of African Parks Network not only his knowledge and decades of experience, but also a deep commitment to Africa, and a passion for conservation of its magnificent flora, fauna and landscapes.