Announcing the Mara Elephant Project Advisory Committee

In 2023, Mara Elephant Project will celebrate 12 years in conservation. Over that time, the organization has grown and adapted in a dynamic conservation landscape. MEP’s model remains focused on building partnerships to advance our mission and a deep organizational understanding that to solve global challenges senior leadership must rely on outside expert council to guide their process.

It’s with this in mind that MEP is honored to announce the establishment of an advisory committee to act as a guide for the organization as it continues to grow. The committee members will function as a sounding board for staff and offer insight, guidance and advice as and when required. Just as MEP’s rangers act as ambassadors in their communities, so too will members of the advisory committee as they’ll be tasked with raising awareness about MEP’s mission and impact within their networks to showcase the organization to new audiences.

Please welcome the inaugural members of the MEP Advisory Committee, a diverse, talented group of industry experts that MEP is honored to have guiding the organization.

Loic Amado

Loic is an accomplished business executive and entrepreneur with a strong focus on sustainability and social impact. Having previously worked as a Regional General Manager at Uber, he successfully launched and managed new markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This experience provided him with valuable insights into the transportation industry and deepened his understanding of sustainable mobility. Loic actively explored opportunities for collaboration with local communities and stakeholders to promote responsible and eco-friendly transportation options. As a General Partner at Ambo Ventures, a venture capital firm dedicated to promoting positive change through investing in climate startups, he has gained a wealth of knowledge in identifying and supporting impactful ventures. Through Ambo Ventures, he’s been at the forefront of driving investment in innovative and sustainable solutions across various sectors, including renewable energy, clean technology, ag tech and social enterprises. This experience has further deepened his commitment to addressing the climate crisis and finding sustainable solutions to pressing global challenges. Loic and his partner founded Emboo in 2019, the first carbon-neutral lodge in Africa. In his role as a Director, he drives strategic growth and business development and plays a leading role in implementing all sustainability initiatives.

Elsie Mbugua

Elsie is a passionate entrepreneur specializing in financial and technical advisory for energy and infrastructure transactions on the African Continent. She is an accomplished energy trader with extensive experience in global energy markets having worked for top financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and J.P Morgan in London, Houston and New York. Most recently, she has committed herself to working on challenging transactions in Energy and Infrastructure in East Africa and is considered a thought leader in East Africa’s energy markets. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Leadwood Energy, an award winning advisory firm specializing in the provision of oil and gas, renewable energy and climate change related transactions. She is also the co-founder of a charitable water infrastructure non-profit – Ekenywa – which provides access to clean water in rural parts of Kenya. She sits on the United States Board of the BOMA Project which deploys capital to women entrepreneurs in industries and sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change across Africa and is on the Board of Kenya Pipeline Corporation as the Technical Chair responsible for the company’s capital expenditure budget, projects and technical oversight.

Frank Ndiyo

Frank-Astère Ndiyo-Butoyi is an accomplished investment professional with over ten years of experience in investment banking and private equity with a specific focus on Africa. He has worked extensively in the United States, France, and Africa. For the past eight years, Frank held the position of Investment Director at Amethis, where he is responsible for overseeing investment and portfolio activities in East and Southern Africa. Amethis is a unique Private Equity platform that is exclusively dedicated to the African continent. As a member of the Edmond De Rothschild partnership, it employs investment tools designed to support African entrepreneurs and companies, with the ultimate goal of fostering the growth of African champions. Moreover, Amethis aims to make a positive impact on the economic development and inclusivity of the companies, countries and regions it invests in. Since 2018, Frank has relocated to Kenya to establish and manage Amethis operations in the East African region. During his time there, he has developed a profound affection for the country, particularly the communities and wildlife around Maasai Mara were for example he organized food drives to assist the Maasai communities during the challenging times of the COVID-19 crisis. Prior to joining Amethis, Frank achieved a successful career in Banking and Finance, having worked at renowned institutions such as Société Générale in New York, as well as HSBC, Natixis, and KPMG in Paris. Alongside his professional endeavors, Frank is an active contributor to various organizations and boards, including the East African Venture Capital Association, Ramco Group, and the French Chamber of Commerce in Kenya. He is a native of Burundi where he grew up and holds a master’s degree in Global Markets and Investment Banking from Dauphine University in Paris.

Valery Super

Valery Joanne Super is the co-founder of Painted Wolves Limited and CEO of its hospitality branch ‘Emboo River’, the region’s first carbon neutral safari destination. Valery sits on the Mara Tourism Stakeholders Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, supporting development projects within the greater Maasai Mara ecosystem. Valery is also the founder of sustainable fashion company Moto Moto. Valery’s background lies in International Criminal Law and diplomacy, and throughout her professional and personal life she has always had a focus on circularity and sustainability. Previous work experience includes roles with the International Criminal Court and roles as legal advisor and coordination officers within the EU and UN.

Jorge Vidal

Jorge is an investment director at the Liechtenstein Group, where he is responsible for the firm’s portfolio and investments in the agriculture & food and forestry sectors. The Group, owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein, has been investing over generations in sustainable and innovative business models and provides patient capital across the agriculture & food, forestry, renewable energy, and real estate sectors. In the past, he’s served as a senior vice president at McKinsey & Company, led the business transformation efforts of Galp and Abanca, worked as an investment professional at EBG Capital, the European Investment Bank and LeapFrog Investments, and as an entrepreneur in the farming and AgTech sectors in Spain and in West Africa. Jorge loves teaching and is an adjunct professor of strategy at IE Business School; and he’s taught in executive programs at other schools (e.g., MIT Sloan, Loyola University, University of Alicante, EF Business School). He is also a research fellow at the Center for African and Development Studies (CEsA) of University of Lisbon. Jorge has spent extensive periods of time in Africa, and he’s been to 100+ countries (and counting). He’s a voracious reader and collector and student of Contemporary African art, serving on Tate’s Africa Acquisition Committee.

"MEP recently launched our inaugural Advisory Committee. The committee members are esteemed leaders in their field from banking to social justice to sustainable and economic development sectors. They will help steward MEP and ensure that we remain fit for purpose and continually delivering as we recognise that elephant protection is not vacuous and has to be mainstreamed across all other relevant social, economic, cultural and political spheres. We are thrilled to have five new members of the MEP family and the team looks forward to creating long-lasting change solutions with them.”

MEP Chairperson Beatrice Karanja
Welcome Loic, Elsie, Frank, Valery and Jorge to the MEP herd.