Mara Elephant Project UK

Mara Elephant Project UK (MEP UK) is committed to supporting the conservation efforts in the Greater Mara Ecosystem. Through fundraising and building partnerships, our mission is to provide critical resources and support efforts to protect and preserve the African elephant population and their habitat, while also promoting the sustainability and well-being of local communities. MEP UK aims to achieve three main goals in support of work in the Greater Mara Ecosystem. First, we seek to raise funds to support MEP’s conservation efforts in Kenya, including anti-poaching operations, community outreach programs, and wildlife research initiatives. Second, we aim to build partnerships with individuals, organizations, and businesses in the UK to increase awareness and support for elephant conservation and sustainability in the Greater Mara Ecosystem. Finally, we strive to promote education and awareness about the importance of elephant conservation and sustainability to the wider public in the UK, with the goal of inspiring positive change for the benefit of both wildlife and communities in the Mara region.

MEP UK is a registered entity with Companies House in the United Kingdom, operating as a Private Limited Company by guarantee. Incorporated on August 10, 2023, with the company registration number 15061934. MEP UK is a registered UK Charity (number 1208374), recognized on May 23, 2024.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

chairperson

Alexandra is passionate about the intersection between human development and wildlife. She has more than 15 years of experience in fundraising, communications and strategy development in support of wildlife conservation organisations across Africa, especially Kenya. She has helped teams foster strong relationships with donors, hold high-level fundraising and networking events, build robust fundraising mechanisms and more. She currently lives in London with her husband and three children, and looks forward to escaping on safari as often as possible.

treasurer

Kevin Rodrigues is an investment professional with over 18 years of global investment experience spanning Africa, Europe, South East Asia, Latin America and North America with a focus on venture capital and private equity. He is an active angel investor and entrepreneur with investments in several consumer and technology start ups in Europe, Africa and the US. Kevin currently works as the Regional Managing Director and Head of Europe at bp Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of bp. Over his extensive career, Kevin has worked for Credit Suisse First Boston, International Finance Corporation, Lightrock and Palladium. Kevin holds an MBA from London Business School, UK and a B.A. (Economics) from Northwestern University, USA.

secretary

Genevieve Hennessy-Barrett is Co-Founder and Director Impact for 4G Capital, a mission focussed financial inclusion fintech delivering working capital loans and business training to micro and small enterprises (MSEs)  in Kenya and Uganda.  The company has positively impacted over 1.5 million people across East Africa and has been a B-Corporation since 2018.  4G Capital’s success is directly linked to the success of its clients and the well-being of its 1000+ staff members.  Genevieve’s first career was in nursing.  Her specialty was infectious and tropical diseases and she held a variety of senior roles in the United Kingdom and India. She also founded a medical training organisation in East Africa with 5 years as the United Nations hostile environment medical training specialist in Somalia and South Sudan.  She attributes her collaborative, people-focussed and detail-oriented approach to her previous experience working with teams in high-pressure life-and-death situations.

trustee

Lavinia Calza is a cultural producer, curator and art advisor living between London, New York and Kenya. After spending many years working at Sotheby’s as a specialist in 20th Century Art, she founded ARTLabAfrica, based in Nairobi, an incubator and cultural platform focused on developing and raising awareness of experimental art from Africa. In 2016 she opened The LAB, an artist-led non-profit project space in Nairobi that focuses on arts education and dissemination. Lavinia is excited to explore opportunities for including artists in the conservation discourse, providing a unique context where scientists, environmentalists and researchers can work alongside visual artists, musicians, writers and poets to explore new ideas and investigative approaches.

trustee

Tom Usher is the CEO of a UK-based charity, campaigning on public access, land regeneration and National Parks Policy. His major focus is the protection and preservation of the largest wilderness in Southern England- Dartmoor National Park. A former British Army Officer with operational experience in the Balkans and Afghanistan, Tom has also been a member PwC’s market-leading Restructuring team, specialising in financial turnaround of failing public sector entities. His previous non-exec/Trustee positions include Trustee of Dartmoor Multi-Academy Schools Trust, a 17 site, 2,500 child educational organisation. The Guardian Newspaper; Editorial Advisory Board Member  on the Public Leaders Network Board and panel judge on Public Service award and UK public servant of the year.

trustee

Rikki Double is the CEO & Partner at Zeus UAV Limited. One of the founder members of Zeus UAV Limited since it began in 2017, designing and building unmanned aerial platforms and payloads in the U.K. for use worldwide in various scenarios. The Zeus Group of companies also provide training and support services. Rikki is a keen conservationist who balances a busy work schedule with charitable activities.

STAFF

MEP UK’s first staff person starts on June 1, 2024.