The Snow Leopard Trust is pleased to announce Dr. Charudutt Mishra as our new Executive Director. Dr. Mishra, fondly known as ‘Charu’ has been with the Snow Leopard Trust for almost 20 years, first as head of India programs and later as Director of Science and Conservation across all five of our partner countries.
We are excited for Charu to take the helm as our first international Executive Director, and move the Snow Leopard Trust into an exciting new era. To support this change, we are creating a new position of Deputy Director who would be working closely with Charu and be responsible for guiding our Seattle-based operations.
A Veteran and Pioneer
Charu is both a veteran and pioneer of lasting conservation change.
In the late 1990s, Charu began working with villages in northern India to test and model community-centered conservation programs informed by ecological and social sciences, and he developed several community-based initiatives such as community-run livestock insurance programs and establishment of reserves run by village communities to enhance snow leopard and prey conservation. While doing field research and conservation, Charu also co-founded the Nature Conservation Foundation, the Trust’s India partner, and served as Executive Director of NCF from 2002 till 2008.
Today, Charu is on the forefront of modern conservation and conservation biology, exploring and implementing ways to balance the needs of threatened ecosystems and wild species with those of the rural poor.
Charu has so far published over 95 peer-reviewed papers on ecology and human-wildlife conflict and through his research has helped shape the science of human-centered conservation. His book on the principles of community-based conservation has become a standard and has been adopted into a training program for conservation practitioners. The impacts of his work are transforming environmental conflict management in Asia’s great mountains, benefiting some of the most iconic wildlife species and remote rural communities, and influencing global policies.
Charu helped draft the Bishkek Declaration for Protection of the Endangered Snow Leopard, and he was instrumental in helping develop the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (Snow Leopard Working Secretariat 2013), a unifying high-level inter-governmental alliance of all 12 snow leopard range countries.
Charu is recipient of prestigious international awards, including Whitely Gold Award presented by HRH Princess Royal and Sir David Attenborough (UK), Golden Ark Award for tangible achievements in protecting wild animal and plant species (The Netherlands), and India’s TN Khoshoo Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to the field of conservation and sustainable development. He was recently honored by his alma mater, Wageningen University, with the Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2019.