Matthew Hatchwell joins ZSL as Director of Conservation

Former WCS Europe CEO to oversee Zoological Society of London field projects in over 50 countries. 

ZSL is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Hatchwell as its new Director of Conservation.   

Matthew Hatchwell
Matthew Hatchwell, Director of Conservation at ZSL

In this role, Hatchwell – a former CEO for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Europe – will be responsible for driving ZSL’s field conservation programmes in more than 50 countries worldwide, working alongside governments, NGO partners and local communities to protect a wide range of species and habitats. 

Alongside the Society’s many projects across the globe, he will also work with pioneering scientists from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology to ensure their research, along with insights gained through ZSL’s two world-class Zoos, continue to shape its cutting-edge approach to field conservation. 

Commenting on his new role, due to commence from mid-June, Hatchwell, said: “ZSL is a unique organisation and one that I am excited to be part of. Tracing its roots all the way back to the foundation of the world’s first scientific zoo in 1826, it has evolved to become one of the world’s leading conservation organisations. 

“Having worked alongside the Society’s conservationists on a range of collaborative projects during my time at WCS, I have witnessed their effectiveness first-hand and it’s a great honour to have the opportunity to steer this organisation going forward, and contribute to this vital work.”

Hatchwell joins ZSL following a 30-year career with WCS, where he most recently served as Director for International Policy and Programme Development. In this role, his priorities included increasing the engagement of conservation organisations in implementing the World Heritage Convention; overseeing forest policy; and mitigating impacts of the extractives industry on biodiversity. 

Prior to this, Hatchwell served as Chief Executive for WCS Europe, having previously overseen in-country teams in Madagascar – where he was instrumental in the creation of Masoala and Sahamalaza/Iles Radama National Parks – and Congo, where he helped to establish Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and co-managed a capacity-building programme for protected area staff. Hatchwell has also co-authored books on Masaola and the role of zoos and aquaria in in-situ wildlife conservation. 

ZSL’s Director General Ralph Armond, said: “Promoting and achieving the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats is fundamental to ZSL’s charitable mission, so I’m delighted to welcome Matthew to the Board of Directors and am confident that his considerable experience will make a significant contribution to furthering this vital work.”

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