The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has appointed Dr. Tom Ogilvie-Graham as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 3, 2018. He succeeds Dr. Patrick J. Bergin who retired in June 2017 after 27 years at AWF, 16 of them as CEO.
The appointment capped a seven-month international search. With over 30 years of experience in conservation, security, post-conflict reconstruction, humanitarian work, sustainable development, fundraising, and international relations, Tom will steer AWF to the next strategic level of achieving its mission of ensuring wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa.
Making the announcement, AWF Board Chair Heather Haaga said: “Tom is a highly accomplished zoologist and veterinarian who has acted on the international stage as a UK military representative on environmental policy and advised entities such as the British Parliament, Zoological Society of London, and Lewa Downs Conservancy in Kenya.”
Tom joins AWF from the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group – the only charitable provider of expert eye care in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem – which he brought to new levels of success. He is credited with developing new major funding streams, building hospitals in Gaza and Hebron, increasing access to medical services, and setting up a genetic research program with Hadassah University Medical Center during his four-year tenure.
CEO of the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group – Tom’s vision for all breaks conflict barriers
VetRecord – Ten-minute chat
Tom Ogilvie-Graham, MBE, is commanding officer of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) – a unit of highly motivated soldiers that cares for the ceremonial horses and the growing team of dogs deployed in operational units
What made you become an Army vet?
I took an Army bursary when I was in my second year at Edinburgh, partly as I wanted to join the Services, and partly as I needed cash to cover my point-to-point expenses!
I was always keen on horses, hunting quite a lot as well as racing, hunter trials and so on, and this helped me secure postings to both the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery (whose horses pull the guns that fire Royal salutes), and the Household Cavalry. I took a doctorate in equine behaviour when I was at the Household Cavalry, and also studied this during a Fulbright scholarship at Cornell. On other academic development, I qualified as a barrister from the Inns of Court and took a Masters at Reading. Along the way, I’ve also taken a number of military courses: the one that gave me the most satisfaction was qualifying as a paratrooper (the parachuting bit is relatively easy but the selection beforehand is quite challenging!).
As with most vets, I try to avoid routine. That said, as an old man (at least in military terms, being in my very late 40s), my life is inevitably much more predictable than before, especially since I am unlikely to go on overseas deployment again. I deal with people’s careers, I plan which way my small part of the Army is going, I write lots of letters and make my own coffee (cutbacks!).
The satisfaction of working with really highly motivated soldiers, which almost all RAVC soldiers are (we select only one in 10 who apply to join us). This never goes away. The time I have spent on active service has given me a great deal to look back on. My first posting in Northern Ireland was formative – and serving with the Royal Engineers in the first Gulf War, then with the Airborne Brigade in Rwanda, with the RAVC in Bosnia and with the US Army in Baghdad have all presented different challenges. The animals themselves are great, constantly surprising, and, at its best, the Army can have a fantastic team spirit.
PDC UK – New Patron Brigadier Dr. Tom Ogilvie-Graham
PDC-UK is delighted to announce a second Patron Brig. Dr. Tom Ogilvie-Graham BVMAS DipLaw MRCVS FIBiol Barrister to the charity.
In accepting his role as Patron Tom said “It is a great pleasure and an honour to have been asked to join Steve Leonard as a patron of PDC-UK. I have always had a strong interest in sustainable conservation and in particular with large mammals in Africa so PDC-UK under the ‘umbrella’ of PDC Zimbabwe very much fits with that. The challenge of conserving painted dogs in Zimbabwe puts this charity at the forefront of conservation efforts and its progress should be of great interest to all with an interest in conservation.