Catherine has been WLT CEO since September 2019, and during this time she has overseen the strongest fundraising years in WLT’s history. As we drive forward with our ambitious strategy to significantly scale up our conservation impact she leads our team and organisational growth building on her more than two decades of conservation experience and leadership.

Prior to joining WLT, she spent more than 15 years in the BirdLife International network working for the BirdLife Secretariat and the RSPB, where she led the RSPB’s international conservation programmes department responsible for habitat and species conservation around the world. Before that she worked for several other environmental NGOs and spent five years in the private sector. Her background also includes management and business planning for an ecosystem restoration concession in Indonesia, REDD projects and protected areas in West Africa, as well as a range of multi-country and cross-regional conservation and community empowerment programmes.

Catherine has experience in sustainable agriculture and was involved in developing the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) Standard 2017, as well as being Chair of the SAN board. She has experience in responsible sourcing of agricultural commodities that are driving deforestation, and conceived and spearheaded a project to bring a forest-friendly community-led chocolate product to market in the UK.

Catherine is a huge believer in the power of collaboration and the impact of collective action. She is passionate about inclusion and particularly supporting female and LGBTQ+ conservationists, and regularly mentors other women to be conservation and sustainability leaders.

Catherine is always happiest when amongst nature and used to enjoy mountaineering and sailing in wild and remote places, but is now happy just walking her dog in the UK countryside.

Dr Catherine Barnard
Catherine Barnard hiking on Ben Nevis

Catherine is available for panel discussions as well as presentations and media interviews. These are by request only.

Name & Title: Dr Catherine Barnard
Headline qualifications: PhD in zoology from University of Cambridge.
Experience: More than 25 years of experience in a variety of conservation and leadership roles.
Time at WLT: Three years leading WLT, joining in September 2019.
LinkedIn profile: Dr Catherine Barnard



Catherine oversees WLT’s work in all the countries where we have partners, and she has extensive personal professional experience in numerous countries around the world (listed below), with a particular interest in Africa.

Costa RicaRepublic of CongoDjiboutiEgypt
LiberiaMexicoNigeriaSierra Leone
South AfricaSyriaTanzaniaTunisia
Catherine Barnard standing on Ben Nevis