UCF employs a small but important team to manage the operational requirements of our work. Our staff are industry professionals with many years of direct experience in Uganda and elsewhere.
Their experience is deeply rooted in conservation work, community livelihoods, project management, monitoring and evaluation, environment and natural resource management, as well as finance, admin, fundraising and communications. We are efficient, proactive and ensure execution of projects, reporting and donor comms exceed expectations.
Sophie Arcedeckne-Butler – General Manager: Sophie Arcedeckne-Butler comes to UCF with over twenty years’ experience in project management, fundraising, senior management and leadership in NGOs, working on different humanitarian and development issues and solutions across Africa and South Asia. With a Master’s degree in international development, Sophie brings academic and practical expertise to programme development and management, and building long and fruitful partnerships with institutional donors, such as the EC. Across different roles in the sector, Sophie has worked closely with local partner organisations to strengthen their operations, governance and effectiveness. Passionate about the environment and conservation, Sophie is supporting the UCF team to ensure robust governance and management, and raise funds to expand our critical work in park recovery, conservation, community development and environmental protection in Uganda.
Martin Ssesanga – Finance & Administration Manager: Martin started with UCF in 2016 and is the Finance & Administration Manager. Over the years Martin has managed the accounts and compliance for UCF, including organisations audits, independent reviews for the UK Charities Commission, compliance with URA and project financial management. Martin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and is a member of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) (UK). Prior to UCF Martin worked for four years as an external auditor with Jim Roberts and Associates CPA including auditing organisations such as Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) and many EU related projects.
Derek Lubangakene – Project & Procurement Manager: Derek is a diligent and results-driven project management professional with five years’ experience in protected area management and programme management. Prior to joining UCF, he worked in humanitarian aid, procurement and corporate brand management. He now manages park management and community livelihood projects across Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks. He has a great love for conservation, and is inspired to create a sustainable and lasting legacy for wildlife conservation in Uganda.
Raymond Nteesa – Project & Finance Officer: Raymond joined UCF in 2020 as an Intern, and in 2021 was offered a full time role. As Project & Administration Officer, Raymond splits his time between the main office supporting financial management, data collection, information management and reporting across Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls Protected Areas. Raymond is also a core member of the training team supporting the roll out of operational management systems, processes and technology across the parks. Prior to UCF Raymond worked for Kelea Consulting carrying out data collection, management and analytics, due diligence and administration. Raymond holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts in Economics from Makerere University.
Jimmy Kisembo – Project Manager: Jimmy manages the Carnivore & Scavenger programme field work across Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley Protected Areas, and is based in Queen Elizabeth NP. Prior to joining UCF, Jimmy was an accomplished Law Enforcement Ranger with UWA in Queen Elizabeth NP, at the rank of Sergeant. Jimmy grew up around QEPA, and has spent his life involved in wildlife conservation, determined to save the voiceless creatures within and outside the major protected areas of Uganda. His passion for conservation is driven by the dwindling number of carnivore population and their prey amidst the very increasing human population. Jimmy is a skilled off road driver, ranger training instructor and manages the Lion Protection and Response Unit in QEPA.
Ruth Apusan – Project & Analytics Officer: Ruth worked as an UWA Ranger in the Monitoring & Research Department in QEPA between 2012 to 2015. In 2015 Ruth left UWA and later that year joined UCF for the first time as a Project Officer. In 2017 Ruth left UCF to focus on her family, and in 2018 she decided to move to the Humanitarian sector working with the Refugees in all the Refugee settlements. However, with a deep love for conservation and Queen Elizabeth NP, Ruth came back to UCF in 2021. Ruth has a Master’s Degree in Spatial Crime Analysis form the Vrije University Amsterdam-Netherlands, a Postgraduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation form Uganda Management Institute (UMI), a Bachelor’s Degree in Development studies and a Diploma in Project Planning and Management from Makerere University Business School. Working with UCF Ruth has supported programmes such as EarthRanger, Wildlife Crime Analysis using I2 Analyst Notebook / Semantic and QGIS.
Prof Colin Chapman – Technical Advisor: Colin Chapman has worked informally with UCF for several years but joined us formally as a Scientific Advisor in 2022. Colin received his joint Ph.D. in the Dept. of Anthropology and Zoology at the University of Alberta, served as a faculty member in Biology at the University of Florida for 11 years, then moved to McGill University where he held a Canada Research Chair. He is a Killam Research Fellow, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow at Humboldt Foundation, holds an Office of an Academician, Northwest University, Xi’an, China, and holds honourary faculty positions at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa and Makerere University, Uganda. In 2022 he moved to Vancouver Island University in Canada, where he is ranked the top Ecology and Evolution Scientist in the country having published over 550 scientific papers. For the last 33+ years, Colin has worked in Kibale National Park. During this time, he has not just been an academic, but has devoted great effort to help the rural communities, establishing schools, clinics, a mobile clinic, and ecotourism projects. His work on the union of health and conservation led to a Humanitarian Award from the Velan Foundation.
Robert Ntegeka – Project & Development Officer: Robert joined the Carnivore and Scavenger Program in May 2021 and is based in Murchison Falls Protected Area, although his area of operation also covers Kidepo Valley NP. Prior to UCF Robert was a Law Enforcement & Tourism Ranger in Queen Elizabeth NP for seven years. Roberts family have a long history in UWA, including the current Chief Warden of QEPA being his uncle. Robert was born and raised in a rural village, Masindi district, to the south of Murchison Falls, alongside Budongo Forest. He has a lifelong passion for wildlife conservation. Robert has a Bachelor degree in Wildlife Health and Management, and a Diploma in Wildlife and Natural Resource Management, and completed an advanced 4WD course. In his spare time Robert is an avid bird watcher.
Joshua Twinamasiko G – Marketing, Communications & Technology Officer: Joshua manages our marketing and communications, and supports conservation technology in our projects in the national parks. He is passionate about the power that technology has to transform the way organizations operate and to change people’s lives, and the opportunities that the internet unlocks. He has over 10 years experience working in technology, marketing and communications, and has worked on campaigns for some of the biggest players in various sectors including beverages, telecoms, insurance and FMCGs. His lifelong passion for technology and work journey have opened doors for him to share knowledge and experiences at conferences, seminars, and mentorship programs for the youth.
He holds a Bachelor of Information Systems and Technology degree and certifications in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics and is pursuing a MSc Cyber Security and Digital Forensics degree.
Elisa Asiimwe – Forestry & Community Development Officer: Elisa has worked with UCF since 2019 as Forestry and Community Development Officer. He is an experienced and hands on conservationist and holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Forestry and Product Technology from Makerere University. He has spent most of his work life with organisations that aim at landscape restoration and sustainable agriculture. He has been part of projects that have grown, planted and managed over one hundred thousand indigenous trees in different communities. Elisa aims to plant over one million trees in Uganda by 2025, and to complete his Master’s degree in Forestry.
Augustine Opolot – Project Officer – Living with Wildlife: Augustine Opolot joined UCF in 2022 as Project Officer for the Living with Wildlife Programme. Augustine has a Masters and Bachelor Degree in Development Studies, and a Certificate in Project Monitoring. Since 2021 Augustine has worked in West Nile and Karamoja, with a particular focus on ‘Adolescent livelihood and reproductive health rights project for the refugees and the host communities’ with BRAC. Prior to this he worked for the Ministry of Water as a Capacity Development Officer for an EU project ‘Enhancing resilience of communities to climate change through catchment based integrated management of water and related resources’. Augustine started his career as an Operations Manager for an Oxfam funded project to Bee Natural Uganda Ltd, supporting Integrated Apiculture for Enhanced Environmental Conservation Project in West Nile.
Dennis Turyaheebwa – Project and Community Officer: Denis joined UCF in 2021 as a Project Officer and has been a core member of the UWA / UCF Lion Protection & Community Development team in Queen Elizabeth NP. The son of a Ranger in Queen Elizabeth NP, Denis and has spent his life in conservation, community development, problem animal control and tourism. Denis trained in Tourism and Hotel Management before enlisting in Uganda Wildlife Authority as a Law Enforcement & Community Conservation Ranger. Denis is also an Alumnus of the International Law Enforcement Academy in Gaborone Botswana where he trained in crime scene management and wildlife trafficking investigations.
Innocent Komakech – Project & Development Officer: Innocent Komakech is a wildlife biologist who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Health & Management from Makerere University. He has experience in wildlife management and community conservation from working in Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth Conservation Areas. In KVNP, Innocent participated in deployments of rangers, logistical support to ranger outposts, monitoring animals and habitat health, data collection and analysis and was involved in community sensitization and mobilization. Innocent established strong social network with staffs of the park and the community.
Charles Ochanda – Community Development Officer: Charles joined UCF in April 2022, working to implement the PACE education in the communities around Murchison Falls National Park. Before UCF he worked with Soft Power Education as a community mobilizer, organizing the community members for various projects including poultry keeping and tree planting. Charles also worked as a field officer with for Dr Joanna Hill monitoring elephants and crop raiding incidents in the north of Murchison Falls, supporting UWA with management-orientated research to help mitigate human wildlife conflict.
Dr Crispus Singoma – Veterinary Doctor: Crispus is a graduate of Veterinary Medicine from Makerere University and registered and licensed by Uganda Veterinary Board. Born and raised in Kasese, he witnessed a lot of human-wildlife conflict and saw how the voiceless wild animals had no one to defend them. These experiences definitely influenced his career choice and path as he studied. He is passionate about conservation with special interest in Wildlife Veterinary medicine practice and epidemiology.
He has spent some time working in Queen Elizabeth National Park supervised by the UWA Veterinary Warden, Dr Enyel and has also volunteered at Kasese District Local Government, and aspires to contribute to the wildlife vet practice in Uganda and beyond.
Nickson Watham – Construction and Youth Skill Development Officer: Nickson has worked int he construction industry for 30 years, including for leading companies such as Mutoni Construction. Over the past four years, Nickson has designed and led, in partnership with Pacer Community College, a large variety of vocational college courses, including bricklaying, metal fabrication, industrial painting, guttering and water tank installation, building renovation and construction. Nickson has also hosted over 50 apprenticeship positions for UCF across very many Mutoni and UCF projects. Projects completed by Nickson have included the Law Enforcement & Operations Centre, seven ranger posts, and all radio towers in Murchison Falls National Park. Nickson is also an incredibly valuable mentor to UCF’s youth development scheme.