Dr Sam Kanyamibwa


Executive Director


Rwanda & UK

Dr Sam Kanyamibwa is the Founder and Executive Director of the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) since 2009. Sam is a professionally qualified conservationist, with over 30 years of experience in conservation at international level and particularly in Africa. He is a teacher, ecologist, ornithologist and manager by training. He led the development of research and monitoring at Nyungwe Mountain Forest with Wildlife Conservation Society in early 1990s. He then moved to Cambridge in the UK to head the Africa Programme at UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, before coming back to Africa in 2000 as Regional Representative of WWF for the Eastern Africa Region, and later became the Deputy Director for WWF-Africa and Madagascar Programe until 2007 and was the Regional Director for AWF during 2008/2009.  Sam has long experience with governments, NGOs, and private sector engagement at local, national and international level, and has been involved in several policy processes at international level. As ARCOS’ Executive Director, Sam has led the organisation to receive an International Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MacArthur Foundation 2012). With over 100 staff today, ARCOS is one of the key organisations actively shaping biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration as well as community development in the Albertine Rift region, and the Hub for Sustainable Mountain Development in Africa. Sam did his undergraduate studies in Biology at the National University of Rwanda and did his MSc in Evolutionary Ecology  at the Université des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc (USTL), Montpellier in France, where he also completed his PhD in “Evolutionary Ecology and Natural Population Dynamics”.  In 2003, Sam obtained a Certificate in Advanced Management and MBA at Ashridge Management College, UK.