Welcome Andrew Baxter

WESSA welcome’s their new CEO – Dr Andrew Baxter

This week, WESSA welcomed Dr Andrew Baxter as the new Chief Executive Officer. Andrew starts his journey at WESSA in September 2021 with the key priority of leading the organisation through an important strategic review and implementation process as it seeks to reaffirm its role as one of the country’s leading conservation and environmental organisations.

Andrew is known for his strategic and innovative approach to leadership and has experience both in the corporate and non-profit sectors. He is the former head of business development at WWF-South Africa and more recently was the care-taker CEO of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust. Andrew has consulted to a wide range of organisations on strategy development, business development and leadership development. He hails from Cape Town and has a well-developed professional understanding of the environmental and conservation sectors in South Africa – across both public and private spheres. Andrew holds a PhD in palaeoecology from UCT and has special interests in landscape ecology, biodiversity conservation and climate change. He is a director on the boards of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, African Habitat Conservancy and is a founding Trustee of the Cape Leopard Trust.

Asked what environmental challenges facing South Africa he believes are critical to address, his list included: Climate change; habitat destruction/biodiversity loss; advocacy – especially around poor environmental governance (both corporate and government); hydric stress and water scarcity – with implications for agriculture and food security; pollution in all its forms and the implications for human wellbeing; the transition from carbon-intensive to renewable sources of energy; protecting our oceans and; addressing issues of (over) consumption and waste.

Andrew is mindful that the tremendous legacy of WESSA, coupled with the commitments from many loyal supporters and stakeholders, will provide strong rallying points to take the organisation forward as it seeks to address critically important environmental issues that confront the well-being of South Africans and the nation’s biodiversity and protected areas on a daily basis.

Andrew believes that Integrity, empathy, and communication are the most important attributes of successful leaders today. He is extremely humbled to be entrusted with the leadership of WESSA, an organisation with a long and proud history rooted in conservation, environmental education and public participation. In a rapidly changing world, he will be leading a diverse, innovative and extremely passionate team of champions. We are looking forward to beginning this new phase of WESSA’s work under Andrew’s leadership.

For more information contact:
Sarah Alcock
WESSA Marketing and Communications Manager
Tel 033 3303931 / 076 213 9873
Email: sarah@wessa.co.za