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Bill Weber, Ph.D.

Dr. Bill Weber has worked for over 30 years in the field of international conservation, combining action to save wild lands and wildlife with concern for local human needs. He lived in Africa for a decade, including seven years in Rwanda, where he initiated the highly successful mountain gorilla tourism and community outreach program.

Bill served as director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Program from 1988-1996, leading a Congo Basin Program that helped establish more than 20 new protected areas, produced the first reliable data on forest elephant and great ape populations, and developed effective alliances with local communities, commercial timber companies, and other non-traditional partners. As the WCS North America Program director from 1996-2005, Bill turned his attention to wildlife recovery, ecological connectivity, energy development and community based conservation, with a major focus on western mountain ecosystems.

Bill currently teaches graduate seminars in applied conservation practice at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he has also been a Bass Distinguished Environmental Scholar. He has authored dozens of articles on subjects ranging from ecotourism to cultural factors in conservation, and gorillas to bison. His book, In the Kingdom of Gorillas, which he wrote with his wife, Dr. Amy Vedder, was featured by BBC Wildlife as one of “the most influential books from the past 40 years of wildlife publishing,” and selected as a “Best Science and Nature book” by National Public Radio.