Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld is committed to a world where communities and wildlife coexist and thrive. A twenty-year resident of Tanzania, she co-founded African People & Wildlife in 2005 to empower rural communities to conserve and benefit from their surrounding wildlife and natural resources. Laly specializes in holistic, landscape-level approaches to conservation and community development. As one of the few female CEOs in East African conservation, she is also passionate about elevating rural women as environmental leaders and drivers of social change in their communities.

Laly received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2005 in the disciplines of social ecology and wildlife ecology. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a National Geographic Explorer, an invited member of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority Research Advisory Committee, a distinguished alumna of the Yale Tropical Resources Institute, and a recipient of the 2016 Lowell Thomas Award for Open Space Conservation. In 2019 Laly was named a “Woman of Impact” by the National Geographic Society and featured among some of the world’s leading female visionaries in Women of Impact: Changing the World, a one-hour documentary aired on the National Geographic Channel. Watch a video of Laly’s inspiring work in Tanzania’s Maasai Steppe, and a primetime profile released on CNN Inside Africa!


Born: 1974

Hometown: Noloholo Environmental Center, Tanzania

Education: Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Social Ecology

Occupation: Conservationist and Chief Executive Officer of African People & Wildlife

Expeditions: Everlasting in Tanzania

Favorite Place: Traveling anywhere with my daughter and husband

Best Discoveries: Living Walls and Our Holistic Model of Community-Driven Conservation

Favorite Items In The Field: Binoculars, cameras, and popcorn

Personal Hero: All those out there making a real difference in the world

Hobbies: Horseback riding, photography, reading, writing

Website: www.africanpeoplewildlife.org

Advice: Find questions that you are passionate about and then explore every aspect of them.