African Parks appoints new Chairperson of the Board

Vasant (Vas) Narasimhan, M.D.

Conservation non-profit, African Parks, has the pleasure of announcing Vasant (Vas) Narasimhan, M.D. as the new Chairperson of the Board of African Parks, with effect from 1st of December 2022. Having served as a Board Member of African Parks for the past three years, as well as being the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novartis, Dr Narasimhan will take over from Robert-Jan van Ogtrop, who has served as the Chairperson since December 2009.

“African Parks is a true pioneer in conservation management, sustainably protecting national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. After serving on the African Parks Board, I have witnessed the significant impact of the organisation’s model implemented across 22 national parks. As the global community works to combat climate change and biodiversity loss, the role of organisations like African Parks becomes all the more important. Protected areas are critical to sustaining our planet for the benefit of both people and wildlife. I am deeply grateful to Robert-Jan for his extraordinary contribution in building African Parks over the past 13 years,” shares Dr Narasimhan.

“Looking back as Chairperson of the African Parks Board, it fills me with immense joy and pleasure in realising what an important part of my life it has been to work with the current management team. Together, we have grown African Parks, conserving some of Africa’s most critical landscapes,” says Robert-Jan van Ogtrop.

“I will continue to follow the organisation closely in its endeavours and be available to help where needed,” adds Robert-Jan.

Peter Fearnhead, Chief Executive Officer of African Parks, says: “We are deeply thankful to Robert-Jan for playing such an integral role in the growth and development of African Parks. As we’re well on our way to managing 30 parks by 2030, it is critical to have the right governance and strategic oversight. Vas’ experience in leading a multi-national corporation, coupled with his passion for biodiversity conservation, makes him the ideal candidate to take over from Robert-Jan. We look forward to working with him in this new role.”

As a non-profit organisation, African Parks Board members are not remunerated, beyond compensation for expenses.

Founded in 2000, African Parks takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and communities to protect wildlife and restore landscapes. Under African Parks’ mandate, five key pillars are implemented to achieve long-term protected area sustainability. These include biodiversity conservation to restore the landscapes to their full ecological state, community development and engagement through sustainable livelihood enterprise, law enforcement to ensure that local laws are upheld, tourism and enterprise to optimise the exceptional potential of the area, and implementing the management and infrastructure development necessary for the accomplishment of the other pillars.


About African Parks: African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. African Parks manages 22 national parks and protected areas in 12 countries covering over 20 million hectares in Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For more information visit, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.