Peter Fearnhead is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of African Parks. He has been involved in formal conservation since the age of 13, where in his native Zimbabwe he developed a 2,000-acre wildlife reserve on the school campus. He graduated with a BSc in Agric Economics from the University of Natal and an MSc in Agric and Resource Economics from the University of Oxford. His professional career started as a management consultant with Deloitte specialising in strategy, before joining South African National Parks (SANParks), where he held a number of positions, including Resource Economist, Advisor to the CEO, and then Head of Commercial Development. Peter has been at the forefront of innovations in conservation for over twenty years particularly where this has involved crowding-in the commercial sector as a conservation strategy. Amongst other initiatives, Peter conceptualised and implemented the commercialization program at SANParks turning the organisation around from near bankruptcy; established a mechanism whereby the South African Government funded land acquisition to expand parks; concluded multiple contract-park agreements which expanded the national conservation footprint; formulated African Parks; and established the African Parks Endowment Fund.
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