Staff & Contractors


African countries with permanent bases




International Awards

Damien Mander

Founder and CEO Damien Mander

About the Founder & CEO

Damien Mander is a 42 year old Australian born and Zimbabwean based environmentalist. In 2009 while travelling through Africa post military service, he was inspired by the dedication of rangers and the plight of wildlife. Liquidating his life savings, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) was established to protect nature. Today, IAPF delivers ecological stability and long-term protection of large-scale wilderness landscapes by supporting and empowering local communities.

The IAPF has scaled to work in more than a dozen countries with a collective annual income of USD9 million. The organisation has trained or supported rangers which now help protect over 20 million acres of African wilderness.  

In 2017 Damien and IAPF founded ‘Akashinga - Nature Protected by Women’. Having grown to 500+ staff with a portfolio totalling 8.5 million acres, the goal is to employ 1000 women by 2026, protecting 15 million acres of wilderness in Africa. Damien is also the co-Founder of LEAD Ranger, an innovative, ISO 9001 certified, internationally recognised leadership training program whose clients include some of the most reputable conservation organisations in Africa.

In 2021, Damien co-Founded the Conservation Landscape Alliance (CLA). A collective of organisations working together to achieve landscape-scale conservation in the community owned wilderness areas of Africa. The Alliance is scaling towards a portfolio of 60 million acres under protection by the end of the decade.  

He is the winner of the 2019 Winsome Constance Kindness Gold Medal, a prestigious international recognition for services to animals and humanity. Past recipients include Sir David Attenborough and Dr Jane Goodall. He was featured in the James Cameron documentary The Game Changers and National Geographic’s Akashinga - The Brave Ones about his work with the women of Akashinga.  His TEDx talk at the Sydney Opera House on speciesism has been translated into 27 languages. He is a resident on the National Geographic Live Speakers Bureau, has spoken at the United Nations, Harvard University, featured in June 2019’s National Geographic Magazine, three times on 60 Minutes and recognised by the Dutch Government as a Gender Champion.

The team

IAPF Advisory Committee



International Ranger Award. IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress.



World Woman Hour – World Women Foundation

United States


Responsible Business & CSR Awards – Excellence in Women’s Empowerment &Wildlife Conservation

Zimbabwe Government


Gender Champion Award

Dutch Government via the Embassy of the Netherlands Harare, Zimbabwe


Tribecca Film Festival - Disruptive Innovators Award

New York City, United States


Zimbabwe International Womens's Awards(ZIWA)

Founders Award.
Birmingham, United Kingdom


Winsom Constant Kindness Gold Medal

Founders Award.
Melbourne, Australia


African Ranger Awards

The Paradise Foundation International. Sichuan, China

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