SSC Chair's Office Staff
Simon Stuart is the Chair of the SSC, based at the Bath office, and has undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Cambridge, with fieldwork in Tanzania and Cameroon. He has over 25 years of experience with the IUCN and the SSC. Simon started work on the African Bird Red Data Book in 1983. He joined the IUCN Secretariat in 1986, and was Head of the Species Programme (1990-2000), Acting Director General (2000-2001), Head of the Biodiversity Assessment Unit (2001-2005), and Senior Species Scientist (2005-2008). He was elected as Chair of the SSC at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October 2008. It is Simon’s job to provide vision and leadership for the SSC in particular, and for the IUCN family on species issues more widely. He chairs the regular meetings of the SSC Steering Committee, and represents the SSC on IUCN’s Council. Simon’s priorities are listed here.
SSC Network Coordinator
Rachel Roberts is the SSC Network Coordinator based at the UNEP-WCMC office in Cambridge. Rachel has a zoology degree from Nottingham University, and gained a Masters (by research) in Ecology and Environmental Management at the University of York where she undertook research projects on badgers, kangaroos and the acclimatisation of plants. She has extensive experience in the field of conservation and, prior to joining the SSC, completed five years of employment in a dual role working internationally with the RSPB and the global BirdLife partnership. Rachel has diverse responsibilities including providing key support (working closely with the SSC Network Support Officers based in the IUCN Global Species Programme (GSP)), specifically to the IUCN SSC Specialist Groups, to the SSC Network as a whole and the SSC Chair to deliver the IUCN Species Strategic Plan and to contribute to new, developing and on-going SSC programmes. Rachel works with SGs on letters of intervention, in an attempt to influence the actions of Governments which may be impacting on threatened species, and also helps to ensure regular communication, coordination and collaboration between the SSC Chair’s Office, the IUCN GSP and the IUCN network worldwide. She is also Project Manager of the Amazing Species web initiative.
Senior Scientist to the SSC
Michael Hoffmann, a South African national, is currently based in the UNEP-WCMC office in Cambridge, UK, where he serves as Senior Scientist to the SSC. Mike provides technical and scientific support to the work of the Commission and helps ensure uptake of Commission-based research in appropriate policy arenas. He has extensive experience with the IUCN SSC Species Survival Commission and the IUCN Red List categories and criteria, workshop facilitation, networking, and data analysis. Mike previously worked in the IUCN Species Programme (2005-2010), including as manager of the Biodiversity Assessment Unit in Washington, DC, and in the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International (2003-2005). His original area of expertise is mammalogy, having spent time at the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa (1996-1999), and at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford, UK (2000-2002). He is a member of the IUCN SSC Afrotheria, Antelope and Canid Specialist Groups, serving as the Red List Authority focal point for canids. He has co-edited six books (including three volumes of the recently published Mammals of Africa) and authored 31 peer-reviewed papers (7 in the journals Nature and Science).”
Coordinator, SSC Amphibian Red List Authority
Jennifer Luedtke, Coordinator of the SSC Amphibian Red List Authority (RLA), is based at the SSC Chair’s office in Bath. The Amphibian RLA is a global network of experts that curates the amphibian assessments on the IUCN Red List. Jennifer coordinates the Amphibian RLA’s working groups and supports the RLA’s partners. In addition, she facilitates assessment workshops, provides training in the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, and oversees RLA internships. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Wheaton College (Illinois) with ornithological fieldwork with the US Forest Service in the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion of northern California. She has also contributed to fieldwork in coastal Kenya, British Columbia in Canada, and the western suburbs of London, UK. Jennifer also has an MA in Historical and Systematic Theology from Wheaton College as part of her interest in the ethical and religious foundation for holistic environmental action.
SSC Senior Programme Officer, Specialist Group Partnerships
Kira Husher is the SSC Specialist Group Partnerships Coordinator based in the SSC Chair’s office in Bath, UK. Kira has undergraduate degrees in both Conservation Biology and Public Relations as well as a doctoral degree in Behaviour Change Evaluation, all from the University of Newcastle (Australia). Kira’s experience spans public engagement programs, community conservation campaigning, partnership negotiation and management and impact evaluation. She worked for Taronga Zoo, Australia, for 6 years prior to joining the SSC team in 2014. In her current role, Kira is responsible for facilitating partnerships and furthering collaboration between the IUCN SSC Specialist Groups and the international Zoo, Aquaria and Botanic Garden communities. This involves supporting and enhancing existing relationships as well as identifying new opportunities for more effective collaboration between the IUCN SSC Specialist Groups and the ex-situ community for even stronger conservation outcomes.
Vera Hugues Salas, part-time Administrative Assistant at the SSC Chair’s office in Bath, provides support to the SSC Chair in implementing the 2013-2016 IUCN Species Strategic Plan and manages the SSC Chair’s office. Prior to her current role, Vera worked as a Research Technician at BIOME (Biodiversity and Macroecology group) based at the University of Sheffield, and more recently, assisted with the IUCN’s Amazing Species project to help increase awareness of biodiversity and raise the profile of threatened species. Vera also participated in mammalian and ornithological field studies and desk-based conservation projects in Australia, Mexico and the UK. She has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Sheffield as well as a Masters degree in Ecology and Management of the Natural Environment from the University of Bristol.