Niall O’Connor became director of SEI’s Asia Centre in March 2016.
Niall has a wealth of experience, having worked in NGOs, governments and in academia. Over the last 15 years, he has led senior leadership and management positions in Western, Eastern and Southern Africa. This included six years as Country Director in Gambia and Senegal for Concern Universal (a UK based international NGO), before joining WWF in 2008. At WWF, he served first as the Regional Representative of WWF Madagascar & West Indian Ocean until 2010, before moving into the regional position of Dir. PO Performance and Development Africa.
In August 2011, Niall started as the Regional Director for WWF Eastern and Southern Africa, demonstrating his strong leadership and management skills for this challenging position in WWFs biggest Programme Office.
In the world of academia, way back in 1998, Niall oversaw the establishment and development of the Agroforestry Research Unit for the Government of The Gambia, developing research programmes for agroforestry systems in sub-Saharan Africa’s agro-ecological zones.
Niall holds a M.Sc. in Biodiversity Conservation from Imperial College London (specialised in developing community managed nature park conservation plans), a M.Sc. in Forestry from University College Dublin (with ICRAF, specialising in agro-forestry), and a BSc in Forestry, also from University College Dublin.
Niall enjoys the outdoor life, time with his wife and three children, and is passionate about what he does.