Holly Dublin

Senior associate, Natural resources

Holly Dublin's picture
Languages: English, KiSwahili, French (basic conversational and reading)

Over the past three decades, Dr Holly Dublin has worked as an innovative and cutting-edge regenerative practitioner and cross-sector leader, linking the inherent values of biodiversity and ecosystem services to human livelihoods and well-being. 

Holly began as a systems ecologist and over the course of her career has become a global expert in the sustainable use of species and landscapes to conserve biodiversity, while enhancing local wealth creation and is on the Steering Committee of IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group. 

After 22 years with WWF International, she was elected to the governing council of IUCN as Chair of the Species Survival Commission, the largest of IUCN’s six expert commissions, overseeing the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and coordinating the work of approximately 10,000 conservation scientists and practitioners. For 25 years she has also chaired IUCN’s African Elephant Specialist Group, working across 37 countries in Africa. Holly has been an active player in local, national and international policy forums, including the UNFCCC, UNEA, CBD, CITES and the SDGs. 

Between 2009 and 2013, she brought to bear these years of experience to PPR (now Kering) helping to establish its first sustainability department and in spring 2011 became director and special advisor for sustainability. Later, in her capacity as director of strategies and later as senior adviser to The B Team, Holly was actively involved in developing their Plan B and the National Capital Protocol for business. She serves on the C&A Foundation’s Investment Committee and Wilderness Safaris’ Social, Ethics and Sustainability Committee. 

Holly has a proven track record of deeply understanding the issues, thinking strategically and putting lessons from diverse realms into operational practice.


Systems ecology, community-based conservation, and natural resource management, integrated conservation and development practice, African terrestrial ecology, circular and regenerative economy, corporate sustainability, corporate metrics, natural and social capital impact assessment.

Before IIED

Positions held:

Since 1992: Chair, IUCN SSC African Elephant Specialist Group 

2014-16: senior adviser and corporate metrics, Initiative Lead, The B Team

2013-14: director of strategies, The B Team  

2010-12: director and special adviser, sustainability, PPR (now Kering)

2004-13: senior conservationist, Wildlife Conservation Society (seconded to IUCN and later PPR)

2004-08: elected member IUCN Governing Council and chair of the Species Survival Commission

2002-04: senior adviser, IUCN Eastern & Southern Africa Regional Programme     

1980-02: research fellow, project ecologist, senior scientist and senior conservation adviser, WWF Africa & Madagascar Programme

Member of:

  • Independent Advisory Panel for the 6th Overall Performance Study, GEF Independent Evaluation Office
  • Private Sector Advisory Committee, Global Green Growth Institute


PhD – Zoology, University of British Columbia: Seminal applied research on resilience in African socio-ecological systems, which provided early evidence for the complex and dynamic functioning of socio-ecological systems, including the existence of multiple stable states. This research led to new thinking and practice regarding the conservation and management of terrestrial ecosystems in Africa

  • Fulbright Scholar – Systems research in the Serengeti-Mara
  • MSc – Wildlife Biology & Forestry, University of Washington
  • BSc – Biology, Antioch College, Ohio

Current work

  • Member, Steering Committee, IUCN SSC/CEESP Sustainable Use and Human Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi)
  • Member, Social, Ethics and Sustainability Committee, Wilderness Safaris Ltd.
  • Member, Board, Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust
  • Member, Investment Committee, C & A Foundation
  • Member, Advisory Panel, Natural Capital Coalition
  • Co-convenor, ReGen18