Statement prepared by Catherine Semcer and presented by Hannah Downey for the U.S. Department of the Interior's International Wildlife Conservation Council on market approaches for wildlife conservation in Africa.
Catherine E. Semcer
Catherine E. Semcer is a Research Fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) where her work focuses on rights and market based solutions to policy challenges in environmental security, conservation finance and sustainability.
Catherine is the past COO of Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants (H.O.P.E.), a boutique NGO delivering training, advisory, assistance and procurement services to African counter-poaching programs. During her tenure with H.O.P.E. she was responsible for leading the opening of projects in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
Prior to working with H.O.P.E. Catherine served as Senior Washington D.C. Representative for Sierra Club, where she worked to advance conservation programs in the Department of Defense to increase training range sustainability as well as further efforts to conserve the Greater Sage Grouse. Her work led to her being recognized by the USDA-NRCS for “outstanding contributions” to their Sage Grouse Initiative. Catherine began her career with McKinsey & Company where she supported the Environmental and Non-Profit Practices.
Catherine’s research and commentary has appeared in the International Journal of Environmental Studies, The Hill, and other publications. She has also been a guest on programs including Intelligence Squared US and EconTalk, where she has debated and discussed the political economy of African wildlife conservation.
In addition to her work with PERC, Catherine serves as a research fellow with the African Wildlife Economy Institute at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She is a member of Sustainable Use and Livelihood Specialist Group International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Protected Areas Finance Working Group of Conservation Finance Alliance. Catherine is also a contributing editor to Conservation Frontlines and a past field editor of African Indaba, the official African publication of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC).
Catherine is a graduate of Muhlenberg College. In her spare time she enjoys fly fishing, upland bird and waterfowl hunting, and sailing.