James became a trustee of EIA in November 2017. He has a broad background in the law, having worked in the City, at ClientEarth, and in local government. In 2015, he led ClientEarth’s successful clean air litigation in the Supreme Court, forcing the UK government to tighten up its clean air plans. Between 2009 and 2012 he was based in Singapore, where he worked with international clients throughout Asia and the Middle East. He currently has his own practice specialising in environmental law and litigation.
Pesh has a proven and long-established expertise in charity law and has worked with some of the largest international NGOs. He is currently the Global Head of Social Purpose and Non Profits at Crowe UK LLP, a major accountancy firm. He is an experienced charity trustee and is Special Advisor to the Charity Finance Group. He is passionately committed to environmental issues and has long respected the work of EIA. He has also worked on conservation projects in India and advised on conservation programmes in India and Kenya. Pesh brings expertise in areas such as risk management and charity governance more generally. In 2020, he won the International Accounting Bulletin’s Personality of the Year Award.
Jennifer Lonsdale OBE
For 35 years, as a founder and board member, Jennifer has contributed to EIA’s development and governance. She also works on the Ocean Campaign, particularly contributing to the International Whaling Commission’s work on governance and addressing conservation and welfare threats to whales, dolphins and porpoises. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to the environment particularly the protection of whales and dolphins.
John Stephenson (Chair)
John was appointed to the Board of EIA UK in July 2020.
He is a former senior diplomat with significant experience in international and multi-lateral relations and has worked extensively in Africa, an experience which stimulated his passion for conservation. During his career, John held a number of senior positions in the public sector including at the UN in New York, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Kenya, London and Pakistan, where he specialised in strategic political, security and intelligence affairs and, more recently, in the NGO sector including as Chief Executive Officer of Stop Ivory in London. John is delighted to join the Board of Trustees of EIA, an organisation which, throughout his time in the conservation sector, he admired for being “the only organisation which truly exhibited collaboration, professionalism and a refusal to be side-tracked by personal or political interest and an organisation that achieved maximum impact through clarity of purpose and a dedicated and committed staff.” John is a strong believer in the promotion of diversity and has a demonstrable track record of building diverse teams.
Following various roles in publishing and production for both arts and technology publications, and then working in training development, Kit followed her heart by moving into the conservation NGO sector. She has worked at the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) since 2002, initially joining as Training Development Officer. Subsequently she has held a number of roles at BCT including Helpline Manager, Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive. She has been Chief Executive of BCT since 2014 (as part of a job-share until 2018). She is also a Trustee and Treasurer for BatLife Europe.
Paul is a qualified accountant with experience in the not-for-profit sector. He is currently Finance Director of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He has previously been Finance Director and Company Secretary for Philharmonia Limited (one of the major London orchestras); Deputy CEO and Finance & Corporate Services Director at Action for Kids; Group Finance Director and Company Secretary of the Abbeyfield Society; and also Finance Director of The Big Issue and The Big Issue Foundation. Asked why he wants to serve on the Board, Paul said: “Although I have held roles in many great charities over the years, I have always sought to become involved with and provide support to an organisation that is passionate about the environment and wildlife. I am thrilled to be able to become involved in the EIA and to help, in some modest way, for it to achieve its ambitions.”
Allan Thornton set up the Environmental Investigation Agency in 1984. With Dave Currey and Jennifer Lonsdale, he pioneered using undercover investigations to protect wildlife, – whales, elephants, rhinos, tigers’ bears and instigated successful campaigns against illegal logging by banning illegal timber into the US and EU, phasing out potent greenhouse gasses HFC’s and exposing illegal trade in chemicals destroying the Ozone layer.