- A note from current NRT CEO, Mike Harrison -
On behalf of the NRT Board, I’m thrilled to let you know that the Board, through its CEO Recruitment Sub-committee, has appointed Tom Lalampaa as the next CEO of NRT. Tom will take over the role fully on 1st February 2018.
This is fantastic news for NRT. He has outstanding qualities to bring to the job, in terms of his authenticity and background in the community; his highly diplomatic yet action-oriented personality; his strategic vision and values for NRT; his deep and wide relationships with communities, County Governments, donors and partners; his high levels of energy, passion and commitment to NRT; his high levels of integrity, neutrality, respect and trust in Kenya; and his valuable organisational management experience, and as Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association Chairman and Kenya Wildlife Service Board member.
Tom will be supported by a very strong senior management team, our many partners in the field, in donor agencies, in County Governments and around the world.
Tom is not sure when he was born: probably around 1973 or 1974. He spent the first four or five years of his life herding livestock. Then one day a government official suggested to the elders that it was time to send some of the children to school. Tom was one of six young boys who were taken on the long two-day walk to the nearest town, Wamba. “We had never worn good clothes before – and we were each given a shuka to wear,” recalls Tom. The shuka served as a school uniform during the day and a bed sheet at night.
At the end of each term he and his young Samburu friends would walk home, through countryside thick with wild animals, often to find that their semi-nomadic families had moved on. “It didn’t bother us, because we would always track them down in the end,” he recalls. Of the six boys, three made it to high school, and one – Tom – to university in Nairobi, where he gained an MBA in Strategic Management, an MA in Project Planning and Management, and a BA in Social Work.
Tom joined NRT in 2006, and for the past 10 years has been a leader in the design, development, and expansion of the Northern Rangelands Trust. His incredible work has not gone unnoticed.
In September 2013, Tom was awarded the Tusk Conservation Award by the Duke of Cambridge for his outstanding contribution to brokering peace through conservation in northern Kenya. When US President Barack Obama visited Kenya in 2015, Tom was chosen to be a member of the civil society discussion group, where he opened talks on wildlife trafficking with the President. The following year, Tom won the Stanford University Law School Bright Award for Environmental Sustainability, a prestigious international prize that recognises environmental pioneers.