LionAid's Executive Office
Dr Pieter Kat, Director
Dr Pieter Kat is an internationally acknowledged expert on lions and is regularly consulted by African governments on lion conservation issues.
Pieter was born in Singapore (the Lion City) and spent his early life in Singapore, Malaysia and New Guinea where his interest in biology took root. His tertiary education took place in the USA where he gained a BSc at the University of Rochester (Biology and Geology), an MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Delaware and an MA and PhD in Ecology and Evolution at Johns Hopkins University.
Next he spent ten years working at the National Museums of Kenya to develop and enhance biological research programmes, including studies of biodiversity in the African Great Lakes, genetic diversity among bovid species (eg antelopes) of East Africa, genetics and ecology of predators of the Masai Mara and other areas (African Wild Dogs, Lions, African Wild Cats, Servals and Jackals), and diseases likely to affect predators across Kenya.
This was followed by two years at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA researching rabies virus genetics, African horse sickness, canine distemper, Rift Valley Fever and bluetongue virus amongst carnivores.
Pieter was then invited by the Government of Botswana to study lion populations and to make recommendations for their conservation, and established the Okavango Lion Conservation Programme in northern Botswana. The lion research focused on ecology, reproduction, disease prevalence and human/wildlife conflict. After twelve years in Botswana, he is now focused on a diversity of activities through the charity LionAid to assist the conservation of lions such as working with decision makers in the UK, EU and African lion range states to ensure better protection of remaining lions, seeking sustainable means of reducing lion/livestock conflict, encouraging further research on diseases threatening lions and calling for lion population surveys.
Pieter continues to play an important role in scientific research and has authored more than 70 scientific papers to date. He regularly works with media (Radio, television and newspapers) sharing his deep knowledge of Lions.
Christine MacSween, Director & Founder
Chris is an integral and highly respected figure within lion conservation, whose diligent lobbying has resulted in ongoing, proactive, political, discussions addressing the plight of the species.
Her passion and wealth of knowledge regarding the Lion, is evident through her many media interviews, both nationally and internationally, making her a highly sought after contributor to the cause.
Chris obtained her BA in Manchester in 1979. In 1998 she was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants (CIMA). She served on the CIMA Council between 2002 and 2006. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was the Président-directeur gnérale (PDG) of a company in France for seven years before returning to the UK.
Back in the UK, she subsequently became the Managing Director of three consumer electronic companies between the years of 1998 and 2009, in each case taking responsibility for the control, planning and development of the business and establishing strong brand awareness and new products in the fast developing consumer marketplace.
For the last ten years, Chris has been applauded as an engaging and educated public speaker, who has held court in large conservation events in the United Kingdom, the EU and beyond.
Chris also works with Dr Kat delivering higher education presentations and lectures. In addition to this, LionAid run regular skype lessons bringing lions into classrooms across the globe.