SSC Leadership

SSC is governed by a Steering Committee, which is headed by the Commission Chair.


The Steering Committee represents a balance of regional and thematic perspectives and provides overall direction to the work of the Commission. The governance structure of the SSC must be reconstituted every four years, as per the IUCN Statutes.

The SSC Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, can establish various SSC Committees and Task Forces. The Chairs of these Committees or Task Forces are often members of the SSC Steering Committee. Additionally, the SSC Chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, must appoint Chairs for the various SSC Specialist Groups at the beginning of each Quadrennium. Specialist Group Chairs are then mandated by the SSC Chair to appoint group members.

SSC Chair, Prof Jon Paul Rodríguez

SSC Deputy Chair, Rima Jabado

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Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission

Prof Jon Paul Rodríguez - Commission Chair

SSC Chair Jon Paul Rodríguez is Professor at the Center for Ecology of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigations (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas), and he is a founder, past Board Member (1987-2001, 2009-2012) and President (2001-2008, 2013-present) of Provita.

Rima Jabado

Rima Jabado - Deputy Chair

Rima Jabado leads the Elasmo Project, a non-profit initiative she founded in 2010 to encourage work in data-poor areas focused on investigating shark & ray fisheries & trade.

Amanda Vincent discovering the extent of the seahorse trade 20 years ago in Behai, China.

Amanda Vincent - Member

Amanda Vincent is Chair of the SSC Marine Conservation Committee. She is firmly convinced that we know enough to tackle conservation problems now, even if more information might be valuable.

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Asha de Vos - Member

Asha de Vos is an internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of long-term blue whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia.

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Axel Hochkirch - Member

Axel Hochkirch is an associate professor in the Department of Biogeography at Trier University, Germany. He is an expert in insect biodiversity and conservation genetics, and the author or co-author of ca. 180 publications dealing with a broad field of biodiversity-related topics.

Dr Axel Moehrenschlager

Axel Moehrenschlager - Member

Axel Moehrenschlager is the Director of Conservation & Science with the Wilder Institute, Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary, Adjunct Associate Professor at Clemson University in the United States, and Erskine Fellow at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury.

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Dilys Roe - Member

Dilys Roe is the IUCN CEESP-SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group’ Chair (SULi) and also biodiversity lead at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) – a UK-based sustainable development think tank. 

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Domitilla Raimondo - Member

Domitilla Raimondo is the Threatened Species Programme Manager at the South African National Biodiversity Institute.

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Ehab Eid - Member

Ehab Eid Regional Vice-Chair for West Asia. Ehab is an expert in biodiversity conservation, zoology, CITES and protected areas management from Jordan and the West Asia region.

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Gabriela Lichtenstein - Member

Gabriela Lichtenstein Regional Vice-Chair for Meso and South America. Gabriela has a MSc in Biology, University of Buenos Aires (1992) and completed a PhD in Behavioral Ecology, King´s College, University of Cambridge (1997) and a Post-doc at the Dept of Geography, University of Buenos Aires (2001).

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Greg Mueller - Member

Gregory Mueller serves as Negaunee Foundation vice president of science at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Before joining the Garden, Dr Mueller worked for more than 23 years at The Field Museum as the curator of mycology in the Department of Botany.

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Ian Harrison - Member

Ian Harrison obtained his Ph.D. in systematic ichthyology at the University of Bristol, UK. He has conducted research on marine and freshwater fishes from several parts of the world.

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Jean-Christophe Vié - Member

Jean-Christophe Vié is Director General of Fondation Franklinia, a foundation dedicated to the conservation of threatened tree species. He joined the foundation after 17 years working for the IUCN Secretariat.

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Luigi Boitani - Member

Luigi Boitani. Chair of the IUCN SSC Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe. Luigi is Professor Emeritus at the University of Rome - Sapienza, where he has been teaching Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology for over 30 years and Head of the Department of Animal and Human Biology for 10 years.

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Mike Hoffmann - Member

Mike Hoffmann, a South African national, is currently based at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) where he heads up the organization’s cross-cutting conservation programmes. 

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Mirza Kusrini - Member

Mirza D. Kusrini. Regional Vice-Chair for South and East Asia. Mirza is lecturer in the Department of Forest Resources Conservation & Ecotourism at Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia.

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Nunia Thomas - Member

Nunia Thomas. Regional Vice-Chair for Oceania. Nunia is the Director of Fiji’s only local membership-based conservation organization – NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (www.naturefiji.org). 

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Onnie Byers - Member

Onnie Byers. Onnie earned her Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the University of Minnesota and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo in Washington D.C. 

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Paul Smith - Member

Paul Smith is the Secretary General and CEO of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). BGCI is the largest plant conservation network in the world, comprising 650 member institutions in >100 countries.

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Piero Genovesi

Piero Genovesi earned a Master degree in biological sciences and a PhD in animal ecology at the University of Rome. He is the head of the wildlife service with the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research in Rome.

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Russ Mittermeier - Member

He is currently Chief Conservation Officer of Global Wildlife Conservation. Among the other positions he has occupied, he was Vice-President for Science and Director of the Primate Program at WWW-U, President of Conservation International, and Executive Vice-Chair of Conservation International. 

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Tomas Diagne - Member

Tomas Diagne is an African freshwater turtle and tortoise expert who has been working to save threatened and endangered turtle species throughout West Africa for the past 28 years.

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Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath - Member

A former Minister of Sustainable Development for the Government of the State of Morelos in Central Mexico. For the past 36 years he has been Professor of ichthyology and Conservation Biology at the Autonomous University of the State Morelos, where he is head of the Conservation Biology work group.

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Vivek Menon - Member

Vivek Menon is a wildlife conservationist, environmental commentator, author and photographer with a passion for elephants. He has been part of the founding of five environmental & nature conservation organizations in India.

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Yan Xie - Member

Yan Xie is an Associate Research Professor at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, focusing on Amur Tiger and Protected Areas conservation. 

Regional Vice-Chairs

The Regional Vice-Chairs of the IUCN Species Survival Commission support the Chair's Office of the Species Survival Commission to facilitate efficient engagement and communication between relevant SSC Specialist Group Chairs and members, IUCN members, and national and regional SSC initiatives.

Chair's Office Staff

The main priority of the Chair and the SSC office is to provide support and leadership to the extensive global network to help stimulate conservation action on the ground. Any requests for additional groups to become established, together with the appointment of the Chairs of the Specialist Groups, must be endorsed by the SSC Chair in consultation with the SSC Steering Committee.

Special Advisors to the SSC

There are a handful of individuals who go beyond the extra mile, to regularly invest their time and energy into the SSC. As defined in the SSC bylaws, “the Chair of the Commission may appoint individuals as Advisory Members when they are in a working relationship with the SSC during the intersessional period”.