Joe Smith, Ph.D.

Joe Smith, Ph.D.Executive Director, Conservation Action

Dr. Joseph Smith serves as the Executive Director of Conservation Action, overseeing the implementation of Panthera’s global, intelligence-led wildlife protection program in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the growth of Panthera’s regional hubs around the world.

Initially joining Panthera in 2009, Joe previously served as Director of the Tigers Forever Program, overseeing 20 field projects with 14 partner organizations in six countries.  Joe built and managed a growing team of international experts drawn from a wide range of backgrounds including law enforcement, conservation technology and research science.

Joe’s lifelong fascination with wildlife led him to study Zoology as an undergraduate before embarking on a series of expeditions to the rainforests of Peru and Ecuador. He returned from South America in 2003 to continue his studies, beginning with a Masters degree in Wild Animal Biology at the Royal Veterinary College before going on to his PhD research at Imperial College London.

Throughout his doctoral work, Joe was based in central Sumatra running large-scale camera trap and occupancy surveys to better understand where tigers and other large mammals survived in an increasingly hostile, human-dominated landscape. Supported through Panthera’s Kaplan Scholarship Program, Joe was able to ensure his research was combined with efforts to better protect tigers in the field.