Jonathan Hughes

WCMC Chief Executive Officer UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)



I am currently the CEO of WCMC, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, based in Cambridge and a founding partner of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.  Prior to this I spent five years as CEO of the Scottish Wildlife Trust having previously worked for the Woodland Trust, the Forestry Commission England/Defra (secondment) and Westminster City Council.

Since September 2012 I have been elected global Councillor of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) where for four years I chaired the Council’s policy and programme committee and the EU policy advisory group. I am a non-Executive Director of Corrour Estate, a large upland estate in Scotland, and chair of the Ecological Advisory Board of Ardtornish Estate. I also chair two Trusts within the People’s Postcode Lottery family – the Postcode Heroes Trust and Postcode Sports Trust.

Since being fascinated by wildlife from the age of four, I have devoted my life to helping create a world where nature and people prosper together. Throughout my career I have tried to pioneer new ideas in nature conservation, challenge received wisdom and focus on turning words into action.

A long time ago I took a B.A in Geography and Biology from Keele University and an MSc in Ecology completed at the University of Florence on an Erasmus scholarship. More recently I was made an honorary fellow of the University of Edinburgh, an Ambassador for the Scottish Wildlife Trust and a honorary fellow of Scottish Environment Link.

In my spare time I play average squash, tennis, five a side football and better than average table football! Other interests include walking long distances, Italian Renaissance art, early 20th century American literature and urban design.

I live with my partner of 14 years, Emmi Hartikainen, have three children, twin boys and a daughter.