The Luc Hoffmann Institute’s Advisory Council for 2021 and beyond

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Bringing in new thinking from the outside is an important component of innovation, and working with both WWF and non-WWF partners is and always has been critically important to the institute. With Melanie Ryan as its new director, and with its recent adoption as a key part of WWF International’s Global Conservation Division, the Luc Hoffmann Institute has strengthened its Advisory Council for 2021 and beyond. 

To guarantee its independence of thought as it transitions to serve as an engine for innovation within WWF, the Luc Hoffmann Institute is proud to have several new council members joining. “This is an exciting time for the institute as well as for our current and potential innovators and funders,” says Melanie Ryan, Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute. “The institute is currently refreshing its strategy and positioning, and considering how the brand can be strengthened to reflect its role as an incubator of innovation efforts. With such a strong Advisory Council, I am confident that the institute can bring all its expertise and experience to bear on the 21st century challenges to nature conservation: encouraging diversity of thought, shaping inclusive agendas where everyone has a part to play, and incubating new ideas that move us all toward future horizons for society.”

What is the Luc Hoffmann Institute Advisory Council?

The Luc Hoffmann Institute Advisory Council is a body that helps guarantee the institute’s integrity and independence, and comprises diverse expertise in relevant fields. Principally, the Advisory Council provides timely, strategic, independent advice and guidance, participates in quality assurance activities, helps ensure that the institute’s portfolio remains independent and true to its vision and mission, and helps extend the institute’s engagement and reach within WWF and among other networks.

Who is on the council?

The Luc Hoffmann Institute has the privilege of welcoming both new and returning members of the council. The new members joining the council are: 

  • Isis Alvarez, Senior Gender Advisor at the Global Forest Coalition, who has been actively engaged in campaigns and international advocacy work around sustainable management of forests by communities and for communities with a strong gender component
  • Elizabeth Ojo from the African Leadership University, where she helped set up and is now Director of Operations for the School of Wildlife Conservation, co-designing and implementing the school’s strategy for promoting conservation as an African growth sector by developing, equipping and informing entrepreneurial conservation leaders. 
  • Dermot O’Gorman, Chief Executive Officer of WWF-Australia, who has been a global leader in sustainable development for over two decades. He has driven innovation thinking within WWF, especially on digital technologies, overseeing the establishment of WWF Panda Labs. 
  • Thomas Vellacott is Chief Executive Officer of WWF Switzerland, working to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Before joining WWF professionally, he worked for Citibank and McKinsey & Co.

Read more about all twelve members of the Advisory Council here

Jon Hutton to chair the Advisory Council

In late 2020, Adil Najam stepped down as Chair of the Advisory Council. “Serving as the Chair of the Luc Hoffmann Institute has been one of the great honours of my career. To be associated with the name and legacy of Luc Hoffmann is itself a privilege and I have cherished the ability this has given me to work with dedicated professionals and thought leaders who believe passionately in the vision of the institute to catalyse innovation and transformative change for conservation and for a sustainable planet,” says Adil. Jon Hutton has taken on the role as Chair of the Advisory Council, bringing insight and advice from the ranks of WWF International to the Luc Hoffmann Institute as he settles into his new role as WWF International Global Conservation Director.

About the Luc Hoffmann Institute

The Luc Hoffmann Institute aims to be the world’s leading catalyst for innovation and transformative change to maintain biodiversity, the foundation of all life on Earth. We create the conditions for new approaches to emerge, identify and mobilise the most promising innovators and ideas, and provide a flow of impactful, de-risked and exciting initiatives for investors. Our passionate and open-minded team is dedicated to driving societal change for nature and people to thrive together. Learn more at, connect with us on LinkedIn, or follow us on Twitter @LucHoffmannInst.

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