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Kate Newman

Managing Director, Public Sector Initiatives

Kate Newman
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If she ever wants a break from her career as a conservationist, Kate can always try her hand on the reality show Fear Factor. After more than two decades in the field, there isn't much she hasn't eaten, including fried caterpillars, termites and jellyfish.

Kate oversees WWF's efforts to conserve the world's richest marine ecosystem. The area, broadly bounded by Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, boasts the world's greatest diversity of coral and marine life. Yet the challenges loom as large as the region itself. The impacts of climate change on the coral system are emerging and poorly managed tourism is a growing concern but fishing represents the biggest immediate threat, both in terms of overfishing and how fish are caught.

Working with local partners, Kate is helping the region's nations recognize the value of their extraordinary natural assets. Fisheries policy has been successfully reformed in certain countries and several conservation areas have been established that are large enough to protect habitat and allow fish species to repopulate. "The nice thing about fish," she says, "is they can bounce back if you leave them alone long enough."

“From a conservation perspective, the biodiversity and resources of the Coral Triangle make it the marine equivalent of the Amazon.”

More on Kate


Managing Director


  • MSc with Distinction - Environmental Management, University of London
  • BA with Distinction - Anthropology, University of Virginia

Areas of Expertise

  • Aquatic ecology
  • Coastal and marine conservation issues
  • Marine protected areas
  • Turtle conservation program
  • Ecoregion conservation planning and management
  • African conservation, particularly marine community-based natural resource management