Nelly Kadagi

Director of Conservation Leadership and the Education for Nature Program, Global Science

Media inquiries: News And Press Page

Nelly Isigi Kadagi is the Director of Conservation Leadership and the Education for Nature Program. In this role, Nelly oversees and manages WWF’s strategy for conservation capacity development and leadership. She also leads the operation of the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN).

Originally from Kenya, Nelly brings a wealth of expertise to WWF, ranging from developing scientific programs to supporting marine conservation to fundraising and designing capacity development initiatives in Africa and North America. Nelly is interested in building strong partnerships between communities and the public and private sectors to ensure conservation leaders have access to the education, support, and resources needed to address global environmental challenges.

Prior to joining WWF, Nelly worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Denver and One Earth Future–Secure Fisheries where she focused on fisheries conflicts and transnational governance of fisheries resources. Along with her postdoctoral work, Nelly also served as the Director of Research for the African Billfish Foundation where she championed billfish research across the Western Indian Ocean.

In addition to now leading the EFN program, Nelly is also an EFN alumna. She received a Russell E. Train Fellowship in 2015 that supported her Ph.D. studies while at the University of Florida. She is also a Schlumberger Faculty for the Future Fellow, a New England Aquarium Marine Conservation and Action Fund Fellow, and a recipient of the Conservation Leadership Program award.

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Media inquiries: News And Press Page


Director of Conservation Leadership and the Education for Nature Program


  • Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida
  • MSc. in Biomathematics from North Carolina State University
  • BSc. in Applied Aquatic Science from Egerton University

Areas of Expertise

  • Sustainable use and management of fisheries
  • Blue economy and ecosystem services
  • Maritime security, conflicts and policy
  • Capacity development
  • Conservation leadership
  • Community development and outreach