Leadership is a defining factor in the delivery of success against elephant poaching. Our international leadership team represents decades of civilian and military experience.

<b>Catherine E. Semcer, Chief Operations Officer</b>
Catherine E. Semcer, Chief Operations Officer

Catherine E. Semcer is a dedicated conservationist and experienced non-profit leader. Through her consultancy, Artemis Strategic Advisors, Catherine supports clients in achieving their objectives with constituent and customer access and engagement, information collection and analysis, facilitation, conflict resolution and government relations services. Through Artemis, Catherine has worked to turn conservation concerns into assets for military readiness, improve civil/military relations and directed a research project that was included in the first comprehensive, peer reviewed analysis of the role of hunting in North American Wildlife Conservation.

From 2001 until 2013, Catherine served Sierra Club, America’s oldest and largest grassroots conservation organization, as their Senior Washington, DC Representative. In her role with Sierra Club Catherine drove grassroots and top-down campaigns to expand and leverage organizational influence on national politics and public policy. Projects she managed achieved new constituency access, expanded available funding, developed and strengthened internal and external teams and networks. Throughout her service Catherine cultivated a consistent record of successful public policy outcomes.

Prior to moving to Washington, DC to join Sierra Club, Catherine worked for McKinsey and Company in their New York City office. While with McKinsey, she supported teams in the Environmental, Non-Profit and Healthcare practices, as well as senior management, with research, analysis and thought leadership to improve the Firm’s operations and help clients increase efficiency and business advantage.

Catherine is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, with a degree in Philosophy/Political thought and is a member of the Sustainable Use Livelihoods Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN.)

<b>Erin Lavoie, Chief Communications Officer</b>
Erin Lavoie, Chief Communications Officer

Erin Lavoie is a marketing and digital development consultant who brings years of journalism and web development experience to H.O.P.E.. As a former television news producer, Erin is committed to engaging and informing the world about the critical security issues facing African Elephants and the guardian communities that protect them.

In addition to her work as a news producer at several television stations across the U.S., Erin has worked on major web development and digital marketing projects for the public and private sectors. Erin applies her expertise by harnessing the power of traditional and social media platforms to build support and business alliances. She believes that by creating and engaging a global mass of support, we can force change and reduce the demand for illicit ivory.

<b>Dan Belin, Chief Technology Officer</b>
Dan Belin, Chief Technology Officer

Daniel F. Belin is a software engineer and a technologist with specific experience in wearable technology, secure software engineering, high performance computing, ISR, and communications technologies. He has worked on major projects for the United States Army and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency among other organizations. His specialty throughout his career has been the development of highly deployable solutions which give connect users and allow them to leverage the information environment which was previously inaccessible to them.

He is currently employed as a software engineer at APX Labs, where he is on a team which provides the preeminent enterprise software platform for wearables to customers across a wide number of operational scenarios.

<strong>Bobby Colliton, <b> Director of Training and Advisory Services</b></strong>
Bobby Colliton, Director of Training and Advisory Services
Bobby Colliton is a 15 year veteran of the US Military with over 38 months of service on active combat deployments. He is a former US Army Airborne rifle squad leader, and currently serves as a USAF Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Specialist. Robert’s Army experience includes both peace keeping and combat operations in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Bobby conducted/planned/lead direct action, ambush, helicopter assaults, reconnaissance, extended length vehicle patrols, stabilization, and coalition/partner nation training operations.

As a SERE Specialist, Bobby taught at the US Air Force Combat Survival School. He instructed basic combat survival skills including camouflage, evasion movement, tactical/survival medicine, tracking/counter tracking and basic bush craft skills for all USAF Aircrew and Special Operations Forces. His most recent assignment as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of SERE Operations at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan (the Air Force’s largest and most diverse Combat Wing) afforded him the opportunity to work and train with Special Operations Forces from all over the Pacific AOR, including New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. He also deployed as SERE subject matter expert for USAF Rescue operations in Regional Command – East in Afghanistan, supporting and planning Combat Search and Rescue and Personnel Recovery operations for both Conventional and Special Operations Forces for US DOD, DOJ, DOS and NATO forces.

Bobby is currently working on his Bachelor’s degree. He is extremely passionate about animal conservation and education.

<strong>Desmond Rabinovitch, <b>Senior Liaison for Southern Africa</b></strong>
Desmond Rabinovitch, Senior Liaison for Southern Africa
Desmond is a U.S. military veteran, wildlife conservationist, Falconer, and Raptor biologist who owns and operates Lat 8 Conversation Services, based in Zimbabwe – an advisory firm that works with organizations on wildlife and land conservation and management.

Born in Zimbabwe, Desmond holds a dual Zimbabwean/American citizenship. He devoted five years to the U.S. Army serving in the Infantry with 3rd Brigade- 2nd Infantry Division,  5th battalion 20th infantry / Alpha company line infantry and Company snipers Iraq, and 5th battalion 20th infantry /HHC Scout/Sniper Section Afghanistan ( Senior Sniper and Assistant Team Leader).

Desmond has multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and applies his experience garnered there to his work supporting conservation, wildlife protection, and land management, including:

  • Water Management- Construction of water points and pipe lines. Borehole service and maintenance.
  • Area Management- Construction of road networks, Fire control methods and Camp construction.
  • Camp Management- Managing of everyday functions in Camp, Inventory, Staff structure and pay. Cliental feedback and customer care.
  • Wildlife Management- Conduct research, establish and conduct population census and logs.
  • Knowledge with wildlife ranching, impact surveys, carry capacity conclusions, transects veld management and condition.

Desmond attended the University of Pretoria majoring in Zoology and Botany. He lives in Zimbabwe with his wife and two children.