What Kedge Is

Kedge is a collective of scientists, managers, and business folks who share a love of education, a respect for the wild environment, and a passion for equality.

 

These shared core values led us to create Kedge - a social enterprise dedicated to economic empowerment of high-potential communities in the most ecologically diverse areas of Africa.

 

Too often, the economic benefits of conserving wilderness aren't accessible to local communities. Part of the problem lies in access to entrepreneurial support, technological tools, and formal education in the fundamentals of finance and business ownership. Without these, local communities can struggle to advocate for their own economic equity.

 

Kedge is working to change that. We run 6-week on the ground training experiences that take place in high-potential rural communities of East and Southern Africa. Consider us a mobile microbusiness incubator: we work with communities in the most biologically rich areas of Africa to teach business skills and raise conservation literacy, growing a healthy economy while solving conservation challenges.

 

We're educators, researchers, community investors, and advocates; we're a platform for rural innovation and a bridge between companies and the communities in which they work. We bring opportunity, push for equity, and break down barriers to accessibility.

A woman stands with two Maasai men in a grassy field.

Alexandra E. Sutton

Chief Executive Officer

& Founder

Alexa is the founder of Kedge, and the incoming Vice President of Conservation, Justice & Equity at Ocean Conservancy. She is committed to elevating perspectives on climate + global environmental change that emerge from the cultural identities and lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color worldwide— and engaging in critical examinations of western assumptions about nature and the environment.
 
In 2017, she completed her Ph.D. in Environment at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, with a Doctoral Certificate in Global Health from the Duke Global Health Initiative; she had previously completed an M.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science at Texas A&M in 2009 and a B.S. in Biology at Howard University in 2007. As an undergraduate, she studied the potential of developing an oyster fisheries industry to combat protein shortages in Ghana by looking at the effect of salinity on filtration rates of the West African mangrove oyster at the University of Cape Coast; for her master’s work, she looked at the role that organizational culture and political identities played in determining support for the reintroduction of the white-tailed sea eagle to Scotland; and for her Ph.D., she looked for sustainable, culturally nested solutions to eliminating human-lion conflict in Maasai communities of southwestern Kenya. 

Scientific Publications

Sutton, A.E. 2015. Leadership and management influences the outcome of wildlife reintroduction programs: findings from the Sea Eagle Recovery Project.PeerJ 3:e1012 https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1012

Sutton, A.E., Yankson, K., and Wubah, D. A. 2012. The Effect of Salinity on Particle Filtration Rates of the West African Mangrove Oyster, Crassostrea tulipa. Journal of Young Investigators 24: 55 – 59.

Sutton, A.E., Dohn, J., Loyd, K., Treddenick, A., Bucini, G., Solorzano, A., Pridhodko, L., and N. P. Hanan. 2010. Response to Burke et al.: Does Warming Increase the Risk of Civil War in Africa? PNAS published ahead of print June 10, 2010. doi:10.1073/pnas.1005278107

A man turns a winch

Joe is the Chief Operating Officer of Kedge, and a graduate of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where he has worked extensively on biodiversity and forest conservation management throughout Africa. 

 

Scientific Publications

 

Weise, F. J., Lemeris Jr., J., Stratford, K. J., van Vuuren, R. J., Munro, S. J., Marker, L. L., and Stein, A. B. 2015. A home away from home: insights from successful leopard (Panthera pardus) translocations. Biodivers Conserv. DOI 10.1007/s10531-015-0895-7

 

Weise FJ, Lemeris JR Jr, Munro SJ, Bowden A, Venter C, van Vuuren M, van Vuuren RJ. (2015) Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) running the gauntlet: an evaluation of translocations into free-range environments in Namibia. PeerJ 3:e1346https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1346

 

Weise, F. J., Wiesel, I., Lemeris Jr, J., & Van Vuuren, R. J. (2015). Evaluation of a conflict-related brown hyaena translocation in central Namibia. African Journal of Wildlife Research: A Special Issue dedicated to carnivores, 45(2), 178-186.

Joseph Lemeris

Chief Operating Officer

A woman in profile walks through a grassy area in front of trees.

Courtney Skuce

Director of Planning

& Curriculum

Courtney is the Director of Planning & Curriculum at Kedge. She brings 5+ years of experience in workshop planning, an education in biology and ecology, and an interest in conservation education to the group.

A woman stands in front of a window overlooking Baltimore's Federal Hill

Emily Lapayowker

Director of Communications & Coordination

Emily is the Director of Communications & Coordination. A graduate of Hartwick College, she is thrilled to be working with Kedge, combining her passion for conservation and international development.

A woman wearing sunglasses stands in front of a large body of water.

Kelly Garvy

Director of Partnerships

Kelly is the Director of Partnerships at Kedge. She holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where she studied environmental economics and policy to preserve biodiversity. She has worked in Zambia studying cichlid behavior in Lake Tanganyika and in South Africa studying primate conservation.

 

Scientific Publication

Garvy, K. A., Hellmann, J. K., Ligocki, I. Y., Reddon, A. R., Marsh-Rollo, S. E., Hamilton, I. M, Balshine, S., O’Connor, C. M. (2014). Sex and social status affect territorial defence in a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish, Neolamprologus savoryi.Hydrobiologia, 1-11