United States Government Presidential Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking

SUPPORT FOCUS: Global Wildlife Conservation


In December 2013, IAPF CEO Damien Mander flew to the USA to address the Advisory Council to the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking at the Department of Interior, Washington DC. He spoke about the requirements for front-line support of rangers and argued that whilst policy level talks are a vital part of the solution, the carnage on the ground must be halted before it is too late.


The Advisory Council is comprised of knowledgeable private-sector leaders, representatives of nonprofit organizations, and former government officials, who advise and assist the Presidential Task Force as it works to develop a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.


The members of the Advisory Council are:

  • Carter Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund
  • Cristián Samper, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Judith McHale (Chair), President and Chief Executive Officer, Cane Investments, LLC
  • David Barron, Chairman of the Board, International Conservation Caucus Foundation
  • Patrick Bergin, Chief Executive Officer, African Wildlife Foundation
  • Tod Cohen, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Global Government Relations, eBay Inc.
  • David Hayes, Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Law, Stanford Law School
  • John Webb, Former Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section, Department of Justice 


On July 1, 2013, President Obama issued an Executive Order to enhance coordination of U.S. Government efforts to combat wildlife trafficking and assist foreign governments with capacity building. The Executive Order calls on the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, to establish an eight-member Council with representation from the private sector, former government officials, non-governmental organizations, and other experts on wildlife trade. 


The Council serves as an advisory body to a Presidential Task Force consisting of senior-level representatives from across the federal government. The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Task Force on a multi-pronged approach to wildlife trafficking, including anti-poaching activities, law enforcement efforts and consumer demand reduction.


There is established a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking (Task Force), co-chaired by the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, and the Attorney General (Co-Chairs), or their designees, who report to the President through the National Security Advisor. The Task Force shall develop and implement a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.


In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Task Force includes designated senior-level representatives from:

  • the Department of the Treasury;
  • the Department of Defense;
  • the Department of Agriculture;
  • the Department of Commerce;
  • the Department of Transportation;
  • the Department of Homeland Security;
  • the United States Agency for International Development;
  • the Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
  • the National Security Staff;
  • the Domestic Policy Council;
  • the Council on Environmental Quality;
  • the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
  • the Office of Management and Budget;
  • the Office of the United States Trade Representative; and