Our Team


Welcome to the Tanzanian Elephant Foundation’s. Here, we take pride in introducing the passionate individuals who form the heart and soul of our organization. Committed to the conservation and well-being of Tanzanian elephants, our team brings together diverse skills, experiences, and a shared dedication to safeguarding these majestic creatures. Meet the faces behind our mission, each contributing their unique expertise to make a positive impact on the future of elephant conservation in Tanzania. Together, we strive to create a world where elephants thrive, and their presence enriches the natural heritage of our beloved country.

Lameck Mkuburo

Founder & CEO

Lameck has a Master’s degree of Science in Biodiversity Conservation from the University of Dar es salaam. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Dar es salaam focusing on elephant movements and human-elephant conflicts around Mkomazi National Park. Lameck is a results-driven professional with over a decade of hands-on experience. His deep-seated passion for conservation and the environment has been the driving force behind his career in biodiversity conservation. Lameck possesses exceptional leadership skills and is highly proficient in wildlife research, data collection, and analysis. He is also adept at working with multicultural teams and adapting to diverse cultures. His current and past roles have frequently placed him in remote areas, often under challenging conditions, requiring extensive physical fieldwork. 

Notably, Lameck’s substantial knowledge and research skills are highly regarded and frequently sought after by the Tanzanian government. He has led the way in conducting surveys and monitoring of African elephants in Tanzania. These surveys provide critical information the government uses to increase protection strategies of the African elephants. Recognizing that human-wildlife conflict is a significant threat facing the African elephant, he started the Tanzanian Elephant Foundation to facilitate the peaceful co-existence between the communities and elephants. The Foundation guides the local community to use non-lethal methods to reduce conflicts with elephants, reduce crop losses and diversify local economic livelihoods – a win-win solution for both the community and for conserving elephants and biodiversity. In his capacity as CEO, Lameck seamlessly blends his innovative mindset with strong organizational skills. He serves as the guiding force behind the planning, fundraising, execution, and seamless coordinating of all organization programmes. His exceptional ability to anticipate challenges and devise effective solutions ensures that projects progress without encountering significant hurdles. Lameck’s commitment to excellence extends beyond his role as a CEO. He serves as a wellspring of inspiration for the team, young conservationists. He is also a great mentor who is fostering a collaborative environment that nurtures growth and achievement among team members. His leadership is grounded in a profound understanding of how each project component fits into the larger puzzle, enabling the organization to stay on course and consistently exceed expectations. Lameck believes that trust at working environment is gained through motivation, impact and communication.

Hellen Tef Team

Helena Selis

Finance and Administration Manager

Helena holds a Master’s degree in Business Management and a Bachelor’s degree of Arts in Accounting and Finance from Moshi Co-Operative University. Helena brings seasoned expertise to our team, specializing in accounts, finance and business management and ensuring the smooth operation of our organization. In her capacity, Helena meticulously manages our finance, overseeing budgets, expenditures, and financial reporting. Her dedication to financial prudence ensures that our resources are used effectively to further our mission. Helena’s administrative skills extends beyond numbers. She keeps our organizational machinery running smoothly, compliance with rules and regulations, managing day-to-day operations and ensuring that our team has the support they need to excel in their roles. Helena believes that being reliable and trustworthy brings out the best in someone and to the organization they are working in.

Athuman Tef Team

Athuman Mathayo

Research & Monitoring Coordinator

Athuman Mathayo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management from the College of African Wildlife Management (CAWM), Mweka and he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree of Science in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Dar es Salaam studying elephant demography in Mkomazi National Park. Athuman is a committed conservationist and wildlife researcher. With strong experience in wildlife research and monitoring, Athuman is committed to ensuring that our elephant research and monitoring programme is on track and achieving its intended outcomes. He plays a vital role in collecting, analyzing, interpreting, reporting and mapping data, allowing us to advise the decision-makers and continuously improve our programme. He is also managing our elephant demographic ID database, camera trapping database, human-elephant conflict database and elephant collaring information.  

Our Team Tanzanian Elephant Foundation

Vaileth  Sanga

Coexistence and Education Coordinator

Vaileth holds a Bachelor degree in Wildlife Management from the Sokoine University of Agriculture. She is a true champion for our human-elephant coexistence and education projects. Her dedication and unwavering commitment to our organization have made a remarkable impact in the lives of communities living alongside elephants. Her innovative ideas and tireless efforts have transformed the way we approach communities for beehive fences management, village savings and loans associations, and education in creating positive views of wildlife, commitment and tolerance towards elephants. Her tenacity in the field is most admirable and builds team work for our team and the community members.

Nalaila Jacob

Project Officer-Research & Monitoring

Nalaila has a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science and Conservation from the University of Dar es Salaam. He is now pursuing his Master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Dar es Salaam in collaboration with the Colorado State University, USA, studying the response of wildlife populations to compound extreme events in the Enduimet Community Wildlife Management Area. He is a young, passionate and upcoming wildlife ecologist, conservation scientist and elephant scientist. Nalaila has interests, knowledge, and skills in project designing and writing, data analysis and interpretation, field surveys, photographing, biodiversity conservation, ecological interactions, and leadership. At the Tanzanian Elephant Foundation, he has a substantial role in project designing and execution, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting. Moreover, under the guidance of the research and monitoring coordinator, he assist and manage the elephant demography ID database, camera trapping database, and human-elephant conflict database as well as elephant collaring project. Nalaila plays an outstanding role in writing project proposals and he has a universal role through our programmes. 

Our team Tanzanian Elephant Foundation

Mwani  Ismael

Fundraising & Communications Manager

Mwani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a Public Relations Officer and a Sales and Marketing Officer. Mwani brings a wealth of expertise and passion for driving positive change through data-driven insights and effective communication and fundraising strategies. She is actively managing and coordinating our social media initiatives, leveraging digital platforms to raise awareness, engage stakeholders and amplify the impact of our work. With her strategic approach and creative mindset, Mwani is instrumental in effectively communicating our mission and connecting with our target audience.