After having "timed out" of the U.S. Peace Corps at 8.5 years in December 2013, I began working as a Chief of Party on the Central Africa Forest Ecosystems Conservation Project for Conservation International in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  My major responsibilities include managing all aspects of the implementation of a 5-year $13.6 million Cooperative Agreement with USAID, including program management, administration of project resources, human resources management and staff capacity building.

 

This project is part of the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), which is USAID's largest biodiversity conservation program in the world.  While CARPE covers the entire Congo Basin, the particular area (or 'landscape') where I am working consists of 10 million hectares (the size of Virginia) of tropical rainforest in eastern DRC - mostly in North and South Kivu Provinces, adjacent to Rwanda.  [The photo is taken at a place called "Tchibati Falls" which are in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, about 40 kilometers northwest of Bukavu, South Kivu Province, which is in our project zone.] I am based in Kinshasa but travel often to our regional office in Goma as well as to nearby field sites.  Working at the nexus of environmental and livelihood issues, in an area with significant security challenges, has proven to be very interesting.  Eastern DRC is a very complicated place with unique challenges, but the work there also has its rewards.  There is much to do and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to make a contribution. [2-15]

 

Although work doesn't leave me much time, I did manage to publish my dissertation in he form of a book; Lemurs, Landscapes, and Livelihoods: The Political Ecology of Biodiversity Conservation in Madagascar, from Lambert Academic Publishing.

 

Email: MSimsik1961@gmail.com

 

Degree: 
Ed.D.
Entrance Year: 
Graduation Year: 
5-year span: 
Status: 
CIE Graduate