Leadership team

Steve Trent

CEO and Founder

Steve has been a passionate defender of our natural world for the past three decades. His professional career began as an investigator and campaigner against the illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, and the illicit trade in ozone-depleting chemicals. As the Campaigns Director for the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and now as CEO of EJF, Steve has led investigations documenting the corrupt, brutal and devastating practices that have damaged wildlife populations and natural ecosystems across Asia, Africa and South America.

Steve is also a Founding Director of WildAid, served as President and led the China and India programmes to reduce the illegal wildlife trade. Steve led many successful campaigns, and oversaw the creation of films and partnerships, using the strapline "When the buying stops, the killing can too".

Steve is a gifted strategist and orator who has created "surgical" campaigns that reach the highest levels of political decision-making. His tireless dedication has secured changes to policies, laws and enforcement, and business leadership that have greatly improved the governance of our natural world.

With a determination to amplify the voice of the communities that live alongside some of the world's most threatened ecosystems, Steve devised an activist training programme to provide training, essential equipment, and support to environmental defenders. He is committed to protecting the rights of those most dependent upon the conservation of the natural world and bringing ignored issues into the spotlight.

Juliette Williams

Director & Founder

Juliette's lifelong love for wildlife and wild places has inspired her career. After studying Politics and Economics at Liverpool University, Juliette began working with the Environmental Investigation Agency. She became the Forest Campaigner, combining research into illegal logging and forest conservation in Indonesia with high-level political advocacy. In 1999, Juliette became a Founding Director of EJF and shares responsibility for strategic development, fundraising, governance and reporting, and ensuring that EJF's campaigns have a measurable, meaningful impact on our natural world.

In 1999, Juliette became a Founding Director of EJF and now shares responsibility for overall governance and reporting to the Trustees, financial and strategic oversight and planning. Juliette leads in securing and reporting on funding from statutory and private grant makers.

Max Schmid

Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer

Max joined EJF in 2011 following a sabbatical to research the socio-economic role of fisheries in Sierra Leone. Prior to this, Max was a Senior Associate with PwC. Max has a BA in Modern History from the University of Oxford, and an MSc in African Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies and is qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Max is involved in EJF's global oceans campaign and liaises closely with coalition partners in the EU. He was promoted to COO in 2021 and assumed day-to-day oversight of the finance team, risk management, designated fundraising and staff / asset management.

Charlie Johnson

Deputy Director & Film Unit Manager

Charlie has worked for EJF since 2013 and now heads the Film Unit. Charlie has led many investigations in Asia and West Africa, focusing on ocean protection, deforestation and most recently on the impacts of climate change on fundamental human rights. Charlie has trained environmental defenders to use video, drones and cameras to document threats to their natural world.

Dominic Thomson

Deputy Director & Project Manager - SE Asia

Dominic is responsible for managing projects, staff and resources in Thailand and Indonesia, planning and guiding investigations, grassroots partnerships and advocacy with governments and industry. Dominic has undertaken numerous investigations and provides legal and policy analyses relating to illegal fishing and human trafficking within the seafood sector. Dominic also initiated EJF's Net Free Seas project, which works with fishing communities to end the harm caused by plastic fishing nets discarded into the ocean.

The Leadership Team is supported by:

Sarah Simpson, Global Finance and Resources Manager

Sarah manages EJF's finance and admin team and reports to the COO and Directors. Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Price Waterhouse, specialising in audit and corporation tax before moving to KPMG, where she specialised in personal and expatriate taxation. Sarah spent nine years in Cape Town working as the Chief Finance Officer for a non-profit that rehabilitated the homeless.

Board of trustees

Steve McIvor


Steve McIvor is CEO of World Animal Protection, leading teams, projects and strategies in 40+ countries. Steve has a background in campaigns and communications in the non-profit and commercial sectors, including Body Shop International.

Bob Lutgen


Bob Lutgen is a Chartered Financial Analyst. As a Director at Alta Advisers, he identifies, evaluates, and monitors investments across several asset classes and geographies. Bob holds an MSc in Finance and Economics from LSE.

Tessa Gregory

Tessa Gregory is a lawyer and Partner with Leigh Day. Tessa has led ground-breaking public law litigation in several challenging and high-profile human rights cases, including refugee law and cases concerning wildlife and environmental protection.

Andrew Kalman

Andrew Kalman is a Director at Crane Kalman Gallery, London. Andrew has been involved with EJF's work for two decades, beginning in 2001 when he provided pro bono support for our ArtAction auction of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, London.

Juliana Ruhfus

Juliana Ruhfus is an award-winning investigative journalist, producer/ director. Over the past two decades, she has made over 60 films in nearly 50 countries and across six continents. Juliana has worked for some of the world’s largest broadcasters and was the senior presenter for Al Jazeera English's “People & Power” series. She now works as an independent filmmaker, writer and trainer.

Board of Patrons

Benedict Allen

Benedict Allen is a British writer, traveller and adventurer known for his technique of immersion among indigenous peoples. He is also a Trustee of the Royal Geographical Society. In 2014, his broadcast appeal on the BBC raised over £10,000 for our Oceans Campaign, Benedict joined the Board of Patrons in 2010.

Lily Cole

Lily Cole is a model, actress, entrepreneur and activist on sociopolitical and environmental issues. Lily has actively supported our work in a number of ways including making a film showing the environmental credentials of our organic, fairtrade and climate neutral t-shirts, and joining Steve Trent to discuss shark conservation at the Hay Festival. Lily joined the Board of Patrons in 2010.

Antony Gormley OBE

Antony Gormley OBE is a British artist widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. Creator of the Angel of the North, Field for the British Isles, Another Place, and Quantum Cloud, Antony has won the Turner Prize and he is a Royal Academician. In 1997 he received an OBE and he was knighted in 2014. Antony joined EJF’s Board of Patrons in 2013.

Katherine Hamnett CBE

Katherine Hamnett CBE is an English fashion designer best known for her political t-shirts and her ethical business philosophy. Katherine has supported EJF through the T-shirt project, for which she became the first designer with her slogan ‘Save the Future’, and through public engagement on the pesticides campaign. Katharine was the winner of the first ever British Fashion Awards and became a CBE in 2011 for her services to British fashion. Katharine has been a Patron since 2012.

Rachel Whiteread CBE

Rachel Whiteread CBE is an English artist who primarily produces sculptures, which typically take the form of casts. Rachel was the first woman to win the Turner Prize in 1993 and she received a CBE in 2006. Among her most renowned works are House, a large concrete cast of the inside of an entire Victorian house, the holocaust memorial sculpture in Judenplatz, Vienna and her resin sculpture for the empty plinth in London's Trafalgar Square. Rachel became EJF’s first Patron in 2000; her support was invaluable in enabling us to develop our 2001 ArtAction auction, which raised over £550,000 for our work.

Gordon Buchanan MBE

Gordon Buchanan MBE is a Scottish wildlife filmmaker and presenter. His work includes the nature documentaries Tribes, Predators & Me, The Polar Bear Family & Me and Life in the Snow. Gordon's support has been central to EJF's campaign to shut down commercial wildlife markets around the globe, protecting wildlife and humans alike.