We are excited to welcome Dr. Katie Fawcett as the new Program Director at the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center. Katie’s many accomplishments ensure GRACE’s programming will be in superb hands. Her decade managing the Karisoke center in Rwanda for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International gave Katie a working knowledge of operations in Africa, gorilla care, census, conservation education, research collaboration, and record collection, plus an array of excellent connections. Katie is a conservation biologist whose Ph.D. thesis was on the Behavioral Ecology of Female Chimpanzees, in Uganda.
Working alongside GRACE DRC Director Jackson Mbeke, GRACE’s team, and our many wonderful partners, Katie will be leading our animal welfare and conservation programming in DR Congo, as we continue to work to ensure the health and safety of the gorillas at GRACE, and build a healthy population of wild gorillas in the DR Congo that is a source of pride for the Congolese people.
Katie is no stranger to GRACE; she has been with us for several months already. Effective October 1, 2020, she is taking over this leadership role from Dr. Tammie Bettinger, who has been a part of GRACE since its inception. Tammie’s skills, depth of experience with and passion for GRACE mean she is irreplaceable to us, and we are forever grateful to her. Fortunately, she is not leaving us entirely, just taking on a more limited role as a consultant, as she eases into retirement.
While Katie originally hails from England, she has spent decades living all over the world. These days, she enjoys living in Cape Cod with her husband and two daughters. Katie is never happier than when wandering the beaches or exploring the mountains and forests of New England with her family and two dogs.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Katie Fawcett officially to her leadership role on the GRACE team!
Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the U.S. that operates the world’s only sanctuary for Critically Endangered Grauer’s gorillas in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The largest primate in the world, Grauer’s gorillas only live in war-torn eastern DRC. Their numbers have dropped by nearly 80% in the past 20 years due to heavy poaching. They are considered one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world with only 3,800 individuals remaining in the wild. GRACE cares for 14 orphaned gorillas rescued from poachers and works to rehabilitate them so they can one day return to the wild. At GRACE, the gorillas live in a single gorilla group that functions as a surrogate family and spend their days in protected forest habitats. GRACE also leads field research and partners with local communities on education and conservation initiatives to protect a critical population of wild gorillas living in Tayna Nature Reserve. For more about GRACE, visit: www.gracegorillas.org.
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