Our Team

Elisabeth ‘Ellie’ Leaning

Current C.V.

Ellie is currently pursuing her Masters in Environmental Studies specializing in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability with a certificate in Food Justice and Resilient Communities at Antioch University, New England. With a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and minors in Political Science, Psychology, and Comparative Literary and Culture Studies, Ellie approaches issues of sustainable development, particularly food systems and eco-tourism from an interdisciplinary perspective. She is equally interested in the organizational sustainability of non-profits.

As CG’s Executive Project Leader in South Africa, Ellie developed and managed student courses, local youth programmes, and local community projects. She is currently based in the USA and helping frame CG’s strategic direction whilst finishing her studies.

Extended C.V.

Ellie comes from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA where she previously worked with the Affordable Housing Institute as an analyst. She graduated from Franklin University Switzerland in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and minors in Political Science, Psychology, and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies. She was the 2014 recipient of Franklin University Switzerland’s Presidential Leadership Award. She worked as a research assistant for two years for the Swiss Network for International Studies supporting the project entitled Trends and Influences of Private Financing on Global Health Institutions.


I spent two weeks in South Africa with Conservation Global in a partnered trip with Franklin University Switzerland. It is safe to say that these two weeks are by far the most memorable of my life thanks to the effort Conservation Global put into both the educational and adventurous aspects of our trip. From hiking up Lion’s Head in Cape Town, diving with Great White sharks in the Indian ocean, and near encounters with the endangered White Rhinoceros, this NGO helped plan an incredible experience for my research conservation class. If it were not for Conservation Global I do not think we could have done many of the activities we did- such as engage with students at Tsiba College on issues of sustainability on our campuses, and meet and listen to Mark Rutherford lecture on how to run Gondwana Game Reserve. I will forever be grateful for these two weeks and for all of the hard work Conservation Global put into this experience!

Taylor Deems May 24th, 2016

Conservation Global organized a dually educational and adventurous experience across South Africa. As a student I was able to learn more about apartheid and its effects on the nation from prominent political leaders. Also, I was able to better understand the needs and efforts of conservationists across the area to protect some of the worlds most endangered animals. From finding dolphins in the Indian Ocean, cage diving with great whites, and spotting lions on the game reserve, this experience reestablished the necessity in myself to protect our wild lands across the globe. If we do not protect them, who will?

Anna Hixson March 25th, 2015

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