JULIANE ZEIDLER

NAMIBIA

'Born as the third of four girls, I took it for granted that women "can do." My father died and I grew up in a women-led environment. This instilled in me a natural belief that a woman can do everything, be a great mother, have a brilliant career and change the world (just as much as change a tyre). I have always been passionate about people and nature. From an early age, I wanted to work at the interface of environment and development. Then my sister Muscha sparked the idea to travel through Africa. In an old Land Cruiser, we travelled from Germany to southern Africa in 1989. Both of us are still here. Africa is empowered and has fantastic cultures. But the continent also must deal with complicated circumstances such as colonial history, devastating impacts of climate change, debt, and broken leadership. I love my area of influence in conservation and sustainable development and look back on a career of 30 years in research, natural resource management, community action, and unleashing capacity in young professionals working in the sector. My current job as Country Director of WWF Namibia is a stunning opportunity – and great responsibility.  I am dedicated to making a positive difference – to nature and to people. And I believe in the power of women who can do!'                   

JULIANE ZEIDLER