ARCOS Staff Team

ARCOS team is made of dedicated and passionate staff distributed in 4 interlinked directorate namely Executive Director Office (EDO), Development and Information Systems (DIS), Conservation Programme  (CP) and Finance and Administration (F&A); as well as associates and ambassadors.

Executive Director Office - EDO

Dr Sam Kanyamibwa: Executive Director

Sam KanyamibwaDr Sam Kanyamibwa is the Founder and Executive Director of ARCOS since 2009. He is also the Secretary to the Board. Sam is a professionally qualified conservationist, with over 20 years of experience in conservation at international level and particularly in Africa. He is a teacher, ecologist, ornithologist and manager by training. He led the development of research and monitoring at Nyungwe Forest with Wildlife Conservation Society in early 1990s, he then moved to Cambridge in the UK to head the Africa Programme at UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, before coming back to Africa in 2000 as Regional Representative of WWF for the Eastern Africa Region. He then became the Deputy Director for WWF-Africa and Madagascar Programe until 2007 and was the Regional Director for AWF during 2008/2009.

Before taking up the full position with ARCOS, Sam was an international consultant and served several international organizations in areas of Integrated Conservation and Development, Organization Development, Program Strategic Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, Policy and Advocacy, Protected Areas, Management, Training and Meeting Facilitation. As founder of a national NGO (Association for Nature Conservation in Rwanda, ACNR) and a regional NGO (ARCOS), Sam has long experience with NGOs at local, national and international level. He has been involved in several policy processes at international level, as well as private sector in Eastern Africa. He was also the Chairman of the Pan-African Ornithological Congress in 1996 to 2000). Sam did his undergraduate studies in Biology at the National University of Rwanda, then went to France for his MSc in Evolutionary Ecology where he also completed his PhD in “Evolutionary Ecology and Natural Population Dynamics: case study of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia in relation to the wintering conditions in Africa”.  In 2003, Sam obtained a Certificate in Advanced Management and MBA at Ashridge Management College, UK.

Sam loves sport (former Rwandan National Basketball Team Player), Nature and people working together.

Yvonne Bigengimana: Executive Assistant

YvonneMs Yvonne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Zoology and Conservation from National University of Rwanda.  She assisted in different researches studying the biological diversity of the Lake Kivu Islands, Rwanda. She worked with Imbuto Foundation as an intern where she assisted and gave support in different projects.  Yvonne also worked as learning facilitator at Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)/Rwanda where she actively participated in the empowerment of local community in ICT, Business and livelihoods development.

For one year working with ARCOS, Ms Yvonne held key responsibilities including events organization and management, and she has been managing ARCOS Membership, Partnerships and Network programme through collaborative actions.

As Executive Assistant in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Event Management and Membership, Ms Yvonne supports the Executive Director’s day-to-day administrative needs and organizational duties to achieve the overall goals and mission of the Organization.  She is specifically responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation in the organization, Events Management and ARCOS Membership program.

Yvonne is interested in nature, interacting with people and enjoys outing with friends.

Jacqueline Ntukamazina: Manager, Network Engagement and Partnerships 

JacquelineMs Jacqueline is a Burundian biologist-environmentalist. She has a long experience of working with civil society organizations in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

As Network Engagement and Partnerships Manager, Ms Jacqueline’s overall responsibility is to provide strategic leadership in the development, implementation and supporting a wide range of activities aimed at developing, strengthening and managing relationships with ARCOS Network and Partners to achieve the organization objectives. She shapes ARCOS Partnership strategy and key priorities to make it happen.

Jacqueline loves reading, cracking jokes, and is fascinated by the discovery of life of human and animal populations. She also likes sports especially walking in natural landscapes. She detests lies.

Development and Information Systems – DIS

Faustin Gashakamba: Director, Development and Information Systems

Faustin GashakambaMr Faustin holds a Bachelor's degree in Geography and has 6 years experience in land management and conservation. He has worked on different projects that look at applying GIS in various conservation and natural resources management and has accumulated a considerable experience in developing and deploying conservation-related WebGIS applications using open-source tools.

As  DIS Director, he is responsible for a wide range of activities promoting ARCOS profile and reputation and in particular leads the identification and development programmes and initiatives, the management of ARCOS Information System and the production of ARCOS outreach materials.
Faustin loves outings and contact with nature and is an amateur photographer.

Gilbert Muvunankiko: Leader, Information Systems and Communications Department

Mr Gilbert holds a B.Sc. Degree in zoology and Conservation from National University of Rwanda. He assisted in different researches such as Biodiversity inventory at some of islands found in Lake Kivu, and Chimpanzee Conservation in Nyungwe National Park / Rwanda, where his responsibilities included overseeing the project and mentoring undergraduate students doing research. Gilbert carried out a research on the status of Turaco species in Gishwati forest reserve, Rwanda. He is also a trained graphic designer and video editor.

As Leader of Information Systems and Communications department, , his overall responsibility include to ensure the overall coordination and management of the ARCOS Biodiversity Information Management System(ARBIMS), and specifically, to provide leadership, coordination, management and support ARCOS information systems, communication and outreach activities and GIS resources, working closely with ARCOS staff and partners.

Gilbert is passionate for nature and his hobbies include listening to music, swimming and playing basketball.

Conservation Programme - CP

Philbert Nsengiyumva: Director, Conservation Programme

philbert NsengiyumvaMr Philbert holds a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Conservation from the National University of Rwanda. Currently, he is persuing a Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources at Makerere University, Kampala. He has experience in Environmental Threats Mitigation, Environmental Impact Assessment and Community Conservation.

As Director of Landscape Conservation, Mr. Philbert Leads the development, management and implementation of ARCOS Conservation Programme and Annual Plans, ensuring strong delivery on the ARCOS Conservation Strategic Plan.

His interests lie in environmental governance and sustainability. He is passionate about biodiversity field works and hiking.

Salome Alweny: Leader, Environmental Change, Development and Policy Department

Salome Alweny Salome is a holder of a Master of Science (Msc.) degree in Environment and Natural Resources from Makerere University, Kampala. Her Msc. research was on “Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Responses of Fish Dependent Communities in the Albertine and Victoria Drainage Basins in Uganda”. She also holds a Bachelor degree of Arts in Environmental Management and advanced certificates in Environmental Journalism and communication - all from Makerere University. 

She has worked with various organisations the latest being Uganda Carbon Bureau where she worked as a Carbon Finance Specialist - managing the bureau’s on-going Carbon Neutral service as well as the Bureau’s communications and publications. Before joining Uganda Carbon Bureau, She worked with Uganda’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as the National Project Assistant Coordinator under the UNEP - UNDP Poverty-Environment Initiative (UNPEI. Prior to working with NEMA Uganda, she worked as an Environment writer at the Daily Monitor Newspaper in Uganda. 

As Leader of Environmental Change, Development and Policy Department, she manages all aspects related to promoting sustainable mountain development in Africa. Some of her other duties include coordination and strategic leadership of the programme, programme management and implementation, policy engagement, programme development and fundraising, as well as generation and dissemination of information on mountain ecosystems.

Mr. Jean Paul Kubwimana: Leader, Landscape Conservation and Community Development

Jean Paul ProfileMr. Jean Paul Kubwimana is a person with a strong passion for biodiversity conservation. He currently holds a Master of Science with Honours in Biodiversity Conservation, from the University of Rwanda received in 2013 after completion of his work on the Assessment of matrix and edge effects on chimpanzee habitat and behavioral ecology in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda.

Jean Paul has got adequate practical skills in conservation through working with environmental conservation NGOs and being involved in different field research activities in both ornithology and primatology, and has along his professional work dealt with community conservation project development and implementation.

As a Leader, Landscape Conservation and Community Development, he provides leadership in the development, implementation and management of ARCOS field programmes in priority landscapes; works closely with  ARCOS management in developing strategic directions for ARCOS' broader engagement and exploring opportunities to implement agreed priorities  in the Albertine Rift region and beyond.

Mr. Jean Paul is married and has got 2 children. During his spare time he plays football, and /or the piano.

Martin Sindikubwabo: Officer, Biodiversity Monitoring 

MartinMr Martin holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Management from Kampala International University. He has worked several years (since 1992) with Nyungwe Forest Conservation Project/Wildlife Conservation Society as Research Assistant and joined ARCOS in August 2011. He participated in several researches, biodiversity surveys and monitoring on birds, mammals, plants, reptiles and amphibians in different important Biodiversity Areas in Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of Congo. He attended a number of national, international workshops related to biodiversity monitoring and action plans for conservation of Globally Threatened Birds in Africa.

His overall responsibility as ARCOS’ Biodiversity Monitoring Officer is to provide the technical support to ARCOS field activities, especially in biodiversity monitoring, compilation of data and case studies on Biodiversity in the Albertine Rift region and beyond.

Martin is married with 5 kids. He loves dealing with environmental issues and his interest lies in environmental education, advocacy and sustainable development.

Mrs. Brigitte Nikita Kanyamugenge: Officer, Community Development

BrigitteMrs Brigitte holds a B.Sc. Degree in Forestry and Nature Conservation obtained from the former ISAE. She conducted and assisted in different researches Assessing impacts of community development projects on conservation and community livelihoods around Volcanoes National Park (VNP). She got a Training of Trainers (ToT) in Work Readiness, Income Generating Activities and Cooperative Management by Education Development Center (EDC).

She acquired skills and experience in training different community groups on this curriculum, she technically facilitated them in applying skills acquired to implement new projects and advised them on sustainable natural resources management, especially for communities around Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Parks.

Currently, Brigitte is ARCOS Community Development Officer and her overall responsibility includes collaborating with the community and other partners in implementing projects that allow people to develop in a safe environment. This to mean, promoting smart environmental practices for environmental and economic benefits.

Apart from being passionate for nature, Brigitte likes reading and writing small stories inspired by true stories and she likes listening to classical music.

Finance and Administration – F&A

Josephine Bbaale: Director, Finance and Administration

Josephine BbaaleMrs Bbaale Josephine holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Ndejje University/Uganda, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and an Advanced Diploma in Business Studies from National college of Business studies Nakawa. Ten years before joining ARCOS, Mrs Josephine worked with Reliable Corporate Solutions as an Associate consultant where she led services in the review of finance policies and manuals, human resource qualification and evaluation, and training in small scale business management. She also worked for Uganda Women Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO-SMS) as a Finance Manager and worked with Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) as a Regional Accountant.

As Director, Administration and Finance, she is responsible for Direct control of ARCOS’ Financial projects performance, procurement processes and Assets management , Manage contracts for all ARCOS staff, suppliers, vendor, and consultantants, Monitoring and reviewing performance of the finance and administration departments and address gaps according to set targets, Preparing monthly project performance reports , Spear head and manage the budget function organisation wide, Grants and collaborative partnership management, Coordinating internal and external audits as well managing the human resource function end to end.

Beatrice Mukansoro: Manager, Finance and Administration

BeatriceMs. MUKANSORO Beatrice holds a bachelor’s degree in Management from the Kigali Independent University (ULK) and she is undergoing an ACCA program.  Before joining the ARCOS team, she worked for PRIME ECONOMIC ZONES Ltd for over two years as an accountant where she was in charge of overseeing the day to day running of the accounting and ensure full operational compliance of the company to international standards and local requirements among others. Previously, Ms Beatrice worked at BANQUES POPULAIRES DU RWANDA for 12 years where she occupied several positions such as Credit officer, Recovery officer and Accountant. 

As Finance and Administration Officer, she is responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of policies, procedures and systems for all financial and administrative support services of ARCOS activities primarily in Rwanda and lead the design, development, coordination and implementation of an effective grant management system for the organisation to ensure that activities carried out contribute to successful delivery of ARCOS Strategic Plan.

Mr. Venant Muhayimana: Manager, Finance and Operations

Venant MUHAYIMANA, Finance and Operations Manager, has a Bachelor degree in Business studies (Hons) from Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) in 2011, currently finalizing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA), referring to his acquired knowledge in different seminars, training and conferences as well as at University and 4 years of Finance and administration working experience, he has a full understanding of full life cycle of Accounting and finance, project management,  logistics and office administration.

Moses Khukha Mukhobeh: Assistant, Finance and Administration 

MosesIs a Finance and Administration Assistant with comprehensive experience with seven years with Albertine Rift Conservation Society (RCOS) in general accounting assigned with the following duties: all disbursement and ensuring that payments are made only against adequate supporting documents and according to sound accounting principles.

He is responsible for checking the regular review of staff contracts.  Update and maintain a staff leave database and communicate leave balances to staff regularly. Mr. Moses has passion for Nature, he is a professional photographer creative writer in areas of children’s rights. He loves football and he is patron of Bududa Bulls local sports academy. 

Robert Mugabe: Transport Officer

Robert MugabeMr Robert is responsible for Transport and Logistics. He holds a certificate of Ordinary Level of Education. He attended different courses concerning Security and Driving. Mr Robert also attended both VIP and Defensive Driving.

He worked with government in security section and in transport section. He also worked with another security company called SECUREX, and later joined an organization called United Organization for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU). He joined ARCOS team in 2011. 

ARCOS Associates

James Hogg

James HoggJames Hogg grew up on a farm in the UK and spent his early years looking for insects under stones and logs. Since then he attained a degree in Geology from Durham University and a Master's degree in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London. 

James has several years experience working in environmental testing and consultancy in the UK. Analysing soil and water for pollution, advising clients on environmental liabilities and helping clients with environmental legal compliance. 

Since moving to Rwanda in 2012 he has been very interested in Rwanda’s birds, other wildlife and photography. Travelling across the country, he has built up a good knowledge of the threats and risks to the local environment. Since 2013 he has worked with ARCOS on various projects providing technical advice, reviewing documents and helped prepare funding proposals. 

More recently James has worked with the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government on a project to integrate climate change resilience and environmental management into local government development plans. 

Willy Kakuru

Willy KakuruDr Willy Kakuru is a consultant, ARCOS Associate and Part-time Lecturer at Makerere University, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Uganda.  He has previously worked as a Technical Advisor to IUCN; Country Coordinator for World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and with the Uganda National Wetlands Programme. As a consultant, he has accomplished a number of assignments with institutions such as the World Bank, UNDP, IUCN, WWF, ARCOS, African Forest Forum, ASARECA, RAMCEA, Nile Basin Initiative and a number of government institutions.

He holds a PhD and a Master's degree in Environment and Natural Resources Management, a Bachelor's degree in Forestry and post-graduate training in Wetland Management and Development and Carbon Monitoring for CDM projects.  He has over 24 years experience in designing and implementation of Natural Resource Management (NRM), Environment and Sustainable Development programmes and projects. He worked with international organizations, government institutions and NGOs.  He has a strong motivation for tree planting as one of the interventions for income generation, livelihoods improvement and landscape restoration.


PhilipMr. Philip is 24 years old and was born in Flensburg, close to the border to Danmark in the very north of Germany. After finishing school, he did a civilian service for the Wadden Sea Conservation Station for 13 months and gained experience in environmental education and nature conservation work. Afterwards he studied Forestry and Environment and International Forestry at the University of Freiburg and just finished his bachelor’s thesis.

Youth Ambassadors

Laure Rurangwa

LaureMs Laure holds a Bachelor's degree in Zoology and Conservation from the National University of Rwanda and Master's degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Management from Oxford University. She assisted  in different researches studying the feasibility of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) around Nyungwe National Park, and the CIFOR-led research project ‘Climate Change and Forests in the Congo Basin: Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation’ around the Volcanoes National Park.

Up to end September 2013, Laure was the ARCOS Membership, Network and Outreach Officer, where she was responsible for supporting a wide range of activities aimed at developing, strengthening and managing information from the field and promoting ARCOS profile within and outside the region through the development and management of ARCOS Membership.

Currently, she is ARCOS Youth Ambassador where she, among others: Leads, encourages and supports the youth and students to join ARCOS membership, internships and volunteering placements; offers support to all the young people and ARCOS staff members involved in the youth activities and participate actively in an activities promoting the youth.

In her spare time, Laure is a passionate birder and creative writer in the field of Environment, Health and Culture.