The Elephants Action League’s team is very diverse and draws on the experience of several different skill sets, including conservation, intelligence, investigations, high-end security, media and communications, and entrepreneurship.
As a team we have the skills and the experience needed to identify, support, and monitor concrete field projects focused specifically on wildlife crime.
Some of us have over 30 years of experience in conservation projects around the world and are directly involved in wildlife law enforcement and investigative activities. We leverage advice and support from various technical specialists with backgrounds in elite U.S. government agencies, armed forces and private security companies.
We think that ambitious goals, such as EALs, require a unique blend of high-level professional experience, diversified knowledge, real networking power, and the capacity to engage all the stakeholders.
The identity of our field operatives is not public.
Andrea has 30 years of experience in conservation projects around the world and, in a parallel professional career, he has been working for over 17 years as an international consultant to companies and governmental agencies on high-end security technologies & services, homeland security, anti-piracy, investigations and risk management. He now applies this unique knowledge to conservation and wildlife protection.
He is among the founding members of the Wildlife Justice Commission, in the Hague, The Netherlands, a Member of the Board of The Africa Conservancy Foundation, and the creator and project manager of WildLeaks.
Andrea is among the main protagonists of the Netflix’s documentary ‘The Ivory Game’ and of the upcoming documentary ‘The Sea of Ghosts’, about the trafficking of Totoaba and the potential extinction of the Vaquita in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.
He is the co-author of the first investigation into ivory trafficking and terrorism (2010-2012), which changed forever the narrative around the issue of elephant poaching and ivory trafficking : “Africa’s White Gold of Jihad: al-Shabaab and Conflict Ivory”.
As an entrepreneur in 1998 he founded ‘Think Italy’, among the very first e-commerce start-ups in Italy. He holds a Master’s Degree in Natural Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Business & Innovation and a BSc in Psychology.
Francesco Rocca, Co-Founder and Board Member
Francesco is the founder of the ‘Torbiera’ Zoological Society, a member of the IUCN and among the finest private zoological foundations in Italy. Over the years Francesco made a name for himself as an expert on wildlife conservation and 35 years ago he was among the first to initiate and support the conservation program on the Amur leopard in the Russian Far East.
He is the co-founder of the NGO ‘Trust The Forest’ that contributed to establishing one of the first truly protected areas in Gabon, in the now Ivindo National Park. He also established an important private protected area in Northern Argentina, a biodiversity ‘hotspot’ of nearly 5000 ha adjacent to the Calilegua National Park.
Francesco has supported several research efforts all over the world which produced conservation studies on subjects such as the Andean Mountain Cat in Argentina, the Indochinese leopard in Southern Thailand, the leopard in Armenia and the large mammals in the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal. From 1994 to 2000 he was member of the Italian CITES Scientific Committee.
Gilda Moratti, Co-Founder and Board Member
Gilda is the eldest daughter of former Italian Minister Letizia Arnaboldi Brichetto and the magnate Gianmarco Moratti. She has worked at Sotheby’s auction house in New York and is the founder and great supporter of the “Squadra4zampe” association, which fights for the rights of animals.
She has a film production company and she collaborates with the photographer-philosopher Gregory Colbert, also closely follows his many trips. She believes that in his works we find the strong message of harmony and empathy between man and nature and this summarizes Gilda’s belief and dedication for the protection of wildlife.
INTELLIGENCE AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS
Marco is an internationally and nationally recognized expert in undercover operations and training. During his 30 years with the FBI, he conducted and led a multitude of successful undercover operations in the United States and abroad. The FBI reports Marco as the most effective Undercover Operator in the history of the agency. His undercover work resulted in the largest number of successful convictions in the FBI Undercover Program. The scope of his work included Counter Intelligence, Counter Terrorism, Public Corruption, Weapons Trafficking, Human/Sex Trafficking, Child Exploitation, Organized Crime, Money Laundering, and Drug Trafficking.
Marco advises and trains domestic and foreign Intelligence agencies on undercover techniques and methodologies.
David is former US Army Ranger and Special Operations Intelligence professional who has spent over a decade executing counter-terrorists and counter-criminal network targeting strategies throughout the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa. David possesses extensive experience conducting both low and high-tech intelligence collection activities; in addition to conceptualizing and constructing supportive analytic and information distribution architectures.
Since 2015, David has been deeply involved in Counter-Poaching and Wildlife Trafficking efforts in Africa, enabling select local partners with the critical intelligence skills and technologies required to disrupt and degrade powerful criminal networks. David is also the owner of a small intelligence and security services company providing support to US Government, Commercial and Non-Profit clients around the world. He holds degrees in History, Anthropology, International Relations and Intelligence Operations.
Mike is former Military, a specialist in unconventional warfare, advanced source operations and behavioral influence. He spent 12 years in Army and Joint Special Operations units, ending his tennure at JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command). He is highly skilled in conducting and managing reconnaissance operations, throughout his career tracking and locating terrorists via non-standard means, and shaping their environments to create confusion and cause them to make mistakes.
His unique experience utilizing social sciences and advanced psychological operations to design purposeful source networks on four continents provides part of the backbone of Elephant Action League’s asymmetric approach to countering wildlife crime globally – for the planet, through humanity.
INVESTIGATIONS AND TECHNICAL SURVEILLANCE
Emmanuel is a recognized technical surveillance expert with 24 years of experience with the FBI. Emmanuel conducted and managed numerous FBI covert surveillance operations in the United States and abroad including the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Emmanuel is the founder of the Delta 7 Group, a domestic and international consultancy that advises individuals, Fortune 500 companies, and foreign government institutions on Technical Security and Technical Surveillance matters.
Chiara is main crime analyst at Elephant Action League. She is skilled in analyzing raw intelligence coming from the field, studying crime patterns and modus operandi, geographical crimes mapping and database management.
Prior to joining EAL, Chiara had the opportunity to hone her crime analysis skills when working at the Case Analysis Unit at Eurojust. She also worked as trainee at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Next to wildlife trafficking, she is specialized in counter-human trafficking. In 2015, she temporarily joined ECPAT Indonesia in Jakarta, focusing on child trafficking and sexual slavery. Chiara holds a Masters of Law with a specialization in international criminal law from the University of Pisa and a Master’s of Science in Countering Organized Crime and Terrorism from UCL.
ADVISOR FOR WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT AND WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING
Pauline is an environmental lawyer specialising in the investigation and prosecution of transnational environmental and wildlife crime, particularly violations of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora). She worked as Senior Legal Investigator at the Wildlife Justice Commission. She now works as a consultant with her company EcoJust.
. From 2009 until 2012 she was based in Malaysia as TRAFFIC and WWF’s tiger trade programme manager where she coordinated TRAFFIC/WWF’s efforts to tackle tiger trade in Asia through anti-poaching and anti-trafficking work, policy and advocacy as well as interventions to reduce consumer demand in Asia. She is lead-author of Reduced to Skin and Bones, an analysis of tiger seizures from eleven tiger range countries (2000-2010), TRAFFIC International 2010. Currently she works for her own consulting business, EcoJust, which advises NGOs, governments and businesses on issues related to the implementation and enforcement of (international) biodiversity law (www.ecojust.eu).
ADVISOR FOR CHINA OUTREACH
Hongxiang is an experienced investigative journalist on the global illegal wildlife trade and he was among the conservationists featured in the Netflix documentary ‘The Ivory Game’, along with EAL’s co-founder Andrea Crosta. He is also the founder of China House, an organization that work to help Chinese nationals (especially overseas) understand and engage in global wildlife conservation. He holds a Master Degree from the Columbia University.
ADVISOR FOR CYBERSECURITY
We work with top European and American experts on cybersecurity, electronic surveillance, homeland cybersecurity, development in security architecture, and encryption.
ADVISOR FOR RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS – AFRICA
Aaron is an African-based consultant with fourteen years of experience in the fields of governance, security, natural resource conservation, illicit commodity flows, conflict-management, and human rights. Since 2002 he has worked in one or more of these fields for the Enough Project, The Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability, The U.S. Institute of Peace, the U.S. Department of State, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia from 2002-05.
He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Cultural Geography from the University of Montana and an M.A. in International Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution from the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C. He is currently living in Tanzania with his wife and two daughters.
ADVISOR FOR GOVERNMENT AND NGOs RELATIONS
Rosalind is an environmental lawyer who has been working on biodiversity and wildlife trade issues, both at an international policy level and on the ground, for 26 years. She is an adviser to Kenya Wildlife Service and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation on CITES and has conducted investigations into ivory and rhino horn trade in East and Southern Africa.
She is author of Policing International Trade in Endangered Species: the CITES Treaty and Compliance and is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House.
Rosalind is also a senior consultant to the Ateneo School of Government in the Philippines on REDD+, the international mechanisms for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and has served on the Policy Board for the UN-REDD Program.
ADVISORS FOR COMMUNICATION & MEDIA RELATIONS
Giuli directed the Bellerive Animal & Nature Conservation Fund until 1999, an international NGO funded by HR Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. The scope of Bellerive was to generate awareness and preserve endangered species and their habitat throughout the world.
She has also collaborated with many international agencies such as The Humane Society of the US, the Earth & Island Institute of San Francisco, WWF, Greenpeace, EU, UNESCO and many government agencies throughout Africa and Asia. Giuli was able to lobby and obtain support for the passing of international laws for the protection and preservation of marine life and in particular of dolphins and whales. Such international laws and guidelines include the ‘dolphin safe’ tag on canned tuna products. During the 1990s Giuli also produced nature programs for the German network TV ZDF, National Geographic and CBS. She currently works exclusively for the Canadian artist Gregory Colbert on the promotion and launch of “Ashes & Snow”, the photographic exhibit that in 2005 gathered over 500,000 visitors in New York.