OUR TEAM

OUR TEAM

As part of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, our lead investigators have led high-level, sensitive investigations into transnational organized crime and terrorism networks across the globe. This includes spearheading significant cases such as the arrests of Viktor Bout, Monzer Al Kassar and Paul LeRoux, some of the world’s most notorious criminal traffickers.

Our investigative team is supported by expert intelligence analysts who play a vital role in piecing together the complex web of criminal supply chains, and training specialists who work with government agencies to build capacity and long-term solutions to wildlife crime.

Lastly, Focused Conservation relies heavily on our ‘in-field advisors.’ While their identities remain confidential, it is only through their dedication and commitment that we are able to bring wildlife traffickers to justice.

As part of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, our lead investigators have led high-level, sensitive investigations into transnational organized crime and terrorism networks across the globe. This includes spearheading significant cases such as the arrests of Viktor Bout, Monzer Al Kassar and Paul LeRoux, some of the world’s most notorious criminal traffickers.

Our investigative team is supported by expert intelligence analysts who play a vital role in piecing together the complex web of criminal supply chains, and training specialists who work with government agencies to build capacity and long-term solutions to wildlife crime.

Lastly, Focused Conservation relies heavily on our ‘in-field advisors.’ While their identities remain confidential, it is only through their dedication and commitment that we are able to bring wildlife traffickers to justice.

MEET THE TEAM

MEET THE TEAM

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Founder & Chief Executive Officer

WILLIAM BROWN

William (Wim) Brown is a recently retired US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent with 26-years of law enforcement experience. He specialized in targeting transnational organized criminal networks involved in drug, weapons, and wildlife trafficking, narco-terrorism, financial crimes, and other illicit activities. These investigations spanned Africa, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and the USA. For the last ten years he has established and mentored an elite, vetted unit in East Africa that conducted numerous investigations, one of which dismantled a major international drug and wildlife trafficking network. Wim is an accomplished investigator, small-team leader, and a committed law enforcement officer. As Managing Director of Investigations, he is focused on reducing organized wildlife trafficking.

Chief Financial Officer

ROB PILKINGTON

Rob Pilkington is a qualified Chartered Accountant (South Africa) with 29 years of experience in senior financial and risk management. After 10 years with Ernst & Young, he joined the South African subsidiary of Diageo PLC, a global leader in beverage alcohol where he gained over 20 years of experience in financial controllership, risk management, and strategy. Specifically, he served as the Finance Director for the listed business in Ghana, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited. During Rob’s many years of working in the African continent, he developed a keen interest in wildlife and now leads Focused Conservation’s financial management team.

Director of Development

LYDIA ROUSE

Lydia spent much of her childhood living on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, where her love of nature and wildlife began. After receiving her B.A. from the University of Virginia, Lydia returned to Kenya and joined Tusk — a non-profit organization providing financial and operational support to wildlife conservation organizations across Africa. There she oversaw the organization’s portfolio of grantees as well as managed events such as the Safaricom Marathon and the Tusk Conservation Awards.

After her success in Africa, Lydia moved to New York to be part of a two-person team that would launch Tusk in the U.S.  During that time, Lydia established Tusk’s US office and grew the organization’s fundraising efforts.  Within a few short years, Tusk USA grew to become a $5M+ organization.

With a strong understanding of the wildlife conservation landscape and experience in nonprofit management, Lydia joined Focused Conservation as Director of Development in 2019.  

Lydia received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Virginia and holds a Masters degree in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University.

Director of Information Systems

DAVID BARSKE

David Barske successfully built and managed teams of intelligence analysts for strategic risk management across Africa. Other activities include providing expert cyber intelligence to support proactive cyber security, complex data analytics, business analysis & intelligence, platform development and training, as well as working with various international stakeholders on fighting organised wildlife crime and anti-poaching programs across Africa.

DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS

TOM CINDRIC

Tom (Tommy) Cindric is a recently retired US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent with 28-years of law enforcement experience. During his career, Tommy has conducted investigations targeting violent transnational criminal organizations and arrested some of the world’s most notorious narco-terrorists in Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and the United States. The key to Tommy’s success has come from the recruitment and management of a worldwide network in order to gather strategic intelligence and evidence to dismantle transnational organizations. Tommy is an accomplished investigator and a natural leader focused on reducing organised wildlife trafficking.

Director of Tactical Training

RON OBERHELMAN

With over 20 years of experience, Ron Oberhelman is recently retired from the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and is a respected law enforcement firearms and tactical instructors. A leader in the design, development and execution of training programs, he distills complex concepts into easily understood and compelling presentations and drills. As a former Weapons/Communications Sergeant and Sniper in the U.S. Army 7th Special Forces Group (Green Berets) who served in Central and South America, Mr. Oberhelman has exceptional interpersonal skills and a leadership approach that emphasizes genuine consideration and respect for his trainees.

WILDLIFE CRIME UNIT CONSULTANT

ROBERT ASBURY

Robert Asbury has 30 years of law enforcement experience working against the nationally highest echelons of criminality. Robert, now retired from the UK National Crime Agency, has operational and strategic experience leading global, innovative investigations, collaborating with partners, sharing intelligence, and achieving results. Robert has experience initiating and managing vetted units in Africa, investigating international drug traffickers, people traffickers, wildlife trafficking, and other organised transnational criminals. Robert is well versed in handling the highest levels of sensitive intelligence and managing complex high-risk international investigations internationally.