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Katherine Wachala

Katherine J. Wachala

Chief of Party


MSc, Environmental Management, University of London
BS, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois


Katherine (Kathy) Wachala is an international environmental development professional specializing in biodiversity conservation and countering wildlife trafficking (CWT). She is the Chief of Party for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscapes (SIBOL) Activity. SIBOL conserves natural resources and supports inclusive green economic growth in the Philippines by working with the Philippine government, private sector, and local communities to strengthen informed decision making, enhance economic incentives, stimulate public and private sector investments, and reduce environmental crime. 

Previously, Ms. Wachala was the Director of RTI’s environment portfolio, where she oversaw RTI’s Sustainable Growth and Resilience Division’s global programming covering natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, countering wildlife trafficking, and sustainable landscapes.

Ms. Wachala joined RTI in late 2017 from the Smithsonian Institution, where she was Deputy Chief of Party for the USAID Bengal Tiger Conservation Activity (Bagh) based in Bangladesh. Her background also includes four years as an independent development consultant working closely with private sector as well as donor-funded organizations on anything from business plan strategies for the organization itself, to leading or being a part of their team for business development bids. She also worked at Chemonics International, having held several leadership positions overseas and in the home office, the last being the Watershed Investment Fund Director in Haiti, designing and implementing the investment strategy for $100 million in funds focusing on watershed and environmental management work throughout Haiti. Ms. Wachala has worked in more than 30 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa, southern and southeast Asia, and the Middle East. She attributes her career in international development to a year studying abroad in the south of France and becoming a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa.