José Manuel Rodríguez-Villa owns and runs a business consultancy firm based in Madrid. He sits on several company boards and advisory councils in his native Spain. Besides being a founding vice president and honorary member of the Spanish Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (AECCA), Mr Rodriguez-Villa is also a founding board member of the Falconry Heritage Trust (UK), a former vice president of the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) and a former chairman of the Falconry and Raptors’ Conservation Commission at the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and a member of its Executive Committee. In 2010, he was made a Grand Commander of the Spanish Order of Civil Merit. He holds a Law Degree from UNED, Spain.
Elizabeth Leix – Treasurer
Since 1982, Elisabeth Leix has been a member of the Deutscher Falkenorden (DFO) and acted as treasurer for the Bavarian State Association of DFO for ten years. She has been actively involved in the peregrine falcon release programmes in Germany and Poland since 1985 and acted as Reintroductions Representative for the DFO. She joined the examination board for falconers in Bavaria in 2002, the same year she was elected to the Federal Board of the DFO as Vice President. In 2006, she was welcomed on to the examination board for hunters in Bavaria. She was a leading member in the Women’s Working Group of the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) for four years. She was awarded theOrderofMeritoftheFederalRepublicofGermany in 2014. She has edited two books on falconry, both of which are being published in 2018. Mrs Leix works as a design engineer for the automotive industry.
Philippe König – Secretary
Philippe König is one of the corporate/M&A partners of Houthoff, one of the leading law firms in the Netherlands. Next to fundraising activities for falconry and conservation projects, he has been one of the board members of the Dutch falconry club Adriaan Mollen, is a founding board member of the Falconry Culture Fund Foundation in Holland and was involved in the think tank that helped set up new displays in the Falconry Museum in Valkenswaard. Within the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Bird of Prey (IAF), Mr König acts as member of the Advisory Committee and General Counsel. He is also a board member of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam. Mr König studied at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and Göteborgs Universitet, Gothenburg, and holds a degree in law.
Dr Adrian Lombard – Member
Adrian Lombard is President of the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) and has occupied this position since 2013. Prior to this he served as Executive Secretary to the IAF for five years and has been the South African Delegate to that organisation. He has practiced falconry since the age of 12 and has previously held the position of chairman of both the Cape Falconry Club and the South African Falconry Association. He is a medical practitioner in private medical practice in Cape Town, South Africa. He qualified in Medicine at the University of Rhodesia in 1976 and has obtained a Fellowship of the College of Family Practitioners from the college of Medicine of South Africa.
Dr Andrew Dixon, BSc., PhD. – Conservation and Welfare Expert
Andrew Dixon is the Research Projects Manager for Emirates Falconer’s Club, Abu Dhabi, where his work on the ecology and conservation of birds of prey involves both research and conservation management projects. His research projects are focused mainly on the study of population dynamics, to better understand the processes that regulate populations of birds of prey. Dr Dixon’s research work incorporates advanced genetic and genomic approaches together with modern technological techniques, such as satellite telemetry, to address key issues relating to conservation biology. His conservation management projects are founded on scientific research and are targeted at addressing the factors that limit populations of key species, in particular the endangered Saker falcon. Management projects include the provision of artificial nests in areas where the Saker breeding population is limited by nest site availability, and assessment of various methods aimed at reducing the risk of electrocution at power distribution lines. Dr Dixon has worked on research and conservation projects for Abu Dhabi falconers since 2005, including studies of Peregrine and Gyrfalcon in the Russian Arctic and of Saker falcon across much of its Eurasian distribution range from Eastern Europe, through Central Asia to the Tibetan Plateau.
Karl-Heinz Gersmann – Culture and Education Expert
Karl-Heinz Gersmann’s background is in automotive engineering, where he worked in research and development in various companies before founding his own business in 1985 and creating 300 jobs. His success in that field saw him sit on various industrial committees and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Baden Württemberg. However, falconry has been his first love since the age of 14. He is a board member of the Deutscher Falkenorden (DFO), serving from 1994 until 2002 as the club’s deputy general manager. He also performed the roles of DFO Delegate and Head of the Specialist Falconry Group in CIC (International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation). He is a long-standing member of the Advisory committee of the International Association of Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF), Deutscher Pointerclub, the North American Falconers Association, Saskatchewan Falconers Club and Saskatchewan Falconry Association. Mr Gersmann is the owner of an extensive library of falconry literature compiled over four decades and is due to publish an upcoming book on falconry history.
Hilary White – Public Relations Officer
Hilary White is an arts journalist, writer and editor working in print, radio and online. He is published weekly in Ireland’s two largest broadsheets while his writing on falconry and raptors has appeared in national and international publications. His communications work has included writing promotional content and press releases for everything from private businesses to stadium rock bands. He is Editor of the newsletter of the International Association of Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) and a member of its Editorial Board. Mr White’s experience as a copy editor and proof-reader has lent itself to the preparation of official IAF documents and publications. Until 2017, he edited the Journal of the Irish Hawking Club for 11 years and was a committee member for a further six. In 2014, he contributed a chapter on Irish falconry to Sparrowhawks: A Falconer's Guide. In 2017, he was presented with the IAF Presidential Award for Services to Falconry.