IRDNC is governed by a board of trustees who are appointed for a two year period, and re-appointed every two years. IRDNC’s board of trustees comprise:
Adv. Andrew Corbett, IRDNC Board Chairperson, was the Director of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) from 1992 – 1999. The LAC carries out innovative legal work in the areas of human rights, land and environment, HIV/AIDS and labour reform. In addition to his current professional role as advocate, Adv. Corbett also holds a number of other board positions, including that of board member of the Namibia Nature Foundation and has served as an Acting Judge of the High Court of Namibia.
Leonard le Roux served as the Executive Director of the Rossing Foundation for two decades. He is currently a Senior Director of the Synergos Institute. At Synergos, Len spearheads the African Public Health Leadership and Systems Innovation Initiative, which is creating a replicable model for improving public health leadership and systems performance, beginning in Namibia
Clara Bohitile was a member of the National Assembly from 1995-2005 and again from 2007 - 2010. She also served as the Deputy Minister of Basic Education and Culture from 1995-2005. She is known in parliament for her contributions to rural development, adult education and basic education for the marginalised. Ms Bohitile is a member of the SWAPO Central Committee. She is also an aspiring commercial farmer, and was named as the Emerging Farmer of the Year for 2006 by the Namibian Agricultural Union. In September 2010, she made history when she was the first woman ever elected to chair the board of the Namibian Meat Corporation.
Garth Owen-Smith is an internationally known Namibian conservationist, and was a founding co-director of IRDNC and board member since 2000. He resigned from his co-directorship in 2010. Since the 1960s, when Garth started working in the Kunene Region, he has been striving to assist rural communities to link social and economic development to the conservation of the region’s wildlife and other natural resources. His work has contributed directly to the revival of wildlife populations and to communities earning significant income through natural resource enterprises. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1993, jointly with Dr Margaret Jacobsohn, for their efforts on conservation of wildlife in Namibia. In 2010, Mr Owen-Smith published An Arid Eden: A history of conservation in Namibia’s north-west and he continues to work in CBNRM as well as lead specialist conservation expeditions. Garth Owen-Smith was awarded the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa from the Tusk Trust in 2015 in recognition of his lifetime contribution alongside Dr. Margaret Jacobsohn to the restoration and conservation of wildlife in Namibia.
Dr Margaret Jacobsohn was a founding co-director of IRDNC and board member since 2000. She resigned from her co-directorship in 2010. Dr Jacobsohn is an anthropologist, journalist and community-conservation pioneer whose doctoral research in anthropology and archaeology brought her to Namibia’s Kunene Region in the 1980s. Together with Mr Garth Owen-Smith, she pioneered efforts to increase the ownership and control of rural communities over their natural resources, which led to the establishment of IRDNC. She is a published author and has written numerous articles and texts on the Himba and on community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). Dr. Jacobsohn and Garth Owen-Smith currently oversee a trailblazing community-based tourism company; Conservancy Safaris Namibia, that is jointly owned by five Kunene conservancies.
John K. Kasaona, IRDNC Excecutive Director, and Willie Boonzaaier, the Programme Director, are also board members.