• 'Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive'.

    Howard W. Thurman


    Hello, I'm Nathalie Zenny,

    an ocean-loving Conservation Practitioner with a social and international development bent. I have over sixteen years of experience managing projects - being chief cook, bottle washer and holding various other roles in conditions ranging from challenging to super-challenging.

    My work has taken me to countries such as Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, the Seychelles, Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Brazil.

    My professional and personal experiences have taught me that while the world will enthusiastically resist our attempts to change it, it is nonetheless worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears and one's smiles and laughter.

  • My work and my values

    • At this stage in my life, it is of vital importance to me that the work I do is purposeful and does not gather dust on a shelf. That it is practical, and of value to the people and the community involved 
    • My work must be informed by and involve the people targeted and/or impacted by said work
    • Scaling up is easier said than done, and I believe that often small(er) is beautiful, and may create deeper and more lasting change 
    • My area of expertise has been in collaborative marine conservation and fisheries management and I have a growing interest in food security and permaculture
    • There is always more to learn, new things to learn about, and better ways of doing things. Older dogs can be taught new tricks!
    • I have a strong commitment to sustainable development, not only for the environment, but also for people's self-sufficiency and empowerment
    • I believe that the two greatest resources we have as human beings are nature’s resilience and our own human potential; it is striking a balance that is key.

    For 13 years I worked for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world's largest international conservation NGO https://www.nature.org.

    More recently, I have been exploring the world of social enterprise and innovation, and the potential to combine for-profit enterprise with critical social/environmental needs and goals.

  • Skills and a selection of projects

    Proposal development

    The Development of a Food Strategy and Plan for Eleuthera

    A significant amount of planning has been done for the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. However, fundamental to and missing within the major plans is a focus on food security. The One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) commissioned this proposal.

    Stush in the Bush Eleuthera Style: Cuisine, Culture and Care 

    Commissioned by the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF), this proposal focuses on the conceptualisation and development of a farm to table dining experience to support OEF's current community health, farming and outreach activities.

  • People-based Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management

    Focused on development and implementation of:

    • On-the-ground, concrete & practical strategies based on robust research and relationship-building with communities and other stakeholders
    • Community & ecosystem-based fisheries management
    • Activities grounded in people’s empowerment & investment in human capital
    • Capacity-building at community & professional levels
    • Multi-sector partnerships (private, public & civic)
    • Livelihoods development/ poverty-alleviation and food security

    Photo©Dr. George Warner

    Pedro Bank Project

    • Advocated for and established Jamaica’s first offshore Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the country’s largest and most important commercial and artisanal fishing grounds, the Pedro Bank, a site of national and regional significant marine biodiversity
    • Coordinated groundbreaking baseline assessments for the Pedro Bank; developed and implemented a communications plan for Pedro Bank project, including creation of a project website and information database for fishing/environmental/scientific community
    • Led a 3 year fundraising ($500K in cash and in kind), design, and construction project for a Marine Field and Research station on the Pedro Bank. Involved multiple and diverse sectors with limited prior engagement and partnerships (such as Jamaica Defense Force Engineering Regiment, Air Wing and Coast Guard, multiple (marine) construction/engineering companies and the Jamaica Fisheries Division).

    Photo©Julie Robinson

    Fisher Learning Exchanges

    • Led a Fisher Learning Exchange, which exposed Bahamian fishermen/community leaders to best practices in US Texas Gulf fisheries. This exchange improved participant awareness of sustainable harvesting methods and gear selection, business development including traceability, marketing and selling of catch and the GulfWild program (http://www.gulfwild.com) focused on species such as red snapper and gulf red grouper.
    • Co-led a Fisher Learning Exchange between Belize and Jamaica resulting in a small but dedicated cohort of Jamaican fishers (8), a number of whom are now champions of the national initiative of community-based fish sanctuaries island-wide

    Massa God Fish Can Done

    a documentary

    Co-produced a fisheries documentary “Massa God Fish Can Done”, which had great success as a public awareness tool within Jamaica and across the Caribbean region for fisheries management and marine conservation

  • Applying Social Innovation tools to problem-solving

    Social Innovation is defined as "a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals"


    Social Innovation is not limited to a product or service (e.g. microfinance), but can include processes and principles and apply and adopt methodologies such as Human Centred Design, business principles and field techniques used in social sciences.



  • Project scoping and development

    Preliminary findings for development of Enriche Programme B.Barefoot social enterprise activities and revenue sources

    Conducted an analysis on behalf of Barefoot College (BC) to identify and determine the feasibility of potential social enterprise activities for BC Zanzibari women.


    Photo©Channa van Leijsen

    Launch of Blue Bikes Zanzibar

    Led a small team of young Zanzibaris in the development and launch of a for-profit bicycle rental and tour guide social enterprise – Blue Bikes Zanzibar – for the Kawa Training Center, a vocational training center focused on training Zanzibar’s young adults, especially women, for gainful employment.


    Photo©Suzanne Degeling

  • Languages

    English (native tongue), French, Spanish (C2), Italian, Portuguese (B2) German, Haitian Creole (B1)


    * *Ratings based on Common European Framework of Reference for Languages http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/education/elp/elpreg/Source/assessement_grid/assessment_grid_english.pdf

  • Education

    Columbia University

    M.A. Conservation Biology

    Tufts University

    M.A. Environmental Policy

    Queens University

    B.A. French Literature

  • Download Resume for further information

  • More personally.....

    Ardent thallasophile (lover of seas and oceans), I am happiest by, in, on or near the water. I believe in purposeful and simple living, slow food, the kindness of strangers, and stopping to smell the flowers.

    Forever curious about this beautiful Planet Earth/Ocean of ours, while my tempo and tongue are Caribbean, I am a multilingual, multicultural citizen and ardent fan of the world.

  • Inspirations

    To Give Is To.........

    Chris Koch, Alberta, Canada