HUSSAIN AGA KHAN
Founder and Photographer
Hussain Aga Khan was born on 10 April 1974, in Geneva, Switzerland. He received his secondary education at Deerfield Academy, Massachusetts, and graduated from Williams College, Massachusetts, with a dual degree in theatre and French literature. In 2004, he received a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. At Columbia, Hussain’s main area of study was Economic and Political Development with a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa.
Hussain has been an avid tropical fish hobbyist since the age of five and a reptile and amphibian enthusiast since he was 14. At 14, he started scuba diving and developed a keen interest in conservation. He started travelling to the tropics frequently after secondary school, and began taking photographs of fauna and flora on a trip to the Brazilian Amazon in 1996.
He is chair of the board of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, focusing mainly on disaster risk reduction and emergency management in Central Asia, Pakistan and India. He also serves on the board of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), and sits on the AKDN Committee, the oversight body of the Aga Khan Development Network. Involvement with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has centered on the management of the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment. More recently, Hussain joined his brother, Prince Rahim, and key directors of AKDN agencies as a member of the Environment and Climate Change Committee (ECC) in order to work on environmental issues and the impact of climate change in some of AKDN’s priority countries.
An assembly of his rainforest photographs from seven countries, entitled Rainforests and including statistics related to deforestation and biodiversity, appeared in three exhibits in the US in 2004. His work has also been exhibited in Paris at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (2007), at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco for the Blue Ocean Film Festival and for the 10-year anniversary of Prince Albert’s foundation (2015 and 2016 respectively), and at the IUCN ocean conference in Hawaii in 2016. His photography was featured at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi (2018), and most recently at the National Museum of Natural History and Science in Lisbon (2019).
Collections of his photographs have been published in two books, Animal Voyage in 2004 (new edition printed in 2007) and Diving into Wildlife in 2015. Some of Hussain's photographs have appeared on National Geographic blogs.Since 2009 his focus has mainly been on underwater photography, especially of turtles, sharks, whales and dolphins.
Click here to view Hussain Aga Khan's exhibitions and publications.
Founding Member, Secretary-General
Nazir Sunderji is currently also serving on the Board of Directors of ICVolunteers, an international non-profit organization specialized in the field of communication. Nazir's experience includes 30+ years of environment, international business, management, negotiations and diplomatic experience.
In the past, he served as the Director General of the Bellerive Foundation, founded and presided by the Late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, former High Commissioner for Refugees and Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Nazir managed a part of the Prince's financial portfolio, and represented his interests at senior levels of Governments, bi- and multi-lateral agencies, as well as other international organizations and to the press. In parallel, he has served on the Board of Directors of various national and international companies as well as various non-profit organizations. Before moving to Switzerland in 1984, he held several significant management and accounting positions at the United States Steel Corporation.
Nazir is of Indian ancestry, was raised in Africa and educated in the United States. He holds an Associate of Science degree from the Community College of Allegheny County, Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Relations from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Baldwin Wallace College. He speaks English, French, Gujarati, Kutchi and Kiswahili, and has a basic comprehension of Hindi, Farsi and Urdu.
Advisor on Conservation and Photography
Trevor Frost is a photographer and National Geographic explorer. He has worked on the frontlines of conservation for almost 10 years, both as a storyteller and a field biologist. His contribution to conservation has spanned the globe, from Indonesia to Australia to Africa, and has included a photo book which saved a million acres of wilderness from mining in British Columbia, anti-poaching missions in Africa, and camera trap surveys of big cats in South America. As a principal advisor on conservation and photography to FOCUSED ON NATURE, Trevor uses his knowledge to identify projects in need of support and to advise the board on grant decisions. He also works with FOCUSED ON NATURE to organize special photo expeditions. When not in the field, Trevor lives in Richmond, VA, next to the James river.
Geraldine Sikias est née le 27 Janvier 1978 à Chêne-Bougerie, Genève. Depuis toute petite elle porte un immense amour et respect pour les animaux et la nature. Elle se passionne pour chaque petite chose que la nature lui offre autour d'elle. Son parcours professionnel a pourtant été très atypique et loin de ses amours mais tout en sachant au fond de son cœur qu’un jour elle se consacrerait à eux. Après un stage à l'école Florent à Paris et après avoir terminé le Gymnase de Nyon, elle décide de voyager à travers le monde et devient hôtesse de l'air. Quelques années plus tard, la terre ferme lui manque et elle atterrit dans une Étude d'avocats à Genève ou elle deviendra assistante durant quelques années. Puis, en besoin constant d'apprendre et de découvrir de nouvelles choses, elle s'intéresse à la finance et rejoint une société financière. Mais la liberté et l'indépendance l'appellent et elle monte son business dans un domaine qu'elle adore, le domaine de la mode, vêtements et accessoires avec un site e-commerce en 2011. La venue de son premier enfant en 2013 la reconnecte fortement avec les animaux et la nature et elle rejoint l'association FOCUSED ON NATURE en 2014.
Photography Editor, Social Medias
Danièle Alarco was born in Paris, France, in 1977, to a French father and a Russian mother.
She moved to the countryside at an early age, and grew up with all kinds of animals around her, from dogs to birds. That's when her passion for animals and nature developed.
She studied fashion and design in Paris, at the Superior Art Institute, then became a model after being spotted in the street. She then travelled all around the world for a few years.
Settling after having her first child, Lucas, she taught herself the piano — among other instruments — and started a musical career.
Her artistic sensibility has led her to try many different mediums of expression during the last 10 years. Her skills span composing, singing, recording, filming, directing, and editing. Her art is mostly inspired by nature and the sacred.
The documentaries she directed and filmed with her husband Guillaume include one on the Holi festival in India, and one on a very ancient matrimonial tradition in a small village in Kosovo.
She is currently working on her masks, textiles and interior design brand "Ninn Apouladaki", and the picture selection for the pattern designs for STENELLA. She will also take care of the social media aspect of FOCUSED ON NATURE.
Her Husband worked on the animation for the FOCUSED ON NATURE website, and Danie designed the sound. They also work together on some of the graphic design for the association.
They currently live in Marseille, by the Mediterranean sea shore, with their 8 birds living free in the house.
STENELLA Founder, Communications
Originally from France, Valérie has been living for the past 14 years in Barcelona.
After obtaining her Baccalaureate degree in Grenoble, she spent one year in Dallas. She attended EFAP (École Française des Attachés de Presse) in Paris and New York where she graduated and worked there in the field of Public Relations, Communications and Events Organization, at Ketchum PR, Guy Laroche and Marithée & François Girbaud.
Valérie then settled in Miami for a few years and gave birth to her first son before moving to Barcelona in 2001 where she had her second son.
Since 2006, her diverse experience in the Communications and Public Relations field has included working in the organization of sports events for Marcus Evans and Close2Sports. She then worked in fashion on the launches of many brands –among others Brunello Cuccinelli and Antik Batik. She also worked on the presentation of new watch collections such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and FP Journe.
Valérie started her own company, Tandem Events, in 2010, and specialized in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications, in the medical field. She assisted the launch of 15 veterinary medicines (creation of names, design and production, marketing, distribution and registration) for African countries, and also worked with Asian pharmaceutical laboratories.
She has recently been working for a British stem cell cord blood bank in Barcelona, and organized events for a pharmaceutical laboratory, presenting and promoting new products in Spain.
For FOCUSED ON NATURE, Valérie conceived the STENELLA brand, with Kirsten Synge designing. Her main work for the Association consists of coordinating the activities of the clothing line.
STENELLA Head Designer
She has worked at many luxury fashion houses in London, Paris and Italy. From 2006 to 2014 she worked for Emilio Pucci in Florence, designing world-famous prints and embroideries. She now has her own freelance studio in Oslo, Norway.
Kirsten always had a strong connection to animals and a love of nature, which is reflected in a lot of her designs.
After marrying a Norwegian, Johan Kongsli, in 2011, she moved to Norway just before giving birth to their first child Ferdinand, in 2013. Their second child, Iris, was born in March 2015.