Meet the Judges For 2018 Awards

The first Responsible Tourism awards for 2018 is composed of judges from Business, Professionals and Academics with a breadth of experiences in Sustainability, the Travels and Tourism industry.


Judy Kepher Gona, Director STTA (Chief Judge)

Judy is a sustainable tourism advocate, planner, advisor, assessor and trainer with over 17 years experience in working with the tourism sector, communities, conservation. She has made significant contributions, locally in development of criteria and standards for sustainable tourism certification, key among them being the Kenya eco-rating scheme for accommodation facilities, the Kenya Safari Codes, the Eco-warrior Awards and Green Destination Guidelines for Kenya. In recognition of her competencies, Judy has served as a judge and assessor for the Kenya/s Eco-Warrior Award, World Travel and Tourism Council, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, from 2008-2012 and National Geographic Nat Geo World Legacy Awards and Unique Lodges of the World.

Her expertise, passion, and commitment have also seen her serve in several profiled positions. At global and regional level, she has served in Advisory Board of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) for more than 5 years, served as the board of Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and was part of conceptualization of Africa Sustainable Tourism Alliance. She is a board member of FTT. In Kenya, she serves as Director at African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), Trustee of Basecamp Foundation Kenya (BCFK) and is a chairperson of Mara North Conservancy.

In 2013, she founded Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda (STTA) an organization that uses education, research, and training to promote sustainable tourism. She believes that leveraging opportunities presented by environment and social conscious growth is Africa’s greatest opportunity to compete with developed destinations while protecting our heritage because it is good for people planet and profit.

Judy is the convenor of Green Tourism Summit Africa since 2015.
E-mail: j


Devota Kasanda Mdachi, Managing Director TTB.

Devota Mdachi was born on June 9th, 1966 in Bukoba-Tanzania.

She started working with Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) in 1994 and was first employed as Tourist Information Officer, at the TTB, Branch Office in Arusha. In 1998, she was transferred to Dar-es-salaam, the commercial capital city of Tanzania, and was attached at the Tourist Information Centre. She later rose to the level of Senior Tourist Information Officer in 2000; Principal Tourist Information Officer and Head of the Tourist Information Centre, Dar-es-salaam in 2004.

In May 2010, Ms. Mdachi was appointed Principal Marketing Officer.

In March 2011, Ms. Mdachi worked with the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA), under the Marketing and Communications Department for a period of three months. On her return to Tanzania in June 2011, Ms. Mdachi was appointed Director of Marketing of the Tanzania Tourist Board, and later Ag. Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board in March 2014. In January 2016 Ms. Mdachi was confirmed to the position of Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board.

Ms. Mdachi is the first Tanzania woman to hold the positions of Director of Marketing and Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board.

Through her position and undertakings over the years, Ms. Mdachi has been able to be a great role model to women in Tanzania, and in the tourism sector in particular. She has been nominated as one of the most recipients of the ‘Nyerere Golden Awards’ by The Mwl. J.K Nyerere Golden Awards in Science and Technology Achievements in 2014 and 2015 which recognizes women in Tanzania who have contributed towards Community Development and have genuinely imparted changes to people’s lives. In 2016, the CEO Global (Pty) LTD a South African based company, awarded Ms.Mdachi as ‘country winner in Government; Employed Official Sector of CEO Global’s Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government’.

Ms. Mdachi has a BA degree in International Relations and Advanced French Language from the University of Dar-es-salaam (1991); M.A in Tourism from the Open University of Tanzania (2008) and Post Graduate Certificate in Tourism from the International School of Tourism, Rome Italy (2000).

Phone: +255 784 460 783
Social accounts:
Tweeter: mdachidevota
Facebook: devota mdachi


Helen Peeks, Director ZATI.

Helen is the new Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors director. She has a long history of working in Zanzibar, more recently as manager of Chumbe Island Coral Park eco-lodge for five years, and eight years as the academic director of the School for International Training, World Learning inc., focusing on coastal ecology and natural resource management in relation to tourism. Her other projects include the development of the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre; supporting the Emerson Zanzibar Foundation working with youth in the arts sector and also on the board of the Zanzibar Association of Employers. Helen has three degrees in social and environmental issues, anthropology and development respectively.


Kai Partale, International Tourism Advisor.

Kai is an international tourism advisor and associated with the benchmark: services in Germany.

Kai began his career as consultant at the European Tourism Institute in 1998 and managed a range of tourism research, training and master planning projects in Europe, worked as director in Switzerland and chief representative in China, followed by assignments on behalf of the EU, UN, WB and GIZ in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

With more than 18 years of professional work experience in leading positions and providing technical assistance to the tourism and hospitality sector, governmental and non-governmental institutions, he gained worldwide experience in a number of sustainable destination development programmes and responsible tourism projects.

Kai received his M.Sc. in Applied Tourism Geography with majors in business management and sociology from the University of Trier. His core competencies are in the fields of destination development and marketing, vocational education and training, sustainable development and investment promotion.


Marc Baker, Director of Carbon Tanzania.

Marc is the founding director of Carbon Tanzania, a Tanzanian company that develops forest conservation and climate mitigation projects. Marc has worked in conservation and ecotourism in Tanzania since 1998. He has worked as an environmental planner and wildlife specialist for Danida, Care International, the Wildlife Division of Tanzania and Nor-consult, and has a broad understanding of a range of environmental practices leading to business management for sound ecological practice. Marc advises companies and organizations wishing to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by measuring the impact and linking it to community-based carbon forest projects in Tanzania through verified emission reductions.


Melissa Foley, Founding Director at All about Africa.

Utilizing over two decades of executive marketing and business development expertise in corporate America, combined with extensive global travel experience; she provides a unique perspective on tourism development.

Melissa has lived abroad for several years consulting for various NGO’s in Greece, India, Cambodia, Thailand and Tanzania. Primarily focused on women’s health, education, advocacy and wildlife conservation she has developed and implemented sustainable outreach programs integrating responsible tourism and voluntarism with local community development.

Most recently as a marketing consultant to local tour operators, lodges and the largest safari vehicle manufacturing company in Africa, she has established international networks and is actively promoting the development of social and environmental sustainability certifications into the African tourism industry as the Founding Director of All About Africa Consulting based in Cape Town.

Having successfully climbed Kilimanjaro in 2016, she has a strong passion and commitment to the fair and ethical treatment of the hardworking mountain crew and is a current board member of IMEC / KPAP.


Dr. Kokel Melubo, Senior Lecturer Mweka.

Kokel is a Senior Lecturer in tourism studies at the College of African Wildlife Management (Mweka) and Kilimanjaro. He served as the Head of Department of Wildlife Tourism. Prior to joining Mweka College, he taught at the Tumaini University of Iringa.

He received his Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Business Tourism in the School of Business, University of Otago, New Zealand. His research interests fall under the broad theme of sustainable tourism, but with a focus on corporate social responsibility, community tourism, best practices, tour guiding and mountaineering.

His Ph.D. examines meaning, motivations and barriers to Corporate Social Responsibility from the Tanzanian tourism industry. He has several publications in reputable journal papers and books.

Nura-Lisa Karamagi, CEO HAT.

Nura Lisa is a young dynamic Tanzanian woman and a lawyer by profession. She has worked in the tourism industry since 2003 working in various positions from sales and marketing to managing accommodation facilities in Tanzania whilst also pursuing her law degree which she attained cum laude in 2009 from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Nura – Lisa also holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the Institute of International Relations and Development Studies Geneva, Switzerland (graduate of 2015). She worked at UONGOZI Institute, under the President’s office as a policy analyst until she joined HAT as it’s CEO in May 2017.

In this capacity, she represents the hospitality sector on all strategic partnerships, advocacy and public relations matters with the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and other tourism stakeholders.


Sally Capper, Consultant.

Currently working with positive social change for youth through health, finance, governance and the environment, with the Shujaaz platform, Sally has been occupied in tourism and community development for the past 25+ years in Tanzania. She spent several years working with Fairtrade – both on the auditing side and on the development of the hired labor standard and, through her passion for sustainability assessments, was instrumental in setting up the RTTZ standards and criteria and also in the training of the auditors.

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