Peter Knights is President and Founder of WildAid an international conservation organization based in San Francisco. After graduating from the London School of Economics he worked on wildlife trafficking as an investigator and campaigner for the Environmental Investigation Agency. This contributed to over 150 airlines stopping the carriage of wild birds and to the Wild Bird Conservation Act, which cut imports of wild birds into the US from 800,000 to 40,000. In 1996, he introduced conservation to the concept of demand reduction, that is now widely accepted as an important tool in solving trafficking problems and received an Associate Laureate of the Rolex Award for Enterprise for this work. In 2000, Peter co-founded WildAid and initiated the Galapagos Forever Program that uses cutting edge technology to police the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
WildAid’s demand reduction program uses sophisticated advertising techniques, donated airtime, and iconic spokespeople with the message “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” More than 100 globally-recognized actors, athletes, musicians and business leaders have appeared in campaigns, including Jackie Chan, Yao Ming, Prince William, David Beckham, Lupita N’yongo and many others. The programs leveraged more than $300 million of donated media space in 2020 and led to 80% reduction in shark fin imports to China and drastic reductions in the price of ivory and rhino horn leading to reductions in poaching.
He is an Emmy-nominated producer and has worked on wildlife in over 40 countries. He has featured at TED and on CNN, BBC, NY Times, Washington Post, Guardian and many other media outlets worldwide. In 2021 received an OBE for his services to conservation.