Life at LTS

LTS are committed to not only attracting the best talent, but also ensuring we continue the professional development of our staff.  As an international learning organisation we support skill sharing and building team level capabilities through formal learning and development and also through gaining experience on projects in sectors you are interested in, through internal moves and working on assignments in our country international offices.

LTS offers a competitive salary to core staff and to consultants.  We also offer a number of additional benefits to permanent staff. These include:

  • Flexible working
  • Performance related bonus on an annual basis
  • Pension scheme to which LTS will contribute 10% of your annual salary
  • Learning and development opportunities for all staff both in-house and externally
  • 35 days annual leave per year excluding public holidays

John Mayhew  – Director 



Where and what you were doing before LTS?

Before joining LTS I had been working happily as an independent consultant in climate change adaptation.

Why you were attracted to LTS?

LTS was involved in the development of the Kenya Climate Change Action Plan and needed a team leader for the MRV component and whilst on the project I got to know Scott Geller (LTSI Business Development Director) and the climate change scene in Nairobi.  LTS had established a good reputation and was starting to generating significant momentum in East Africa. This created some interesting opportunities in both technical consulting and senior management roles.

What is the scope of your work at LTS?

I joined LTS as the Climate Change Practice Leader in 2013 and was immediately drawn in to USAID and DFID funded climate change projects in Kenya and Ethiopia. I then became one of the four directors on the LTS International board, taking on a combination of technical and commercial responsibilities. These have included re-establishing the company’s presence in Indonesia as a provider of forestry and land-use consulting services after an absence of 15 years, which has been a fascinating and, at times, daunting challenge. We have rebuilt our track record in Indonesia and now manage some exciting projects, including DFID’s influential Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Programme.

I am extremely fortunate to be backed by a very strong and supportive team at LTS, which makes the tough times so much easier, and the good times a lot of fun. My immediate focus is on building a solid platform for more growth, which means adding technical depth, further improving the quality of our outputs and increasing the efficiency of delivery. As for next week … well, I haven’t made plans yet!


Lesley – Senior Consultant, Ecosystems and M&E




Where and what you were doing before LTS?

Before I joined LTS I’d been working as a marine field researcher for a conservation not-for-profit and pretty much lived in a wetsuit and flipflops. I was working with communities to better understand what was changing with their coral reef fisheries and develop plans for what they could do to better protect their resources.

Why you were attracted to LTS?

Having worked for a few years in the field in quite unstable working conditions I was looking for somewhere that could offer me some stability, opportunities for career progression, to work on real-life problems, whilst still having the joy of overseas travel. I’d moved house 10 times in 7 years and had been working in teams that had a huge turnover of staff.  When I looked at LTS most of the staff had been there for more than 5 years (25 years in 1 case!) and all seemed to have great qualifications and expertise to apply to the projects they were working on. I also was really attracted to the diversity of work at LTS. Every project on the website sounded amazing and of real value to dealing with some of the issues I’d seen whilst living and working abroad.  

What is the scope of your work at LTS?

When I started at LTS I was very much in the ‘biodiversity’ box and leading on the Darwin Initiative (Defra biodiversity conservation programme) which is incredibly interesting.  LTS supported me to expand my skills in M&E which was of real value to both Defra and the Darwin projects to help them develop their capacity to measure the progress of their projects and evaluate their impact.

As much as I enjoyed working on biodiversity, the threat of climate change on the ecosystems we were dealing with meant I wanted to gain more knowledge of climate change.  This led to me doing a MSc in Climate Change: Managing the Marine Environment at Heriot Watt University here in Edinburgh. I did the MSc part-time whilst still working at LTS full time. LTS were fully supportive of this and even sponsored me to undertake my research project in Kenya looking at the links between mangroves, REDD+ and the livelihoods of the coastal people.

How long you have been working with LTS?

I’ve now been at LTS for 9 years and appear to have become one of the long-termers. I’ve seen the company change dramatically from a very small Edinburgh-based company to a larger (relatively) multi-centre based company with offices in Nairobi, Malawi and Indonesia. In the time that I’ve worked at LTS we’ve gone being a very small team of specialists where I was the youngest by 10 years to working in a far larger technical team where I’m definitely not the youngest! The team have a real thirst for learning from one another and from the projects they work on with regular opportunities for side-by-side working to learn and share experiences.

What do you hope to do in future with LTS?

I’ve made a bit of a jump recently – after 8 years of managing the Darwin Initiative I’ve handed the reins over to Simon Mercer. I’m a bit like a Minister with no portfolio at the moment in that I’m free to start reinventing myself ideally working on contracts that deal with my 3 (professional) loves – biodiversity, climate change and M&E. Judging by our order book though I don’t think I’ll be this free for long!


Philippa – Principal Consultant, Forestry and Land Use




Where and what you were doing before LTS?

I was working on Post-Doctoral research at the University of Aberdeen, following my PhD on Bornean rain forest dynamics after reduced impact logging.

Why you were attracted to LTS?

My interest has always been in identifying the ways in which technical knowledge can be applied in real-world contexts rather than from a purely conceptual viewpoint. I was particularly keen to work in a development context and contribute to addressing real world problems.  LTS’s core track record is in undertaking technical assignments related to the natural resources sector development. The range of assignments on forests: from technical issues such as forest measurement and monitoring, to forest governance, to sustainable forest management and commodities, to forest dependent community livelihoods appealed to me. I was intrigued and impressed by the portfolio of assignments undertaken at LTS and wanted to be part of the action!

What is the scope of your work at LTS?

I began as a Consultant and I’m currently a Principal Consultant on Forest and Climate Change. I’m the Practice Area Leader for the Forests and Land use Practice Area and line manage two of the consulting team.  I work on a range of technical assignments, from technical methodologies, to evaluations, to national level programmes and projects.

How long you have been working with LTS?

I’ve been at LTS for eight years and really value the strength of the LTS team. Everyone who works here is good at what they do, and as a team we try to play to team members individual and varied strengths. This makes for a rewarding work environment – I really like seeing a new member of the team develop, find their niche then flourish. Another aspect that I value is the culture of openness and transparency at LTS. Everyone has a voice and can contribute ideas towards the management and direction of the company.


Bright – Associate Consultant

Where and what do you work on?

I am an agriculturist trained at Bunda College of Agriculture (now Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources), then an affiliate college of the University of Malawi and I have over 15 years’ experience working on rural and social development issues with Government, donors and non-governmental organisations in Malawi and the SADC region.  After working as a Technical Assistant (TA) under UNDPs Programme on Forests with the Governments’ Department of Forestry, I established the Centre for Development and Management (CDM) in 2002.    CDM is a consulting firm based in Lilongwe which is actively involved in research, consultancy and training in the areas of Agriculture & Food Security, Environment and Natural Resource Management, Health & HIV/AIDS and in Facilitation (i.e. meetings, workshops, policy processes). 

How did you first start working with LTS?

During the time that I worked with the Forestry Department, I collaborated extensively with Des Mahoney and Karen Edwards, LTS staff members at the time who were working on a project on social forestry with the Department of Forestry.  This was the beginning of a fruitful and long term relationship with LTS. After I left the Department of Forestry, I was then contracted by LTS in 2002 to implement a community consultation and capacity building process under the Social Forestry Project. Since then, CDM has worked in partnership with LTS on various projects and has teamed up with different experts.

What is it about partnering with LTS that you like?

I like partnering with LTS for three reasons. First CDM’s partnership with LTS has built the capacity of CDM. Through partnerships with various experts on different assignments, CDM has learned a lot and has become highly competitive within Malawi.  Second, I like partnering with LTS because during the CDMs infancy – and therefore facing various teething problems – LTS remained flexible and worked with CDM to deliver high quality outputs on assignments., which also helped us developed systems for CDM.  Third, LTS has contracted CDM on many assignments and has been a very stable and reliable partner who always have work on the horizon.  In fact, nearly 70% of the growth of CDM that has taken place since 2011 is directly attributed to our partnership with LTS. 

Where do you see this partnership going in the future?

Going forward I would like to see the relationship between LTS and CDM strengthened so that CDM partners not only with LTSM but also LTSA and LTSI on regional and international opportunities that are longer term in nature and which will bring about lasting social and economic development for more of the poorest people of the world.


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