Sonali Ghosh is an Indian Forest Service Officer. She is the first woman to become the field director of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
Sonali Ghosh was born in Dehradun, Uttrakhand, India. She was born into a family of Army personnel and therefore travelled frequently and discovered her love for nature from an early age. She took medical exams but failed to crack them which led her to take civil exams and become an IFS officer. She has many educational degrees to her name including post-graduation in Forestry and Wildlife Science, a degree in System Management, an MSc in Wildlife conservation, and a post-grad diploma in Environment Law from National Law School of India. She also did a PhD in geography from the United Kingdom. Sonali was the topper of the IFS 2000-2003 batch.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Sonali’s father, Col. AK Ghosh was an Officer of the Corps of Engineers and her mother’s name is Seema Ghosh who is a homemaker. Sonali also has an elder brother.
Husband & Children
Sonali Ghosh’s husband Chandra Bhushan is an IAS officer and they have a daughter Lavanya.
She follows Hinduism
Sonali Ghosh joined IFS in the year 2000. Her first posting was at the Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam which is famous for its one-horned rhinos. She was next posted to Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary where she worked in the preservation of the golden Langurs. Sonali was the Chief Conservator of Forests for the Research Education and Working Plan Division at the Office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of the Forest Force in Guwahati. She was part of the formal revival process for Manas National Park. During her time on the field, she was involved in the first successful rehabilitation of captive-bred clouded leopard cubs in the wild.
After 15 years of working in the field, she went back to the Wildlife Institute of India as a scientist, her research interests included Ex-situ conservation, Protected Area Governance and exploring nature-culture linkages for heritage conservation. She has co-edited two books Cultural Landscapes of Asia and an Anthology on Wild Treasures- Reflections on Natural Heritage in Asia. On 1 September 2023, she became the first woman field director of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- She won the Whitley Award for her work on tiger conservation.
- In 2013, She won the Marsh Marjan Award for her work on the Manas project
- She won a doctorate in remote-sensing technology concerning habitat suitability for tigers in the Indo-Bhutan Manas landscape.
- Sonali describes herself as a “pragmatic Wildlifer”.
- She was appointed as the Director of the Swachh Bharat Mission.