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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Leakey to speak on conservation, May 18

Richard Leakey will present a lecture on "Conservation Realities in Eastern Africa" at 8 p.m. Friday, May 18, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

Leakey has made international headlines for his work in Kenya for more than 30 years. He is credited with some of the most significant fossil discoveries of the century, continuing a scientific dynasty established by his parents, Louis and Mary Leakey.

A lifelong critic of the mismanagement of Kenya's wildlife, Leakey was appointed director of Kenya Wildlife Services in 1989. He drew international support for a ban on the trade of ivory and raised $150 million for wildlife conservation. However, a plane crash in 1993 (which claimed both his legs) interrupted his tenure. The following year, Leakey resigned his post, claiming government corruption had undermined the wildlife services.

In 1995, Leakey founded Safina, a political party created to unify the opposition in Kenya. Three years later, Leakey was asked to return to the Kenya Wildlife Services to salvage it from bankruptcy. In 1999, he was named head of the civil service and secretary of the cabinet in Kenya.

Leakey's address at Princeton will focus on evidence that Kenya may offer for a new strategy to prevent further losses of biodiversity in Africa. It is this year's Lewis Clark Vanuxem Lecture and is the final event in the 2000-01 Public Lectures Series.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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