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Nilanga Jayasinghe currently serves as the Field Conservation Coordinator at Defenders of Wildlife. In this position, she works on program issues at Defenders and coordinates Defenders’ field offices and staff in many locations across the United States. Program work is something new for Nilanga, whose background is in journalism and communications. Prior to this position, she worked as the Communications Specialist for the international ocean conservation organization, Oceana. The transition came about because she realized that her passion for wildlife conservation would be better served by becoming more involved in the process. While growing up in Sri Lanka, Nilanga developed a love for wildlife, especially elephants, at a young age. Since then, her love for all wild critters has grown exponentially. She moved to the U.S. almost ten years ago to pursue her higher education and obtained a self-designed undergraduate degree titled, “Literature in a Global Context” from Whittier College in southern California. She then went on to get her Masters in journalism from UC Berkeley, where she focused on environmental reporting. As she found out with time, just reporting on wildlife issues wasn’t enough, so she joined the conservation world with the hope that she can make a difference.