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Leigh Whelpton is the program manager for a new initiative at Island Press, the Conservation Finance Network. This program aims to build a coordinated network of conservation finance practitioners to advance land and resource conservation through creative finance and innovation. Leigh is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused on landscape-level conservation and international development. During this time, Leigh worked for the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale and interned with the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations. Prior to grad school, Leigh worked as an Executive Assistant and International Course Administrator for the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia. Along with managing CCF’s research, conservation, and education initiatives, she administered training courses on Conservation Biology and Integrated Livestock, Wildlife, and Predator Management for conservation practitioners from cheetah-range countries.  Leigh holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies with a focus in Political Ecology from the University of California at Berkeley.