Ginette Hemley to headline 2018 Waxter Forum at Sweet Briar

Sumatran tiger
Sumatran tiger in water. Photo courtesy of the WWF

Ginette Hemley, senior vice president for wildlife conservation at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at The Florence Elston Inn & Conference Center. Her lecture, “Keeping Tigers Alive: A story of Recovery and Hope,” comes as part of Sweet Briar’s annual Waxter Forum. The event is free and open to the public.

Hemley has more than 30 years of experience in international conservation and has developed global recovery strategies for critically endangered species, including tigers and elephants. She has a Bachelor of Science in biology from the College of William and Mary, and has studied at Oxford University.

In her role at WWF, Hemley oversees programs to protect some of the world’s most endangered and iconic species, using community-based approaches and mobilizing public support for species and habitat conservation. One of her areas of focus is the reduction of illegal wildlife trade; she is a former director and current board member of TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Ginette Hemley
Ginette Hemley. Photo courtesy of the WWF

“It’s wonderful that Ginette will be sharing optimistic news about tiger conservation, because it’s easy to become overwhelmed by environmental problems,” said Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Ecology Linda Fink, who serves as director of Sweet Briar’s environmental science program. “As a highly respected conservationist at WWF, Ginette is a great example of women’s leadership. I’m delighted that our students will have several opportunities to interact with her during her campus visit.”

In addition to her public lecture, Hemley will meet with biology, environmental science and government students during class visits on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Julia B. Waxter Environmental Forum at Sweet Briar College is an annual event that brings nationally recognized speakers to campus for a public lecture and interactions with students. Previous speakers have included forest ecologist Joan Maloof, author Barbara Kingsolver, biogeochemist William Schlesinger and author Michael Pollan. The event is supported by an endowment established by the late Julia Baldwin Waxter ’49 and her husband, Bill.

For more information on this event, please email Fink at

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