Dr. Leslie Ruyle is an ecologist working cross-disciplinarily to create innovative solutions for conservation, conflict, and development. She holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, West Africa, and has managed university-based initiatives for NSF and USAID. Having lived in four countries and traveled to over 80 countries in her career, she has broad experience in international applied conservation and research including stints at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute- Panama, Honduran Coral Reef Foundation, Applied Biodiversity Science Program, Earthwatch, and the Center on Conflict and Development. Her work has been recognized with the UN’s Equator Prize Initiative and Dean’s Award for Interdisciplinary teams. Currently, she is building a program in DRC focused on supporting entrepreneurship in regions of conflict, conservation concern, and limited connectivity (EC3).