FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 13, 2015

HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS PROTECTING ELEPHANTS (H.O.P.E.) TO PRESENT INAUGURAL

DISTINGUISHED CIVIL SERVICE AWARD

Dr. Richard Ruggiero To Be Honored For Commitment to Elephant Conservation

Statement of J. Scott Throckmorton, CEO, H.O.P.E.

Washington, D.C. — Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants (H.O.P.E.) is happy to announce that it will award its inaugural Distinguished Civil Service Award to Dr. Richard Ruggiero, Chief, Division of International Conservation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“For over a quarter century Dr. Richard Ruggiero has led U.S. efforts to support African nations in the conservation of elephants and other valuable wildlife. Often working in remote and austere environments, Dr. Ruggiero has served as the eyes and ears of US conservation efforts abroad, including being part of a team that unconverted epidemic levels of poaching in Gabon’s Minkebe National Park,” said J. Scott Throckmorton, CEO of H.O.P.E.. “The dedication and leadership of career civil servants like Dr. Ruggiero is essential to ending Africa’s elephant poaching crisis and we are grateful for his passion, professionalism and proven track record of success.”

H.O.P.E. is a non-profit organization that enlists the business community to support and employs U.S. veterans to train, advise and assist African anti-poaching units. The award will be bestowed at the organization’s annual Ivory & Elegance Gala Reception on November 12, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

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