Provost Lee Visits Mpala Research Centre, Alumni in Kenya

Morgan Kelly, Office of Communications ・ Princeton Environmental Institute

NANYUKI, Kenya — The small airplane bobbed and tilted in the midday heat rising off the Kenyan bushland as it quickly dropped onto the short red-dirt airstrip. Zebras grazed in the runway’s grassy margins alongside gazelles and hulking, spear-horned oryx. Elephants milled about the dense trees and shrubs at the narrow end of the landing strip just before the escarpment plunges into the deep valley below.

On his first international trip as Princeton provost, David S. Lee traveled this summer with a delegation from the University to visit the Mpala Research Centre, a multidisciplinary field-research station located in Kenya’s Laikipia County. Lee went with Pablo Debenedetti, dean for research; Paul LaMarche, vice provost for space programming and planning; and Anastasia Vrachnos, vice provost for international affairs and operations.

The group also met with U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and spoke informally with U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz. Before returning to Princeton, Lee attended a roundtable discussion on entrepreneurship with Kenyan business leaders and held a reception with Princeton alumni who live in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.