Ya-Wei Li

Printer-friendly version
Director of Endangered Species Conservation
(202) 772-3219
ya-wei.li@defenders.org

Ya-Wei Li, Director of Endangered Species Conservation

Ya-Wei (Jake) is an environmental lawyer who specializes in endangered species law, policy, and science.  He focuses on improving how the Endangered Species Act is implemented, so that it becomes more effective and efficient at conserving wildlife.  Much of this work involves endangered species listings, consultations, critical habitat designations, recovery planning, habitat conservation plans, and candidate species conservation.  He also works closely with other conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and industry to find solutions to complex or contentious endangered species issues.

Before joining Defenders in 2010, Jake practiced environmental law at Latham & Watkins, LLP.  There, he worked on regulatory counseling and litigation relating to endangered species, air and water contaminants, pesticides, chemical regulation, environmental assessments, and renewable energy.

Jake holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering, summa cum laude, from Drexel University and a J.D., cum laude, from Cornell University Law School.  At Cornell, Jake also completed graduate coursework in conservation biology and herpetology.  He has been admitted to the District of Columbia and New York State bars.

You may also be interested in:

Gray Wolf, © Angelique Rea
How You Can Help
The most anti-wildlife Congress in decades has gray wolves in their sights. Tell them to keep politics out of wolf recovery!
Endangered Species Act
Wildlife is once again at a crossroads, and the need to speed up recovery efforts could not be more urgent.
Green Sea Turtle, Photo: NOAA
Success Story
April 2015 - In less than 40 years, this population of sea turtles has gone from nearly vanishing to laying thousands of successful nests on our beaches every year.