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Scene Last Night: Hillary Clinton, Murdoch, Harrison Ford

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Harrison Ford, center, said he once got a call from the White House asking him out to dinner with then-President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Asked where, he was told, "at your house." The actor's most recent film is "42," in which he plays the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who signed Jackie Robinson.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Harrison Ford, center, said he once got a call from the White House asking him out to dinner with then-President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Asked where, he was told, "at your house." The actor's most recent film is "42," in which he plays the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who signed Jackie Robinson. Close

Harrison Ford, center, said he once got a call from the White House asking him out to dinner with then-President Bill... Read More

Source: Conservation International

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Harrison Ford on stage for Conservation International. Close

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Harrison Ford on stage for Conservation International.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Alejandro Santo Domingo, center, with PC Valmorbida and Sasha Pesko. Close

Alejandro Santo Domingo, center, with PC Valmorbida and Sasha Pesko.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Oscar de la Renta, chairman and founder of Oscar de la Renta Ltd., and Andres Santo Domingo, president and co-founder of Kemado Records. Close

Oscar de la Renta, chairman and founder of Oscar de la Renta Ltd., and Andres Santo Domingo, president and co-founder... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Lauren Santo Domingo, creative director of Moda Operandi, and Emilia Fanjul. Close

Lauren Santo Domingo, creative director of Moda Operandi, and Emilia Fanjul.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Beatrice Santo Domingo and Leopoldo Rodes. Close

Beatrice Santo Domingo and Leopoldo Rodes.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Kathryn Murdoch, a trustee of Environmental Defense Fund, and James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of News Corp., attend a Conservation International benefit at the Plaza Hotel in New York on May 15, 2013. Close

Kathryn Murdoch, a trustee of Environmental Defense Fund, and James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of News... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

James Wolfensohn, chairman and CEO of Wolfsensohn & Co. LLC. Close

James Wolfensohn, chairman and CEO of Wolfsensohn & Co. LLC.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Tory Burch, CEO, creative director and co-founder of Tory Burch LLC. Close

Tory Burch, CEO, creative director and co-founder of Tory Burch LLC.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Huma Abedin, a veteran adviser to Hillary Clinton, with Annette de la Renta. Close

Huma Abedin, a veteran adviser to Hillary Clinton, with Annette de la Renta.

Former Secretary of StateHillary Clinton recalled Harrison Ford jumping out from behind a big potted plant. He wasn’t playing Han Solo or Indiana Jones, but rather a conservationist handing out a position paper on the oceans.

“I was there for days,” Ford said of waiting for Clinton at her far-flung hotel.

“He had moss growing on his hair,” Clinton joked.

The pair stood in front of a wall of moss last night, on the stage of the Plaza hotel ballroom for Conservation International’s 16th annual New York dinner.

Ford, a board member of the Washington-based organization for more than 20 years, talked with Clinton for 45 minutes. Topics covered: ocean health in the South Pacific and the Arctic, potential threats of damming the Mekong River and African elephants.

“Poaching animals is a huge, international, criminal enterprise,” Clinton said. “It is no longer taking a tusk to the nearest market. It’s carried out by highly armed, vicious bands who come in helicopters wearing night goggles.”

Clinton said she’d like to fight back by helping African leaders protect their natural resources; she’d also like to impose more severe U.S. penalties on stores that falsely claim to sell pre-ban ivory.

Rio, Jefferson

Clinton also mentioned how much she is looking forward to the Clinton Global Initiative Latin America conference in Rio de Janeiro Dec. 8-10. To avoid any conflicts, the initiative avoided international events during her term as secretary of state.

Roger Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR), said the statesman Clinton most resembles is Thomas Jefferson, noting his foreign service as U.S. minister to France and two terms as president. The crowd applauded at the idea of a Clinton candidacy.

Peter Seligmann, founder, chairman and CEO of Conservation International, gave a tribute to former board member Julio Mario Santo Domingo, who died in 2011. He was introduced to Conservation International by David Rockefeller Sr. and served on its board for seven years. He also built a beer business and investments, making his family the second-richest in Colombia.

“He was the most ram-rod straight person you’ll ever meet. He asked piercing questions,” Seligmann said.

The patriarch’s two sons offered more personal reflections.

Be Kind

“I learned to keep an open mind and to listen to people,” said Alejandro Santo Domingo, who runs the family businesses.

“The most important lesson my father gave me is by his example: Be kind to people, be kind to everything,” said Andres Santo Domingo, dinner chairman. He also said his father admired Conservation International for its “pragmatic, science-oriented approach.”

Others attending: James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of News Corp. (NWSA), and Ian Snow of the private-equity firm Snow Phipps Group LLC. Designer Oscar de la Renta and his wife, Annette de la Renta, dined with Clinton on beet ravioli and poached branzino.

Also among the 450 guests were Tory Burch and Huma Abedin. The event raised $1.5 million.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Katya Kazakina, Philip Boroff, Thomas Mulier and Scott Reyburn on auctions.

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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