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Richard Erskine Leakey

Elected: 2019

Country (Nationality)



Cultural Sciences, Humanities & Social Sciences


Dr. Richard Leakey is currently a Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York where he also serves as the Founder and Chair of the Turkana Basin Institute, a Kenya based research facility that studies the history of life, past climate change and origins of humans.  Until recently he was the Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Most of his life has been devoted to research on human origins, conservation of wildlife and public service.   

 Formerly Director of Kenya’s National Museums, Director of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Department, founding Director and Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Member of Parliament in Kenya and Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Richard Leakey is now focused on funding  the research institute at
Turkana, the Turkana Basin Institute. 

 Currently he is establishing NGAREN, a stand-alone, one of its kind memorial and celebration of our origins in Africa.  Richard Leakey has played a key role in efforts to combat elephant and rhino poaching in the early 1990s which continues and, he has actively campaigned for the protection of the Great Apes.  He has become increasingly vocal about the threats to biodiversity arising from global climate change and the human population growth. 

Richard Leakey is a Kenyan, resides in Nairobi but travels widely to promote his concerns and interests.  He has published widely and participated in many documentaries.