Kenya, Born 1953
An authority on sustainable development, Calestous Juma has helped promote the use of scientific knowledge in conservation policy and practice around the globe.
The Kenyan-born professor, who was encouraged early on by his parents to embrace innovation, rose from positions as a teacher and science journalist to that of a world leader in shaping conservation programmes and leveraging science and innovation for economic growth.
Following postgraduate studies at Sussex University in the U.K., Juma returned to Kenya and, in 1988, founded the African Centre for Technology Studies, the continent’s first independent think tank. In 1995, he became the first permanent executive secretary of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity and, four years later, joined Harvard’s Kennedy School. Today, he is professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard where he directs the Science, Technology and Globalization Project, as well as the Gates Foundation-funded Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project.
A member of the U.K.’s Royal Society and a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the much-honoured Juma recently published another book: The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, “a welcome antidote to the pessimistic view of African development of previous decades”, according to Nature magazine.
Published in 2012