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Biography of Calestous JUMA

Kenya > Science : Calestous JUMA

Calestous JUMA
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Born on 09/06/1953 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Calestous Juma (b. June 9, 1953), is a Kenyan professor of the practice of international development at the Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Globalization Project,.

Calestous Juma is an internationally recognized authority in the application of science and technology to sustainable development. He is a former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nairobi-based Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS). He holds a PhD in science and technology policy studies and has been elected to several scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World and the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. In addition to his academic work, he provides high-level policy advice to organizations such as the African Union, the United Nations and individual governments. His report, Freedom to Innovate, was prepared for the African Union.

Prof. Juma has made significant contributions to understanding the dynamic role of technological innovation in economic transformation in developing countries.Prof. Juma’s contributions to science and technology policy have focused on the role of technological innovation in sustainable development. In 1988 Prof. Juma founded the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Africa’s first independent policy research institution designed to advance research on technology in development.

Prof. Juma established himself as a world leader in policy research on biotechnology and directed the International Diffusion of Biotechnology Programme of the International Federation of Institutes of Advanced Studies. He continues to provide international leadership in research, training and outreach through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Prof. Juma continues to provide high-level policy advice to governments, the United Nations and other international organizations on science, technology and innovation. He co-chairs the African Panel on Modern Biotechnology of the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) whose report, Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development, will be officially released in January 2008. Prof. Juma led international experts in outlining ways to apply science and technology to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals arising from the UN Millennium Summit in the year 2000. Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development (Earthscan, 2005), the
report of the Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation of the UN Millennium Project, was released in early 2005 and its recommendations have been adopted by development agencies and governments around the world. The report has become a standard reference against which governments assess their policies and programmes on the role of technological innovation in development.

 Prof. Juma’s research has helped to improve understanding on the role of property rights in conservation (under the rubric of “ecological jurisprudence” as outlined in the volume, In Land We Trust (Zed, 1996). His work guided international negotiations on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity as documented in Biodiplomacy (ACTS, 1994). He later became Executive Secretary of the
Convention where he advanced the use of scientific knowledge in conservation policy and practice.

Prof. Juma serves or has served on the board on a number of institutions which include: One Laptop per Child Foundation,
USA; Encyclopedia of Life, USA; National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand; EARTH University,
Costa Rica; Presidential National Economic and Social Council, Kenya; the University of Guyana; Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences;World Resources Institute, USA; and United Nations University’s Institute for New Technologies, The Netherlands.
In recognition of his original work, Prof. Juma has been elected to the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, the African Academy of Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences. He received the 1991 Pew Scholars Award in Conservation and the Environment (1991) for dedication in preserving global biodiversity; the 1992 Rweyemamu Prize for broadening Africa’s knowledge base for development; the 1993 UN Global 500 Roll of Honour for Environmental Achievement for important
contributions to Africa’s quest for solutions to the complex issues of biotechnology, biodiversity and the transfer of technology; and the 2001 Henry Shaw Medal for significant contribution to botanical research, horticulture, conservation or the museum community. In 2007 Prof. Juma was named by the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper as one of Kenya’s 100 most influential people. He has received several honorary Doctor of Science degrees for his work on the application of science and technology in developed and developing countries and awarded the honour of the Order of the Elder of the
Burning Spear (EBS)
in 2006 by the President of the Republic of Kenya in recognition of his work in assisting “governments to solve diplomatic problems.”

Last update : 02/17/2009

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