Kenya

Juma, Havard Professor and First African Environmental Journalist, Dies

The Harvard Kennedy School is mourning the loss of their colleague Calestous Juma who passed away Friday.

He was 64.

At the time of his passing, Juma served as Professor of the Practice of International Development, and was affiliated with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Center for International Development, and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government.

“Juma was a widely acclaimed academic whose research and writing focused on science, technology, and environment, and on the ways in which they could be harnessed to improve the lives of people,” Harvard said in a statement seen by ChimpReports.

Juma, who grew up on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria where he obtained early education — first worked as an elementary school teacher before becoming Africa’s first science and environment journalist at Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper.

He also won multiple international awards for his work on sustainable development, and was named among the 100 Most Influential Africans for 2016 by New African magazine.

“I came to rely on Calestous’s invincible good spirits in all of our conversations about his own work and about the Kennedy School’s work regarding Africa,” said Douglas Elmendorf, Kennedy School Dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy.

“For all of Calestous’s amazing accomplishments and contributions to the Kennedy School and to the world, he was always modest about what he had done and focused entirely on what he could do next. He was a true model for us all to aspire to. I will miss him very much, as I know so many of us will.”

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“Calestous worked tirelessly with all of us to advance the School’s work in technology and innovation, particularly in Africa,” said Archon Fung, Academic Dean and Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship.

“He warmed me with his humor and enlightened me with his wisdom. He touched so many of us so often, and he will be greatly missed by all of us in the Kennedy School community.”

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