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Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

Guest Speaker

    Professional affiliation

    Founder and CEO, Conservation Through Public Health

    Full Biography

    Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is Founder and CEO of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), an award-winning NGO that protects endangered mountain gorillas and other wildlife through integrated Population, Health and Environment (PHE) approaches.

    After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, in 1996, she established Uganda Wildlife Authority’s first veterinary department. In 2000, she did a Zoological Medicine Residency and Master in Specialized Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina Zoological Park and North Carolina State University, where masters research on disease at the human/wildlife/livestock interface led her to found CTPH in 2003. In 2015, she founded Gorilla Conservation Coffee to support farmers living around habitats where gorillas are found.

    Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a National Geographic Explorer, an Ashoka Fellow and Mulago Foundation Henry Arnhold Fellow. She has won a number of awards through CTPH and Gorilla Conservation Coffee that improves the quality of life of people and wildlife to enable them to coexist in and around protected areas in Africa. These include the 2008 San Diego Zoo Conservation-in-Action Award, 2009 Whitley Gold Award; 2011 WINGS Women of Discovery and Exploration Humanity Award, 2017 President of Uganda’s Golden Jubilee Award for her contribution to the nation as a conservationist and veterinarian on Women’s Day, 2018 Sierra Club EarthCare Award, 2019 Finalist for the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa. She received the 2020 Uganda Veterinary Association World Veterinary Day Award focussed on One Health approaches and the 2020 Aldo Leopold Award for Mammalogists. In 2021 she was recognised by Avance Media among 100 most influential women in Africa and won the UNEP Champions of the Earth Award in the category of Science and Innovation. She is the winner of the 2022 Edinburgh Medal for her work in Planetary health and 2022 Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prize. She is a finalist for the 2023 Indianapolis Prize.

    Dr. Gladys is on the leadership council of Women for the Environment in Africa, Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of the Explorers Club and Vice President of the African Primatological Society. She has sat on a number of Boards including Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, and Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board, and currently on the board of Population Connection, The Gorilla Organization, Wildlife Clubs of Uganda, and Bwindi and Mgahinga Conservation Trust.

    Dr. Gladys is also a member of the World Health Organisation Special Advisory Group for the Origin of Novel Pathogens (WHO SAGO) and advisory committee member for the International Livestock Research Institute One Health Research, Education and Outreach Centre in Africa.

    She is the author of “Walking With Gorillas” – a memoir and charter about her leadership and conservation journey shaped by One Health.

    She has spoken a number of times at The Wilson Center which has featured the work of CTPH.