News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Remembering Calestous Juma

| Dec. 15, 2017

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing this morning of Calestous Juma.
To ministers and heads of state, he was a sought-after adviser, pointing the way toward reforms that boosted farm yields, educational standards, and economic prosperity. To the scientific community, he was an unstinting champion of innovation and rigorous evidence. To his students, he was a passionate teacher and mentor. To thousands of his fans on social media, he was a fount of insight, optimism, and good humor. To us, he was a dear friend and extraordinary colleague.
If you’ve ever walked through our hallways and heard a boisterous laugh, that was Calestous. If you’ve ever seen a faculty member delighting in pick-up soccer along the shores of the Charles River, that was Calestous. If you’ve ever had your assumptions challenged and curiosity stoked all at once, that was Calestous. This acclaimed author and winner of some of the globe’s most prestigious awards – including the 2017 Breakthrough Paradigm Award and the 2014 Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize – had no ego. Like the adolescent in Kenya who transformed his love of tinkering into an electronics repair business, Calestous was always a kid at heart.
We’ll have more to say shortly, including memorial plans. For now, please join me in mourning the loss of one of the Center’s most beloved members. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Alison, and son, Eric.
Ash Carter

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Carter, Ash. “Remembering Calestous Juma.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, December 15, 2017.