Dr. Richard Leakey, who is the Former Director General of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), will return to the organisation in the position of Chairman, following his appointment by President Kenyatta.

The Kenya Wildlife Service is a state run organisation which conserves and manages Kenya’s wildlife and approximately eight percent of the total landmass of Kenya. This land contains 22 National Parks, 28 National Reserves and five National Sanctuaries. Four Marine National Parks and six Marine National Reserves on the Coast, as well as 125 field stations outside protected areas are also under KWS management. Dr. Leakey was the first ever Director General of the Kenya Wildlife Service in 1989, known for successfully combating elephant and rhino poaching and overseeing a reorganisation of Kenya’s national park system.

Since then, he has served as Chairman of Wildlife Direct, a conservation NGO based in Nairobi with Dr. Paula Kahumbu at the helm, Secretary General of the Kenyan opposition party Safinat and was the head of the Kenyan Civil Service from 1999 to 2001.

Dr. Leakey is part of the Leakey dynasty which rose to fame following the success of archaeological digs they undertook in the Turkana area. Dr. Leakey served for many years as the director of the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) where he was responsible for the extraordinary discovery of the almost entirely intact 1.6 million year old skeleton of the “Nariokotome Boy” (or “Turkana Boy”), a Homo erectus youth.