2022 Winner

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

for her persistent, innovative leadership in developing new approaches to human/wildlife interaction at a time when the danger of zoonotic diseases is rising worldwide


Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is the Founder and CEO of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), an award-winning NGO that protects endangered gorillas and other wildlife. Dr. 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 improve the quality of life of people and wildlife to enable them to coexist in and around protected areas in Africa.

New thinking, new actions

After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, in 1996, Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka established Uganda Wildlife Authority’s first veterinary department. At that time there were only 650 mountain gorillas left in the wild and about half of them lived in the park. When scabies, a common skin disease, broke out in the village next to the park, it spread to the gorilla population. An infant gorilla died and the rest of the critically endangered animals only recovered with treatment. That tragedy helped Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka conceive of an integrated strategy for helping people and wildlife coexist. Her work forged new ways of collaborating between the sustainable development community, the Ministry of Health, and people living adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The CTPH’s innovative approach spawned programs to improve the hygiene practices of villagers and encourage entrepreneurism connected to the park. Learn more

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