Skip to content

Our Team

The Leakey Foundation’s Board of Trustees is committed to advancing the science of human origins. Our trustees come together three times each year to discuss scientific developments, review business matters, and to award Leakey Foundation Research Grants and Baldwin Fellowships.

Board of Trustees

Gordon P. Getty


San Francisco, CA

Jeanne Newman


San Francisco, CA

Diana McSherry

Vice President

Houston, TX

William Paul Getty

Vice President

San Francisco, CA

Donald E. Dana

Finance Committee Chair

Tiburon, CA

Henry Gilbert

Audit Committee Chair

Wheatland, CA

Duggan Jensen

Treasurer and Investment Committee Chair

Greenwich, CT

Mark Jordan

Communications and Education Committee Chair

Portland, OR

Chet Kamin

Grants Committee Chair

Chicago, IL

Dana Lajoie


Wayzata, MN

Jorge Leis

Development Committee Chair

Houston, TX

Camilla Smith

Nominations Committee Chair

San Francisco, CA

Michael Smith

Governance Committee Chair

Berkeley, CA

Nina Carroll

Ketchum, ID

Alice M. Corning

Mill Valley, CA

Elise Brown Ersoy

Sacramento, CA

Erica Brown Gaddis

Salt Lake City, UT

J. Michael Gallagher

Kentfield, CA

Mark Getty

Rome, Italy

Julie M. LaNasa

Sausalito, CA

Anne Maggioncalda

Palo Alto, CA

Naoma Tate

Cody, WY

Life Trustees

Mary Armour

Colorado Springs, CO

George Smith

San Francisco, CA

Philae Dominick

Denver, CO

Owen O’Donnell

Legacy Giving Chair

San Francisco, CA

Cole Thomson

Houston, TX

Joan Cogswell Donner

Colorado Springs, CO

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi

San Francisco, CA

William M. Wirthlin, Jr.

Salt Lake City, UT

Carolyn Farris

La Jolla, CA

William P. Richards, Jr

Pasadena, CA

Kay Harrigan Woods

San Francisco, CA


Alan Almquist

Sacramento, CA

Misty Gruber

Chicago, Il

Ashley Judd

Cambridge, MA

Janice Bell Kaye

Evanston, Il

David Thurm

New York, NY

Scientific Executive Committee

The Scientific Executive Committee (SEC) is at the heart of The Leakey Foundation’s scientific direction. Outstanding paleoanthropologists, archaeologists, primatologists, geologists, and leaders in related fields serve on the SEC on a voluntary basis. The members review, advise, and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees for our granting programs. They also provide guidance for our outreach and educational programs.

  • Dr. Robert Seyfarth

    Co-Chair, University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Seyfarth is an expert on primate social behavior, communication, and cognition. In 1977, together with his wife and collaborator Dorothy Cheney, he began an 11-year field study of vervet monkeys in Kenya, which led to the publication of How Monkeys See the World. From 1992 through 2007 Dr. Seyfarth and Dr. Cheney studied baboons in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. In 2007, they published Baboon Metaphysics.

  • Dr. Carol Ward

    Co-Chair, University of Missouri

    Dr. Carol Ward is Curator’s Professor and Director of Graduate Education in the Integrative Anatomy Program at the University of Missouri. She is interested in the evolution of apes and early hominins. Her research focuses on fossils from East and South Africa. Dr. Ward takes a mechanical approach to the interpretation of the postcranial skeleton and uses these principles to reconstruct the behavior of extinct animals. Her overall research goal is to understand human origins.

  • Dr. Zeray Alemseged

    University of Chicago

    Dr. Alemseged is a paleoanthropologist and Donald N. Pritzker Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. His research interests include human evolution and the exploration of factors that shaped the evolution of humans and extinct ancestral species. Dr. Alemseged undertakes extensive fieldwork and employs cutting-edge imaging techniques to investigate the evolutionary process and mechanisms that led to the emergence of Homo sapiens. He explores both the biological and cultural transformations that occurred over the past 6 million years since humans diverged from the apes.

  • Dr. Brenda Bradley

    The George Washington University

    Dr. Bradley is a geneticist and molecular anthropologist whose work bridges behavioral ecology and evolutionary genomics. Her research interests include molecular anthropology, comparative primate genomics, molecular ecology, population genetics, sensory ecology, pigmentation, color vision, and the evolution of hair.

  • Dr. Craig Feibel

    Rutgers University

    Dr. Feibel is a geologist at Rutgers University, where he runs the Paleoenvironmental Research Laboratory. His research focuses on investigating the geological context for evolution in terrestrial ecosystems, particularly those related to hominid evolution. His primary research area is the Turkana Basin of Kenya, where he has worked for over thirty years in association with the National Museums of Kenya and the Turkana Basin Institute.

  • Dr. John G. Fleagle

    State University of New York, Stony Brook

    Dr. Fleagle is known for his expertise on the early evolution of monkeys, apes, and humans, and brings together a knowledge of primate behavior, morphology, and functional anatomy in addition to his extensive primatological and paleoanthropological work in Asia, Africa, and North and South America.

  • Dr. Kristen Hawkes

    University of Utah

    Dr. Hawkes is a distinguished professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Utah. A sociobiologist, her research and theoretical interests lie in evolutionary and behavioral ecology, and she is a leader in the study of contemporary hunter-gatherers and human life history evolution.

  • Dr. Richard G. Klein

    Stanford University

    Dr. Klein is a Professor of Anthropological Sciences. Dr. Klein’s scientific interests lie in the interrelationship of cultural, biological, and environmental change in human evolution, especially the reconstruction of the environment, ecology and human behavior from animal remains.

  • Dr. Steven Kuhn

    University of Arizona

    Dr. Kuhn is Professor and Co-Director of Graduate Studies in Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He is currently conducting collaborative archaeological fieldwork and laboratory projects investigating Paleolithic sites and assemblages in Turkey, Greece, and Tucson. His work focuses on Paleolithic archaeology and human evolution; social and ecological contexts for evolutionary change in hominid technologies.

  • Dr. Nina Jablonski

    Pennsylvania State University

    Dr. Jablonski is Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. A biological anthropologist and paleobiologist, she studies the evolution of adaptations to the environment in primates, including humans. Her paleoanthropological research concerns the evolutionary history of monkeys and currently includes an active field project in China. Her research on the evolution of human adaptations to the environment centers on the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation and includes an active field project examining the relationship between skin pigmentation and vitamin D production.

  • Dr. Meave Leakey

    National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi

    Living in Kenya since 1965, Dr. Leakey’s research has focused on fossils recovered from long-term fieldwork in the Turkana basin and includes the evolution of monkeys, apes, carnivores, and mammalian fauna. She continues to find evidence of the very earliest hominins.

  • Dr. Daniel Lieberman

    Harvard University

    Dr. Lieberman is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University and Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Lieberman is recognized as a leading expert on morphology and is especially interested in when, how, and why early hominins first became bipeds, and then became so exceptional as long-distance endurance runners.

  • Dr. Martin N. Muller

    University of New Mexico

    Dr. Muller’s research combines behavioral ecology and reproductive endocrinology. He conducted the first studies of hormones and behavior in wild chimpanzees and, since 2004, has served as co-director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project. He has also done fieldwork with Hadza foragers and Datoga pastoralists in Tanzania. He is particularly interested in what comparisons between chimpanzee and human behavior and physiology can tell us about human evolution.

  • Dr. Thomas Plummer

    Queens College, City University of New York

    Dr. Plummer’s research focuses on reconstructing the behavior and ecology of extinct members of our biological family, the Hominidae. Dr. Plummer’s fieldwork focuses on investigating paleontological and archeological occurrences in late Pliocene and Pleistocene sediments on the Homa Peninsula, southwestern Kenya. He is also involved in investigating the paleoecology of a number of South and East African hominid localities, including Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

  • Dr. Joan Silk

    Arizona State University

    Dr. Silk’s research interests are wide-ranging and include biological anthropology, primate behavior, and evolutionary biology. She is especially interested in how natural selection shapes social evolution in primates. Her recent focus is on the behavioral and reproductive strategies of female bonnet macaques and baboons. She is a prolific writer, author of over 80 publications, and co-author of a current biological anthropology text.

  • Dr. Anne Stone

    Arizona State University

    Dr. Anne Stone is a professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Her specialization and main area of interest are anthropological genetics. Her current research focuses on population history and understanding how humans and great apes have adapted to their environments, including their disease and dietary environments.

  • Dr. Christian Tryon

    University of Connecticut

    Dr. Tryon specializes in the archaeology of human evolution. He is particularly interested in reconstructing ancient social and natural environmental contexts in which behavioral change occurred. Although trained as an archaeologist, his interests span multiple fields, including anthropology broadly but especially geology, history, and ecology.

SEC Emeritus

  • Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Harcourt

    Baldwin Fellowship Advisor, University of California, Davis

    Dr. Harcourt is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Davis. After many years studying the behavior and ecology of gorillas, Dr. Harcourt’s research moved to the evolutionary biology of reproduction, and cooperation, and now his interests have turned to biogeography, including the biogeography of humans.


  • Sharal Camisa Smith

    Executive Director, San Francisco, CA

  • Nyssa Cheruvattam

    Grants Associate

  • H. Gregory

    Program Officer, San Francisco, CA

  • Arielle Johnson

    Education Director, San Francisco, CA

  • Meredith Johnson

    Communications Director, San Francisco, CA

  • Niba Nirmal

    Communications Coordinator, San Francisco, CA

  • Jennifer O’Reilly

    Administrative Assistant, San Francisco, CA

  • Rachel Roberts

    Director of Finance and Administration, San Francisco, CA

  • Brandon Upchurch

    Senior Development Analyst, Portland, OR

Contact Us

Contact Us

I [name], of [city, state ZIP], bequeath the sum of $[ ] or [ ] percent of my estate to L.S.B. Leakey Foundation for Research Related to Man’s Origins, Behavior & Survival, (dba The Leakey Foundation), a nonprofit organization with a business address of 1003B O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129 and a tax identification number 95-2536475 for its unrestricted use and purpose.

If you have questions, please contact Sharal Camisa Smith sharal at 

This will close in 0 seconds