In the legacy of the late Dian Fossey, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka has become one of the leading conservationists and scientists working to save the critically endangered mountain gorillas of East Africa. She is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), a 14-year old nonprofit organization that promotes conservation by improving the quality of life of people and wildlife to enable them to coexist in and around protected areas in Africa. She became an Ashoka Fellow in 2007 for merging Uganda’s wildlife management and rural public health programs to create common resources for both people and animals.Dr. Gladys trained as a veterinarian at the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College. Between 1996 and 2000, she set up the first Veterinary Unit at the Uganda Wildlife Authority. From 2000 to 2003, she completed a zoological medicine residency and masters in specialized veterinary medicine at North Carolina State University and North Carolina Zoological Park. Prior to setting up CTPH she also did a certificate in Non-profit management from Duke University. Most recently in 2016, she completed an MBA in Global Business and Sustainability – Social Entrepreneurship Track.
Her most recent awards include the 2017 World Wildlife Day Award from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA) for outstanding contribution to conservation in Uganda and 2017 Golden Jubilee Award from the President of Uganda for distinguished service to the nation as a veterinarian and conservationist on International Women’s Day.
Other awards include San Diego Zoo’s 2008 “Conservation in Action Award,” the 2009 Whitley Gold Award for outstanding leadership in grassroots nature conservation; 2011 Wings World Quest Women of Discovery Humanitarian Award, and 2014 CEO Communications Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Award in Medicine and Veterinary category.
Under her leadership, Conservation Through Public Health won the Global Development Network 2012 Japanese Most Innovative Development Project Award for scaling social service delivery.
In 2018, Dr. Gladys was awarded the EarthCare Award by the United States-based Sierra Club, in recognition of her “unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation”, as related to her work in environmental protection and co-existence between communities and mountain gorillas in Uganda. She received the award on 29 September 2018, at a ceremony that was held in Denver, Colorado, in the United States.