Kelsey Trey Leonard
MSc ’11, University of Oxford, JD ’15, Duquesne University, PhD ’19, McMaster University, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Water and climate scientist Kelsey Leonard is a Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
After graduating from Harvard College, Leonard became the first Native American woman to earn a science degree from the University of Oxford, receiving her master’s in water science, policy, and management.
As a citizen of Shinnecock Indian Nation and an environmental leader, Leonard strives to be a strong advocate for the protection of Indigenous waters through enhanced interjurisdictional coordination and meaningful consultation. She is a tribal representative on the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean and a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission.
A member of Native Americans at Harvard College as a student, she is a former president and current board member of the Native American Alumni of Harvard University Shared Interest Group (SIG). She has also chaired the Prize Book Committee of the Harvard Club of Western Pennsylvania, and served on the HAA Board of Directors recent graduate committee.
“Harvard was foundational in shaping my path as a researcher, scientist, and advocate. I want to be able to give back through service and commitment to the alumni community. I believe it is important for the HAA to be guided by the University’s charter recognizing that Harvard exists today because of the unique shared history of the University and Indigenous Peoples. As alumni we have a responsibility to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for all through our engagement activities and cultivation of volunteer leaders.”