Kelsey Leonard

Kelsey Leonard is a citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island, New York. She is a PhD Candidate and Philomathia Water Policy Fellow in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University  where she focuses on Indigenous water security and its climatic, territorial, and governance underpinnings. She is a Tribal Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean and a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission. She holds an A.B. in Sociology and Anthropology with honors from Harvard University, a MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from Duquesne University. She has been recognized as a 30 under 30 world environmental leader by the North American Association for Environmental Education and a “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipient by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. Additionally, her work with Indigenous Nations to protect the Ocean received a Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Policy Solutions. Her recent scholarship explores Indigenous WaterJustice and the defining international legal principle of self-determination under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was published in the Lewis and Clark Law Review and available for download here: