Dr Leon Schreiber is a Senior Research Specialist for the Innovation for Successful Societies programme at Princeton University in the United States, conducting research on how to build effective and accountable government institutions in developing countries.
Prior to joining Princeton in 2015, he obtained a PhD in Political Science magna cum laude from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, as well as MA, BA (Honours) and BA degrees from Stellenbosch University.
Leon is a child of the plains of Namaqualand on the arid South African West Coast, having grown up in the small diamond mining town of Kleinzee before moving to the student hostel at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch at the age of 13. His research has subsequently taken him all over the world.
Leon has conducted interviews with nearly 300 champions of government reform in dozens of countries on six continents. His most recent work has been about how Liberia contained the deadly 2014 Ebola outbreak; how Kenya, South Africa and Nepal tried to make power-sharing governments work; and how Tanzania, Mozambique, Indonesia and Rwanda have tackled issues of land reform.
After studying and working abroad for five years, Leon moved back to Cape Town in 2016. Besides his work for Princeton, Leon regularly participates in television and radio programmes as a political analyst, writes for some of South Africa’s leading newspapers and magazines, and tends to his vegetable garden.