Tony Barclay, PhD
Vice-President and Secretary

Dr. Tony Barclay received a PhD at Columbia in 1977, in the early years of the Applied Anthropology program at Teachers College that was founded and led by Professor Lambros Comitas. As Tony’s advisor during coursework at Columbia, field research in Kenya, and the writing of his dissertation, Lambros was an engaged, influential mentor and role model.Having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in Kenya, Tony returned there for his Ph.D. research on the socio-economic impact of a large-scale sugar project in a previously neglected area of western Kenya. This experience led him to pursue a career as a development practitioner, rather than an academic. This career choice was one that Lambros understood and encouraged, because it fit the philosophy of the Applied Anthropology Program.

Tony joined the staff of Development Alternatives, Inc (DAI), an employee-owned international development consulting firm, in the fall of 1977. After two years as a social scientist on multidisciplinary project teams in Africa, his role evolved into leading the firm’s transformation from a boutique with a handful of American professional staff into a company with global reach, a multinational staff, and a reputation for innovation and excellence in project management. When he retired as CEO in 1999, DAI had annual revenues of $375 million and 2,500 employees working in more than 50 countries.

After DAI, Tony was a core faculty member for a decade in several Master’s degree programs that train promising young development practitioners. At Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, SIPA (Columbia) and the University of California at Berkeley, he tried to follow the path in teaching and interacting with students that was charted by Lambros Comitas. Today, in addition to his involvement with CIFAS, Tony chairs the US Board of Trustees of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, an organization in northern Kenya that has earned a global reputation for community-centric conservation. He also serves on the board of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation and the Kenya Scholar Access Program (KenSAP).