Leila Patel is Professor of Social Development Studies and holds the South African Research Chair in Welfare and Social Development at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). She is the founding Director of the Centre for Social Development in Africa at UJ. In 2020 she was a recipient of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Science-for-Society Gold Medal Award for applying scientific knowledge in the service of society. She also received the Katherine Kendall Award for advancing international social work education. Leila played a leading role in the development of South Africa’s welfare policy after apartheid.