Leila Patel is Distinguished Professor of Social Development Studies, Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg (UJ). She is the former DSI/NRF Research Chair in Welfare and Social Development, UJ and the founding Director of the CSDA 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 and an award from the International Consortium of Social Development for her international leadership in social development in 2021. Leila played a leading role in the development of South Africa’s welfare policy after apartheid.