Stanford announces 2016 Bright Award Winner, Tom Lalampaa

Tom Lalampaa, chief programs officer of Kenya’s Northern Rangelands Trust, is the 2016 recipient of the Stanford Bright Award, the $100,000 prize given annually to an unheralded individual who has made significant contributions to global sustainability. Ray Bright, JD ’59, now deceased, established the Bright Award in 2007 on behalf of his late wife, Marcelle, and himself.

“We are grateful to the Bright family for entrusting Stanford with locating unsung heroes of environmental conservation, giving them the recognition they deserve and providing them with the resources and attention they need to take their work to the next level,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean at Stanford Law School.

Lalampaa received the prize during a public lecture at Stanford on September 28. A main goal of his moving forward, he said, is finding a way to reduce the poaching of large mammals, such as elephants and rhinos. In reflecting on his work, Lalampaa also offered advice for others working in this challenging area: Focus on the local. “Make it real, let it touch the ground. That’s where the impact is and don’t just do it for any recognition. Do it with all your heart,” he said. “And more importantly, let the local communities also take the credit.”

“No one better illustrates the future potential for Kenya and Africa than Tom Lalampaa,” said nomination committee chair Barton H. “Buzz” Thompson Jr., JD ’76 (BA ’73, MBA ’75), Robert E. Paradise Professor in Natural Resources Law and the former Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. “Through his work at the Northern Rangelands Trust, Tom has demonstrated the opportunity to promote economic development, sow peace among neighboring tribes, and conserve Africa’s tremendous wildlife, all at the same time.”