PAST Welcomes New CEO

PAST is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Ms. Kimberleigh Tommy as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Kimberleigh is a biological anthropologist and an accomplished science communicator who embraces and actively promotes the core values of PAST’s All from One campaign.


Kimberleigh Tommy describes herself as a translator between the worlds of science and society. A biological anthropologist by training, she is dedicated to bridging the gap between the origin sciences and the public. Currently, she is completing her PhD at the Human Variation and Identification Research Unit at the School of Anatomical Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand.

Kimberleigh is a passionate science communicator, named one of the Top 20 Postgraduate writers in South Africa by Science Today in 2017. She has published research and opinion articles both locally and internationally on the importance of creating informed societies through accessible science.

In 2018 she worked as the full time Science Communication Officer at the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences (GENUS). In 2019, she was selected as a postgraduate blogger for the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), using the platform to highlight challenges facing postgraduate students and providing possible solutions.

Kimberleigh’s dedication to origin sciences research and transformative inclusive science has been recognized on the global stage. In 2020, she was named one of Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in the Science and Technology category. The Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa and CoCreate SA named her as one of the Inspiring Fifty Women in STEM.  

Kimberleigh is a fierce supporter of the representation of women in science, with the belief that empowered women have the ability to help shape a better future. In 2020 she was a recipient of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science South African National Young Talents Programme.

From 2021-2022 Kimberleigh served as Curator of the Maropeng and Sterkfontein Official Visitor Centres in the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site as Curator where she worked to share the story of humankind’s origins in Africa.