The Rev. Dr. Allan Aubrey Boesak is the first incumbent of the Desmond Tutu Chair for Peace, Global Justice and Reconciliation Studies at Christian Theological Seminary and Butler University in Indianapolis. Born in South Africa, he studied at the University of the Western Cape and received his Ph.D. in theology from the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands.1976 marked the Soweto Uprisings and Boesak’s entry into public life in South Africa. He served the church and the ecumenical movement in various senior capacities, including as president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the first person from the global South and the youngest ever to be elected into that position. Under his leadership the world body adopted the position that apartheid is a heresy declaration and suspended the two Dutch Reformed Churches from membership for their theological and moral support and justification of the apartheid system. In 1983 he called for the formation of the United Democratic Front, which became the largest organized, non-racial anti-apartheid movement in the history of the country, and became its most visible leader and spokesperson until its closure by the ANC in 1991.
Although he has retired from active party politics, Boesak still is deeply and passionately involved in global struggles for human rights, social, economic, ecological, gender, and sexual justice across the world.