Professor Lesley Lokko is the Curator of Biennale Architettura 2023 of La Biennale di Venezia. She is the founder and director of the African Futures Institute (AFI) in Accra, Ghana, an independent postgraduate school of architecture and public events platform. She was the founder and director of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg (2014-2019) and the Dean of Architecture at The Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture (2019-2020), CCNY. She is the editor of ‘White Papers, Black Marks: Race, Culture, Architecture' (University of Minnesota Press, 2000) and the editor-in-chief of 'FOLIO: Journal of Contemporary African Architecture', published by the AFI.
In 2004, she made the successful transition from academic to novelist with the publication of her first novel, 'Sundowners', (Orion, 2004) and has since followed with twelve further bestsellers, which have been translated into fifteen languages. She is currently a founding member of the Council on Urban Initiatives, co-founded by LSE Cities, UN Habitat and UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose; and a Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She is a trustee of London-based The Architecture Foundation and has held visiting professorships at the University of Westminster, University of Cape Town, The Cooper Union and the University of Virginia.