Donald C. Johanson is the Founding Director of the Institute of Human Origins now located at Arizona State University in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. For the past 45 years he has conducted field and laboratory research in paleoanthropology. He is best known for his discovery of the 3.18 million year old hominid skeleton from Ethiopia, popularly known as "Lucy." Through grants from the National Science Foundation, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation and the National Geographic Society, Johanson has carried out field research in Ethiopia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Tanzania. He is an Honorary Board Member of the Explorers Club, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of many other professional organizations and recipient of several international prizes and awards.
In addition to his scholarly contributions he has coauthored some 7 books including the widely read "Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind" and most recently “Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins.” He hosted and narrated the three part NOVA television series In Search of Human Origins" seen by more than 100 million people worldwide. Johanson is a frequent lecturer at university and other forums in the United States and abroad.