Ken Sargent

Category: All Harkness Stories /  Environment /  International Affairs /  Up to 1959 / 

Ken Sargent (CFF 1957-58) , OBE,  graduated in Forestry at Edinburgh University in 1945, with the Elizabeth Sinclair Irvine prize as best student and joined the Kenya Forest Department for 12 years.  Working on a wide variety of field assignments, he became deeply interested in the role of forestry in the environment and its interrelationship with other sectors. His 1957 fellowship enabled him to study at Harvard University with Professor J.K. Galbraith and undertake extensive travel arranged by the US Forest Service. He returned in 1965 to present a key-note address on forest policy to the first Tropical Forestry Symposium.  Ken moved on to a successful career in many countries linking forestry, land use and agricultural policies with national economic and social policy.  His model for analysis of these issues was taken up by the World Bank for broader application in developing countries.  In recognition of this success, Ken was presented with the prestigious B.R. Sen Award of FAO (1974), the first Englishman and the first Forester to receive this. In 1966 Ken was elected an Honorary Member of the Society of American Foresters, and was appointed an OBE in 1967.  In retirement he became Treasurer then Chairman for a Housing Association. In 2012, at the age of 88, Ken privately published “Beyond the trees - a forester’s reminiscences of adventure, international travel and a fascinating career”. Ken died in October 2020 and is survived by his wife, Gwen, who travelled with him on his fellowship, and his two sons, Michael and Peter.