Kalev Leetaru

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Kalev Leetaru.

Kalev Hannes Leetaru is an American internet entrepreneur and academic, the Yahoo! Fellow in Residence of International Values, Communications Technology & the Global Internet at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.[1]


Born to Hannes and Marilyn Leetaru,[2] Leetaru co-founded a web company in 1995, while still in middle school. His first product was a web authoring suite (this was in the time when websites were still built directly into HTML and content management systems, Javascript, and CSS were not used widely). In 2000, while an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Leetaru joined the National Center for Supercomputing Applications there.[1][3][4] Leetaru's undergraduate thesis at the University was a detailed history of the University of Illinois, and formed the basis for the University of Illinois Histories Project.[5]

After finishing his undergraduate studies at the University, Leetaru continued working at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University, and also held positions at the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University. In 2013, he started as a Yahoo! Fellow in Residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University[1][3] and in 2014, he was appointed adjunct assistant professor at the University.[3]

Leetaru's research has focused on the use of big data and networks and their utility in prediction, including analyses of Wikipedia, Twitter, and geopolitical events.[6]

Leetaru is best known for his role as the co-creator of the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) with Philip Schrodt. He currently maintains the database and the underlying code.[7][8][9]

Media coverage[edit]

Leetaru is a contributor to Foreign Policy, where he discusses current political events worldwide, often drawing from GDELT data for his analyses.[10]

Leetaru's analysis of the relationships between articles on Wikipedia, sponsored by Silicon Graphics International, was covered in the New York Times.[11] He has also been cited in the Wall Street Journal in an article about Twitter usage.[12] He has been cited in the Washington Post in connection with GDELT[13] and as an expert on foreign affairs.[14] In 2018, he contributed to the "The Good Censor" project at Google, which was "leaked" to the public.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Leetaru, Kalev. "About". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  2. ^ Kalev Leetaru (2012). Data Mining Methods for the Content Analyst: An Introduction to the Computational Analysis of Content. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-415-89513-2.
  3. ^ a b c Leetaru, Kalev. "Vita" (PDF). Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "Changing the World Through Creative Entrepreneurship: A Profile of University of Illinois Student-Entrepreneur Kalev Leetaru" (PDF). Kauffman Thoughtbook 2005 (pages 87-92).
  5. ^ "UIHistories Project". Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Leetaru, Kalev. "Research". Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "About GDELT". The Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  8. ^ Keating, Joshua (April 10, 2013). "What can we learn from the last 200 million things that happened in the world?". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  9. ^ Heaven, Douglas (May 13, 2013). "World's largest events database could predict conflict". New Scientist. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "Kalev Leetaru". Foreign Policy. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  11. ^ Hardy, Quentin (June 14, 2012). "How Big Data Sees Wikipedia". Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  12. ^ "The Race to Locate Twitter Users". Wall Street Journal. April 8, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  13. ^ Taylor, Adam (March 24, 2014). "What big data can tell us about the relationships between world leaders". washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  14. ^ "Report: White House Deleted 'Coalition of the Willing' Lists". Washington Post. December 8, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  15. ^ "No Google Isn't Trying To Censor The Web". Forbes.

External links[edit]