Dr. Raffaella Commitante

Date of birth:


Place of birth:

Ischia, Italy

Education History:

BFA: Hunter College, NYC / MA in Anthropology: California State University, Fullerton / PhD Biological Anthropology: University of Cambridge, UK

Organisation you work for:

President of the Orangutan Conservancy

Position title:


How did you get into the work you do presently?

I began teaching in the early 1990s - first in Middle and High Schools with The Los Angeles Unified School District in California. Once I received my PhD, I worked in the field for a few years before beginning my teaching career at the University level. With my conservation work, I first started as a volunteer at the Orangutan Conservancy through my work in the field, then became a Board member, then president I'm also still a full Time Lecturer at California State university, Fullerton.

Describe the main aspects of your work:

I teach courses in Evolutionary Anthropology which includes Primate Behavior, Primate Observation Techniques, Human Osteology, Forensic Anthropology, Human Variation, Human Evolutionary Anatomy As President of the Orangutan Conservancy, I work with the Board members to raise funds, and disburse funds to projects on the ground in orangutan range countries. I co-founded the Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group Workshops which have been running yearly since 2009.

What do you like best about your job?

Feeling as though I am part of a group of multifaceted individuals working towards making the world a better place – full of continued diversity and wonder.