Lewis Pugh is an ocean advocate and an endurance swimmer. He is the only person to have completed a long distance swim in every ocean of the world. He has pioneered swims in the most challenging environments on earth, including the Antarctic, the North Pole and the Himalayas, and developed an understanding of the beauty and fragility of life and its many ecosystems.
Lewis is a leading figure in efforts to protect our oceans. He is currently working on creating a series of Marine Protected Areas around Antarctica. The negotiations require consensus among 25 countries, a number of which have long standing disputes with one another. The media have dubbed his efforts as “Speedo diplomacy”.
Lewis is also one of the world’s foremost leadership speakers, with TED describing him as “a master story teller”. He has received France and South Africa’s highest honours. In 2011 he was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. In 2013 he was appointed UN Patron of the Oceans. And most recently, in 2015, he was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
Lewis read law at the universities of Cape Town and Cambridge.