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.
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 and in 2014, he was appointed adjunct assistant professor at the University.
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.
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.
Leetaru is a contributor to Foreign Policy, where he discusses current political events worldwide, often drawing from GDELT data for his analyses.
Leetaru's analysis of the relationships between articles on Wikipedia, sponsored by Silicon Graphics International, was covered in the New York Times. He has also been cited in the Wall Street Journal in an article about Twitter usage. He has been cited in the Washington Post in connection with GDELT and as an expert on foreign affairs. In 2017, he wrote about the English Wikipedia's decision to ban (or "deprecate") the Daily Mail. In 2018, he contributed to "The Good Censor" project at Google, which was "leaked" to the public.