Majka Burhardt

Founder and Executive Director | Legado | USA

Majka is the Founder and Executive Director of Legado and has nearly three decades leading social entrepreneurship ventures across Africa, Europe, South and North America. She is also a professional climber and has led expeditions and established first ascents around the world. In 2010, Majka was sent a photo of a granite rock face in northern Mozambique that would lead to Legado’s founding and her work today as an international leader in supporting the creation of locally-led systems for sustained collective action and achieving climate justice. Through her work with Legado, Majka blends her diverse career as a professional climber, author, and anthropologist into her passion for leading teams to approach complex challenges with innovative solutions. This passion for complexity has also driven her relentless commitment to learning and collaboration in the creation of Legado’s Thriving Future approach. 

Majka is also the author of More, Vertical Ethiopia, and Coffee Story: Ethiopia, and executive produced the films Waypoint Namibia and Namuli. Her articles have been published throughout the world and her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, Outside Magazine, NPR, and more. Her films have been official selections of over 100 international film festivals and across the United States on PBS. 

Majka is an American Mountain Guides Association Rock Guide and Ice Instructor and a former two-term member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Concurrent with her role as Legado’s Executive Director, Majka is a professional climber and ambassador with leading outdoor company Patagonia. She is a Mulago Foundation Henry Arnhold Fellow for her work in conservation entrepreneurship and an EPIC Emerging Artist Award nominee for her work in film. Closer to home, Majka is an elected official on the School Board in Jackson, New Hampshire, and volunteers with the Mountain Rescue Service Climbing Team. She graduated from Princeton University cum laude and received a MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Read more at