Leonard (Leo) Balai (Paramaribo/Suriname 1946) studied law and public administration at the University of Amsterdam.
After his graduation he was active in various fields. He was a member of the City Council of Amsterdam for almost 11 years. He took his PhD with a thesis on the slave ship Leusden and the West India Company.
In May 2013 he published: Geschiedenis van de Amsterdamse slavenhandel (History of the Amsterdam slave trade). He also published: The last journey of the slave ship Rusthof.
Leo Balai is married to Dita Vermeulen; 5 grandchildren; lives in Amsterdam.