Walpola Rahula Thero (1907–1997) was a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, scholar and writer. In 1964, he became the Professor of History and Religions at Northwestern University, thus becoming the first bhikkhu to hold a professorial chair in the Western world.
He also once held the position of Vice-Chancellor at the then Vidyodaya University (currently known as the University of Sri Jayewardenepura). He has written extensively about Buddhism in English, French and Sinhala. He wrote the world-renowned book What the Buddha Taught.