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Thandika MkandawireMandela School Senior Fellow Prof Thandika Mkandawire, was the first person to take on the Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics (LSE). Prof Mkandawire was formerly Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen and has taught at the Universities of Stockholm and Zimbabwe. He has been the Olof Palme Professor for Peace with the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm. His research interests are mostly in development theory; economic policy and development; social policy in developing countries and the political economy of development in Africa. 

Trevor ManuelDistinguished politician, Trevor Manuel, accepted appointment as Senior Fellow at the Mandela School, as well as an Honorary Professorship at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Mr. Manuel had a distinguished career in public service, including serving as one of South Africa (and the world’s) longest-serving Ministers of Finance. During this tenure in government, he also served as Minister in the Presidency and as head of the National Planning Commission. Before 1994, Mr. Manuel was a stalwart of the anti-apartheid movement and an activist. He is currently a senior advisor to the Rothschild Group and Deputy Chairperson of Rothschild SA and a board member of several companies. Among many international posts, he has chaired the International Monetary Fund’s Development Committee, served as Special Envoy for Development Finance for UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon, and served on the Commission for Africa and the task team on Global Public Goods. In 2011 he became a Co-chair of the Transitional Committee of the Green Climate Fund, a UN fund to help poorer nations combat and adapt to climate change. Mr. Manuel has received numerous honorary doctorates and awards, being named Africa Finance Minister of the Year in 2007.

Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela Prof Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela is a respected senior government official who has had a long professional association with the Mandela School. Prof Msengana-Ndlela is currently a Special Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Training (formerly Science and Technology). She has also facilitated a number of high-level training courses targeting senior public servants for the Mandela School. Prof Msengana-Ndlela was previously the City Manager for Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Port Elizabeth and for seven years she was the Director General of the then National Department of Provincial and Local Government. Prof Msengana-Ndlela has a PhD from the University of Warwick, a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) and other degrees from Rhodes and the University of South Africa.

Alison GillwaldProf Alison Gillwald is an Adjunct Professor at the the Mandela School as well the Executive Director of Research ICT Africa. She also served as Adjunct Professor at UCT’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to this, she was Associate Professor at the Witwatersrand University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management, where she founded the Learning Information Networking and Knowledge (LINK) Centre in 1999 with the purposes of fast-tracking ICT policy and regulatory training in southern Africa. She did so after serving a term on the founding Council of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA). Before joining SATRA in 1997 she established the Independent Broadcasting Authority's Policy Department and was responsible for co-ordinating the Triple Inquiry into Public Service Broadcasting, Local Content and Cross-media Control. She has consulted for the International Telecommunications Union, the African Development Bank, the World Bank and several African governments on issues from broadband and gender to indicator development and digital readiness. She was appointed to the African Ministers’ Advisory Group in 2000 and in 2002 she chaired the National Digital Advisory Body appointed by the Minister of Communication.  She was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Ministerial Broadband Advisory Council in 2013 and has  has served on the board of the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Womensnet and Media Monitoring Project and publicly-listed company AVUSA. Prof Gillwald has a Masters degree in Politics from the University of Natal and a doctorate from the University of the Witwatersrand. She also has a post-graduate certificate in Economics and Public Finance from the University of South Africa.


Dr Miriam Altman is an Adjunct Professor at the Mandela School. She is a part-time Commissioner on the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Office of the South African Presidency and was a significant contributor to the writing of SA’s first National Development Plan. As Head of Strategy for the Telkom Group from 2013 until 2016, she coordinated Telkom's strategic repositioning and turnaround, as well as Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations. From 2002 to 2010, she served as Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council. She is recognised as a leading economist, strategist and thought leader who has played a role in shaping employment policy and dialogue in South Africa. She has a BA in Economics from McGill University, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Economics from the University of Manchester. Dr Altman has produced more than 100 publications, guest edited four special edition journals and been the commissioning editor of approximately 400 policy papers in her division at HSRC, most of which can be accessed on her website.


Dr Carla Lever is a Research Fellow at the Mandela School, interested in political spectacle, protest and commemoration practices in a contemporary South African context. She gained her PhD from the University of Sydney, examining the centrality of embodied practice to South African national identity under the Zuma administration. Carla is also a cultural journalist and the recipient of a 2013 BASA silver award for arts opinion writing in South Africa. She is currently lecturing on South African protest history and literature, while undertaking ASTR-funded research on statue-based protest in the US and South Africa.