Our team and boards

Editorial   Back to Top

Caroline Southey

Caroline Southey

Editor

Previously Caroline was editor of the Financial Mail in South Africa. Prior to that she worked for the Financial Times in London and Brussels in various roles over 17 years including as World Desk Editor and as a foreign correspondent covering European Union agriculture and social policy.

Declan Okpalaeke

Declan Okpalaeke

Editor at Large

Declan has worked as a reporter, editor and manager at a number of Nigerian publications including The Guardian, Tell and Insider Weekly, covering health, environment, politics and business. He volunteers as adjunct/fellow at the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, he was also a former Knight International Journalism Fellow. He is a winner of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award, and pioneer president of the African Health Jour...

Julius Maina

Julius Maina

Regional Editor East Africa

Julius was previously managing editor of a number of Kenyan national daily and weekly newspaper titles under the Nation Media Group and The Standard Group in Nairobi, among them the Saturday Nation. He was the founding editor of Drum East Africa magazine and has also worked as a senior editor in Tanzania.

Candice Bailey

Candice Bailey

Health + Medicine Editor

Candice worked as an investigative journalist at the Johannesburg-based civil society organisation Corruption Watch. She has also been a reporter in the newsrooms of several weekly and daily national newspapers, most recently the Sunday Independent and Johannesburg Star newspaper.

Joy Wanja Muraya

Joy Wanja Muraya

Health + Medicine Editor

Joy is a science and health enthusiast. Over the past 10 years she has worked at the Daily Nation and Standard Newspapers in Kenya as a senior health and science writer. She has a Masters of Public Health from Moi University and is a past winner of various health awards and fellowships. These included being named the African Story Challenge fellow in 2014 and best reporter awards from the Media Council of Kenya and at both media organisations she worked for.

Natasha Joseph

Natasha Joseph

Science & Technology Editor

Natasha worked as news editor of City Press for three years before joining The Conversation Africa. She has freelanced for a range of publications, including Al Jazeera English, The Atlantic and The Big Issue. After obtaining her Bachelor of Journalism at Rhodes University in 2003, she worked for the Cape Times as a general reporter before joining the Cape Argus as news editor in 2009. She is a contributing editor to the Index on Censorship.

Ozayr Patel

Ozayr Patel

Environment + Energy Editor

Ozayr previously worked as a television and online producer with a special focus on sport at independent television and online news agency, e News Channel Africa. Prior to that he was employed as a content controller for the Supersport website.

Thabo Leshilo

Thabo Leshilo

Politics + Society Editor

Thabo is a journalist and editor with 23 years’ experience in newspapers. He is the former editor of the Pretoria News, Sowetan, Sunday World and Business Times. His main areas of interest are human rights, education, politics, labour, transport and small business development. He is a past winner of the Sanlam Business Journalist of the Year Award (small business section). He was a 2008/2009 Nieman Fellow (Harvard University).

Charles Leonard

Charles Leonard

Arts + Culture Editor

Charles was news editor at the Mail & Guardian for four years before joining us. As a reporter, producer, news editor and executive producer with 29 years of experience, he has worked at a variety of South African publications and broadcasters including Business Day, the SABC TV, SAfm, Vrye Weekblad and the Sunday Times. He has also worked for the UK's Channel Four News. He has written extensively on arts, culture, politics and sport.

Sibonelo Radebe

Sibonelo Radebe

Business + Economy Editor

Sibonelo has been a journalist for about 20 years with a focus on business and economic areas. He has worked for national titles in South Africa such as the Business Day, Financial Mail and The New Age. Prior to joining The Conversation Africa, he worked for the National Empowerment Fund, a South African development finance institution.

Julie Masiga

Julie Masiga

Peace + Security Editor

At heart, Julie is a human rights proponent with a specific interest in women, leadership and governance. She has vast experience in writing and editing for both newspapers and magazines in the East African region, including titles under the Nation Media Group, the Standard Group and East Africa Magazines. She hosts a weekly political and current affairs talk show on KTN News in Nairobi and writes a weekly governance column for The Standard Newspaper. Julie studied law at the University of Sh...

Moina Spooner

Moina Spooner

Commissioning Editor: East Africa

Moina is a journalist, researcher and editor. She has extensive online media experience and has written widely on a variety of pan-African issues having previously worked for Africa Review and Mail & Guardian Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has also contributed to a range of titles including the Daily Nation, the East African, the World Economic Forum and Citiscope.

Shallan Govender

Shallan Govender

Copy Chief

Shallan has over ten years’ experience in the media and corporate communications sectors. Most recently she worked as a senior sub editor at eNews Channel Africa. Prior to that she played integral roles specialising in internal communications at major firms such as Unilever, ABI and Altech. She has all round experience having worked on a range of media platforms including print, digital and broadcast.

Judy Nguta

Judy Nguta

Audience Development Manager

Judy has a passion for digital media. Before joining The Conversation, she worked as a news and current affairs sub editor at Standard Digital. She was among the team that established its online news platform, having joined after graduating with a degree in Information Sciences from Moi University.

Management   Back to Top

Alexandra Storey

Alexandra Storey

General Manager

Alex has been involved in the non-profit sector for 10 years, focusing on general and operational management, research and programme implementation. Previously Alex has worked as a management consultant implementing large scale projects in the public sector, and in banking organisations focusing on building financial solutions for poor people in South Africa.

Pfungwa Nyamukachi

Pfungwa Nyamukachi

Strategic Partnerships Manager

Pfungwa joined The Conversation Africa to manage stakeholder relations and drive the university partnerships strategy for Africa. She was formerly head of subscription sales for Africa at Research Africa, a subsidiary of a London-based Research Research (Ltd.). Pfungwa has a Masters in Administration and is currently enrolled in a Masters in Science and Technology Studies at Stellenbosch University. She volunteers and serves on the SA Board of Trustees for the Canon Collins Educational and Le...

Lavani Balipursad

Lavani Balipursad

Office Manager

Lavani has 18 years’ experience in office management, legal PA services and general administration. She has worked at a number of law firms including Bowman Gilfillan, ENS and Werksmans. She joins The Conversation Africa from a small family law practice where she established and managed all administrative and operational systems for the firm. At The Conversation Africa she is responsible for all office related management and administration.

Advisors   Back to Top

Beverley Damonse

Beverley Damonse

Dr Beverley Damonse is the Group Executive: Science Engagement and Corporate Relations of the National Research Foundation (NRF). She is a member of The International Women’s Forum of South Africa (IWFSA), invited member of the NRF Board, a member of The Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) Advisory Council, a member of the Board of the Cape Town Science Centre and a member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) Advisory Board.

Ory Okolloh

Ory Okolloh

Ory Okolloh is a Kenyan activist, lawyer, and blogger. She currently holds the position of Director of Investments at Omidyar Network. She was formerly the Policy Manager for Africa with Google. In 2006 she co-founded the parliamentary watchdog site Mzalendo (Swahili: 'Patriot'). Following a disputed presidential election in 2007, Okolloh helped create Ushahidi (Swahili: 'Witness'), a website that collected and recorded eyewitness reports of violence using text messages and Google Maps.

Sizwe Nxasana

Sizwe Nxasana

Sizwe Nxasana is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of FirstRand. He started his career at Unilever. In 1989 he established Sizwe & Co, the first black-owned audit practice in Kwazulu Natal. In 1996 he became the founding partner of Nkonki Sizwe Ntsaluba, the first black-owned national firm of accountants. In 1998 he joined Telkom SA as Chief Executive Officer. Sizwe was elected Deputy President of Business Leadership South Africa in January 2014 and serves as Chairman on various ...

Albert van Jaarsveld

Albert van Jaarsveld

Dr van Jaarsveld is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. His career includes academic and management positions at the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch, as Dean of Science, Adjunct Professor: Environmental Studies Programme at Dartmouth College, USA as well as President and CEO of the National Research Foundation. He obtained his PhD in Zoology from the University of Pretoria. He has published in excess of 100 primary papers, including highly cited works in Science...

Rob Moore

Rob Moore

Rob Moore is the Director of Strategy and Innovation for the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of the Witwatersrand (‘Wits’) in Johannesburg. His work includes the brokerage of multi-disciplinary research and innovation partnerships directed at issues of sustainability. He has a particular interest in the role of universities in the future of cities. Previously he served a seven-year term as Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University (2007 – 14), responsible for...

Trevor Manuel

Trevor Manuel

Honorary Professor and Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice

Distinguished politician, Trevor Manuel, accepted appointment as Senior Fellow at the School, as well as an Honorary Professorship at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Mr. Manuel had a distinguished career in public service, including 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-apa...

Omano Edigheji

Omano Edigheji

Dr Edigheji manages the Higher Education Program for TrustAfrica in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. He was a Research Director in the Policy Analysis Unit of the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa and Research Manager at the Johannesburg based policy think-tank Centre for Policy Studies. He has published extensively, including two books on governance, globalisation and the developmental state. He has lectured at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and the Nelson Mand...

Jonathan Jansen

Jonathan Jansen

Vice-Chancellor and Rector

Jonathan Jansen is an Honorary Professor of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, received an honorary doctorate in Education from the Cleveland State University, USA in 2010 and was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Science of the Developing World (TWAS) in the same year. He also serves as Vice-President of the South African Academy of Science and is a Visiting Fellow at the National Research Foundation (NRF). He is a Fulbright Scholar to Stanford University (2007-2008), for...

Prins Nevhutalu

Prins Nevhutalu

Dr Prins Nevhutalu is the Vice-Chancellor of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He held positions at the University of Limpopo as well as the National Research Foundation after which he served in various Deputy Vice Chancellor roles at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Zululand. He has been recognised for his contribution to education and development, receiving the National Order of Merit by the French President and the American Council of Education fellowship.

James Mwangi

James Mwangi

James I. Mwangi is the Executive Director of the Dalberg Group which has 14 offices globally that focus on inclusive growth and sustainable development. He previously served as Global Managing Partner of Dalberg’s Strategy Consulting business and founded and led Dalberg’s business in Africa. Prior to that James worked at McKinsey and Company in New York. He is a Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. He serves on the Program Advisory Committee...

Technology   Back to Top

James Healy

James Healy

Technical Director

James studied software engineering at Swinburne University. Since then he has worked on researching network protocols and developing websites for several Australian companies and community groups.

Mark Cipolla

Mark Cipolla

Senior Developer & Content Platform Project Coordinator

After finishing a degree in Multimedia Design at Monash University, Mark has worked with a number of design and development teams, including Realestate.com.au and SitePoint.

Nick Browne

Nick Browne

Developer

Nick studied computer science at RMIT University. He has worked in Australia, India, Hong Kong and America before joining The Conversation.

Keith Pitty

Keith Pitty

Developer

Keith narrowly missed the era of punched cards whilst studying Computer Science at Sydney University. A BSc and three decades later, he enjoys developing software that positively affects society.

Eleanor Kiefel Haggerty

Eleanor Kiefel Haggerty

Developer

Eleanor studied Archaeology and Classics at The University of Queensland. She began programming shortly after finishing University. Two years and 28 countries later, Eleanor joined The Conversation.

Josh Bassett

Josh Bassett

Data Platform Technical Lead

A UNSW alumnus, Josh enjoys applying CompSci rigour to all manners of problems. Prior to joining The Conversation he worked on several large projects including the Bendigo Bank mobile app, the New Zealand Stock Exchange, the Clear Grain Exchange, and the WordPress iPhone app.

James Hill

James Hill

Content Platform, Technical Lead

James studied computer science at UNSW. Since then his professional career has been equally split between Australia & the UK. Currently residing in London, he's joined The Conversation eager to work on meaningful software around the way we disseminate information.

Ben Macleod

Ben Macleod

Commercial Platform Senior Developer

Taking a left turn after a BA majoring in Linguistics, narrowly avoiding a career in rock and roll, Ben studied Software Development at RMIT. He comes to The Conversation from working on the TalkBox platform at ImpactData, and is keen to contribute to shaping the future of journalism.