Dr Nicole Beardsworth is a South African political analyst and lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as an honorary research fellow at the University of Warwick. Her PhD research focused on opposition politics and coordination in Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She is also a coordinator of the Zambian Elections Research Network – a collaborative effort between UCT, Warwick, Wits and the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research – which brings together prominent scholars of Zambia to undertake a complementary programme of research on the 2021 elections. Dr Beardsworth has published in international journals and newspapers, and was formerly a researcher at SAIIA. Her broader research is on the history and politics of sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on political parties, governance, democratisation and elections in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Linda Kasonde is a lawyer and a civil rights activist. She is a 2017 recipient of the IE University’s Extraordinary People Inspiring the IE Community (EPIC) Award in the ‘Women Inspiring Women’ category. In 2016, the prestigious The Africa Report named her as one of the people to watch out for in 2017. In 2016, she was awarded the Zambia Society for Public Administration’s Justice Irene Chirwa Mambilima Distinguished Award in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of public service excellence in Zambia. Linda is an alumna of the Harvard University’s Leadership in the 21st Century Executive Programme 2013. She is an alumna of the prestigious 2014 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship. She is also a 2014 alumna of the prestigious United States of America State Department’s International Visitor’s Leadership Programme (IVLP) on Women in Political and Social Affairs and the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s International Leadership Programme. She is a recent participant in Stanford University’s Centre for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law’s Draper Hills Fellowship. She is currently the Chairperson of the University of Zambia’s staff tribunal and is formerly a member of the inaugural Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal.
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