New Staff at SAIIA: July 2009

In the Pretoria office Maloko Mmekwa, known to staff as Nonkey, joins the Development through Trade Programme as project administrator.

Nonkey has an administrative background in a number of fields ranging from the hospitality industry to communications. Prior to joining SAIIA in May this year, she was employed by the National Research Foundation as an office executive.

In July month three more staff members moved into Jan Smuts House. Shona Kohler joins the office of the director of studies as deputy director of studies: research support services. Shona holds a Masters degree in Sociology from Wits University. Before joining SAIIA she worked at Creamer Media as a research coordinator and editor. Shona has also played an active role in electronic media through research-based websites such as and the

Baaitse Nethononda joins SAIIA as the project coordinator in the office of the director of studies. Baaitse previously worked as the office administrator at GTZ, the German Technical Cooperation. Baaitse’s academic background is in journalism which she studied at Damelin Business College. She has furthered her studies through a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of South Africa, where she is currently completing her honours year.

Frank van Rooyen also joins SAIIA’s Johannesburg office as a research fellow in the Emerging Powers and Global Challenges programme. After working as a school teacher for two years, Frank joined the navy in 1980 where he specialised in communication and electronic warfare and later defence diplomacy. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1999. In 2003 he represented the South African National Defence Force at the Kenyan National Defence College Programme, where he completed a Masters in International Relations at the University of Nairobi. Frank is also currently completing a PhD on trilateral diplomacy at the University of the Free State.

There has also been some reshuffling of staff within SAIIA offices. Karen Frank joined SAIIA in 2007 as project administrator for the Development through Trade programme. As that programme moves to new offices in Pretoria, Karen will remain at Jan Smuts House. She has now become the project administrator for the China in Africa and the EU in Africa projects. This new concentration is complemented by Karen’s research interests which lie in international relations and the politics of Europe in Africa. While Karen holds a diploma in Journalism, she is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Business Administration from Unisa.

Bernadette Bule joined SAIIA as an intern in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) programme in March 2008 while she was pursuing a Bachelors degree in International Relations at Wits University. This year she became a permanent member of staff as the project administrator of the APRM programme. Before joining SAIIA, Bernadette worked as a project manager and coordinator of the Entrepreneurs Organisation and the World Entrepreneur Awards programme for Ernst and Young South Africa.

SAIIA’s Cape Town offices didn’t escape the ‘winds of change’ sweeping across the Institute. Kathryn Sturman will now be at the helm as head of the Governance of Africa’s Resources programme (GARP). Tim Hughes, who has headed the programme since its inception in 2007 will take up the position of GARP research fellow focusing purely on research.

14 Jul 2009