SAIIA announces appointment of high-level International Advisory Board

Image: Getty, istocksdaily
Image: Getty, istocksdaily

SAIIA is pleased to announce its International Advisory Board comprising prominent academics, development experts and policy advisors, as well as former diplomats and government officials.

The group of high-level experts provide support on research, policy trends and fundraising at the Institute. Chaired by Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, the Board has a consultative function for SAIIA’s governing body, the National Council, and for the executive management.

The members of the IAB enrich SAIIA’s agenda with international perspectives and new thinking, provide guidance on increasing its international profile, as well as propose innovative partnerships to actualise its agenda.

More specifically, the Board:

  • Provides strategic guidance on new and changing trends and issues in global affairs, thereby strengthening SAIIA’s research perspectives and its global vision; and
  • Contributes to SAIIA’s global links, especially through regional and international networks

Board Members


Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, former CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, now the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). In 2020, he became the co-chair of the UN Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) Panel and is currently Honorary President of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Sahel and West Africa Club. During 1997-2000, he served as Prime Minister of Niger. Dr Mayaki set up the Analysis Centre for Public Policy in Senegal and led research at the Research Centre on Europe and the Contemporary World at the University of Parix XI.

Mr Stefano Manservisi, Special Advisor to the European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni. He was previously the Director General for International Cooperation and Development. Mr Manservisi has served in the European Commission for 35 years.

Ms Hannah Ryder, CEO of Development Reimagined and Senior Associate for the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS). She is on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and is a member of the United Arab Emirates’ International Advisory Council on the New Economy.

Dr Khabele Matlosa, visiting Professor at the Centre for African Diplomacy and Leadership at the University of Johannesburg and WITS School of Governance, University of Witwatersrand. He is the former Senior Governance Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and former Director of the Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission (AUC).

Dr Vera Songwe, co-chair of the High-Level Panel on Climate Finance and Chair of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility. During April 2017 to August 2022, she served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the ninth Executive Secretary of UNECA.

Ambassador Anil Sooklal, Ambassador at Large for Asia and BRICS in South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation. He is also South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa, IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) Sherpa and Focal Point for IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation).

Ms Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, chief executive of SAIIA. Ms Sidiropoulos is the co-chair of the Think 20 Africa Standing Group, established in 2017 during the German presidency of the G20. She is also currently serving a two-year term on the Second High-Level Advisory Board of the UN Economic and Social Affairs department.

Ms Neuma Grobbelaar, director of research at SAIIA. She is a foreign policy and development expert with over three decades of specialist research, research management, fundraising and policy practitioner experience. Ms Grobbelaar previously served in the South African diplomatic corps.

Dr Prega Ramsamy, head of the Economic Development Board of Mauritius Office in South Africa and Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa (UNISA). He formerly served as Executive Secretary of SADC (2001-2005), head of the Economic Development Board of Madagascar, and Special Economic Adviser to the State President of Madagascar.

Mr Jorge Chediek, Visiting Professor at the Catholic University in Argentina. He formerly served as the Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and as the Envoy for the Secretary General for South-South Cooperation until 2020.

Dr Sook Jong Lee, former president of the East Asia Institute, an independent Seoul-based think tank that serves as a representative institution of the Asia Democracy Research Network. She is a professor of public administration at Sungkyunkwan University and leads governance-related research networks in academia. Dr Lee holds a number of advisory positions in the South Korean government, including in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Unification.

Read more about the IAB members here.

25 Oct 2022

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