Palesa Shipalana joined SAIIA as our Economic Diplomacy Programme Head in 2017. Her key research portfolio focuses on public finance, regional integration and the South African economic and policy development landscape. Previously she worked as an economist in the public sector for nine years focusing on public finance management, public entities oversight management, provincial turnaround strategies, and various policy reform programmes in the pensions and medical schemes sector. She also worked on the South African social sector reform programme at Unicef, and regional integration in capital markets at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. She holds an MCom in International Trade and Finance from Wits University and an LLB from Unisa.