Mamphela Ramphele

Position: Board Member
Categories: Board of Directors

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele has had a celebrated career as an activist, medical doctor, academic,
businesswoman and political thinker. In 1968 she enrolled for a medical degree at the University of Natal, where she became involved in the South African Students Association (SASO) and was a founder, with Steve Biko, of the Black Consciousness Movement. In 1976 she was detained under the Terrorism Act, and from 1977 to 1983 she was banned to Tzaneen in the Northern Transvaal.

She has a PhD in Social Anthropology, a B Com degree, a Diploma in Tropical Hygiene and a Diploma in Public Health. In 1996 she was appointed Vice-Chancellor of UCT. In 2000 she became a managing director of the World Bank, based in Washington, DC, a post she held until end of 2004. Dr Ramphele has served as chairperson of many boards and is a founding trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation since inception in 1999. She was a founder of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the Citizens Movement and is Co-Founder of ReimagineSA. In October 2018 Dr Ramphele was appointed co-president to The Club of Rome, her term ending in 2023. She is Chair of the Desmond Tutu IP Trust. Dr Ramphele was one of the founders of the Black Consciousness Movement that identified psycho-social liberation as a prerequisite of true emancipation of a people. That emancipation starts with self-liberation that unleashes the full human potential. Leap Schools is a living model of this revolutionary idea.

She is the author of several books and publications on socio-economic issues in South Africa, including A Passion for Freedom, Laying Ghosts to Rest and Conversations with my sons and Daughters, her latest book Dreams, Betrayal and Hope is her analysis of ‘the state of the nation’ in South Africa.

Ramphele has received numerous national and international awards acknowledging her scholarship and leading role in spearheading projects for marginalized people in South Africa and elsewhere.

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