Judy is passionate about inspiring and unearthing possibilities in others, believing that with the right attitude, opportunities and skills development, every human being can achieve their highest potential. She is the Deputy Executive Director of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, with her primary responsibility being the Foundation’s flagship Scholarships and leadership development programme that aims to build exceptional leadership in Africa. Judy’s other key responsibilities include partnering with the Executive Director in fulfilling the MRF’s strategic growth and public engagement needs, organization leadership and development, plus ensuring the successful implementation of new projects.
Beginning her career in the financial services sector as an organization development practitioner for Absa and Investec, Judy coached emerging and senior leaders, as well as designed and facilitated processes on strategy, diversity and transformation, leadership development, organizational culture, change management, and team effectiveness. Subsequently, she went on to become a systems change practitioner and coach with Reos Partners and various other organizations in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and India working with senior leaders and graduates across business, government, civil society, and academia, before joining the Foundation fulltime as Programme Director.
Judy is a non-executive board director of Oxford University Press (Southern Africa), and chairs the board’s social and ethics committee. She is also an International Advisory Board member of University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Education unit and board chairperson of Sound Africa, a documentary podcast non-profit committed to telling African stories in an innovative, in-depth and informed manner.
Judy has been invited as a keynote speaker, panelist, moderator and programme director on to several public platforms locally and internationally, for institutions such as the GraçaMachel Trust, Obama Foundation, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, University of Cape Town, Oxford University, Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) and various provincial and national school principals associations. She has given addresses and moderated panels with distinguished leaders such as Mrs Graça Machel, Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, Dr Reuel Khoza, Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, Justice Edwin Cameron and many others on topics such as leadership, education, youth, transformation, resilience, nation building and delivering a graduation speech at Wits University. Judy has published work in the Mail & Guardian, The Journalist, and Thought Leader.
Some of Judy’s other achievements include being an Abe Bailey Fellow to the United Kingdom, Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Michelle Obama’s Young African Women Leaders, and Sarie magazine’s top 10 women under 30.
Judy was born and raised in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. She matriculated from Stirling High School in East London (with distinction); completed a BA Psychology degree (Cum Laude) from the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth and went on to obtain an Honours degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology also from NMU as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar in the Class of 2007. Judy holds an MA in Organization Psychology from Columbia University in New York City, which she completed as a Fulbright Scholar. She is also a certified coach through the Centre for Coaching at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.