The Trust and Africa in the 21st Century
The Rhodes Trust's Legacy, Equity & Inclusion advisory group on the theme of the Trust and Africa in the 21st Century
Charge: To convene dialogues, engage experts, and prepare a paper outlining options for the Trust to consider to launch meaningful, mission-related activities in the short, medium and long term that positively contribute to and engage with the continent that was the source of Cecil Rhodes’ wealth and where systematic inequalities of wealth, power and opportunity today reflect its complex history of extractive industries and colonialism.
Chair - Neeti Bhalla Johnson
Neeti Bhalla Johnson
Neeti Bhalla Johnson (Kenya & Templeton 1998) is the President, Global Risk Solutions, Liberty Mutual Insurance. She leads the company’s commercial and specialty insurance business unit, with operations in 24 countries producing $18.5B in gross written premium. Notably, the business is ranked first in Global Surety and is the fifth largest global commercial and specialty lines writer. Neeti was previously President and Chief Investment Officer, Liberty Mutual Investments.
Neeti joined Liberty Mutual in September 2013. She was previously a managing director at Goldman Sachs. She began her career with Goldman Sachs in 2000, working as an analyst in the firm’s Investment Banking Division in London. In 2002, she joined the Goldman Sachs Investment Management Group in New York, where she was responsible for tactical asset allocation decisions for Private Wealth Management clients. In her position as head of the Tactical Asset Allocation team, she was a member of the Investment Strategy Group. Before Goldman Sachs, Neeti worked at the Central Bank of Kenya and the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
Neeti is the executive co-sponsor of LEAAP@Liberty (Leading and Empowering Asian & Ally Professionals) and an active participant in WE@Liberty, a women’s network and advocacy group at Liberty Mutual. While at Goldman Sachs, she also participated in the women’s network and mentored women in the firm’s Returnship program. Neeti has been featured in Working Mothers Magazine, Glass Hammer, Insurance Business America, Insurance AUM Journal, as well as having been honored by the Foreign Policy Association.
Neeti was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she earned an MBA and MSc in Social Anthropology. She also has a BA in Economics from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.
Neeti currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Peterson Institute for International Economics; member of the Board of Directors of the Trustees Organization; member of the International Council of the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University; and a member of the Board of Trustees, Rhodes Trust, University of Oxford.
Co-Chair Muloongo Muchelemba
Muloongo Muchelemba (Zambia & Harris Manchester 2002) is the Director of Selection for Rise, an initiative by Schmidt Futures and Rhodes Trust, to identify outstanding young people (aged 15- 17) who have the potential to use their talents to build a better world. Prior to joining Rise, Muloongo was an Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank where she spent nearly nine years in corporate banking working in Zambia, South Africa, United Arab
Emirates and Singapore. Before Standard Chartered, Muloongo spent eight years working in Finance at Royal Dutch Shell and KPMG in London.
Muloongo did her first degree in Economics at the University of Zambia and then read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She is also a Chartered Management Accountant.
Outside of her profession, Muloongo is the Founder of ONGOLO, a Pan-African thought leader and ideas blog whose mission is to change the narrative about Africa. She is also the author of The Millennials’ Gaido to Work, a mentoring guide for young professionals navigating the workplace. She is currently working on her second book, The Secret Lives of Gen Z: What Parents Need to Know. She is based in London.
Inaugural Co-Chair (2021-2022) Dr Kumi Naidoo
Dr Kumi Naidoo
Dr Kumi Naidoo (South Africa-at-Large & Magdalen 1987) is a South African born human rights and climate activist. As a fifteen-year old, he organised school boycotts against the apartheid educational system in South Africa. His work made him a target for the Security Police and he was forced into exile in the United Kingdom until 1990. Kumi returned to South Africa and was asked to lead the process to formally register the African National Congress (ANC) as a political party. Kumi then served as the official spokesperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the overseer of the country's first democratic elections in April 1994.
He has served as International Executive Director of Greenpeace International (from 2009 to 2016) and Secretary General of Amnesty International (from 2018 to 2020). Kumi is currently Professor of Practice at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University.
Kumi is currently a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy and Honorary Professor of Practice at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. He lectures at Fossil Free University and serves as Special Advisor to the Green Economy Coalition. Kumi serves as Global Ambassador to Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. He is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and an Honorary Fellow at Magdalen College.
Professor Jess Auerbach
Professor Jess Auerbach
Professor Jess Auerbach (South-Africa-at-large and St Antony's 2009) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at North-West University, South Africa. Her research is focussed on Africa in relation to South Atlantic and Indian Ocean knowledge systems, and the 21st century university. She is currently an Iso Lomso Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, and is the author of two books, From Water to Wine: becoming middle class in Angola and Archive of Kindness: stories of everyday heroism during the South African pandemic.
Charles Carter (Diocesan College, Rondebosch & Keble 1986) left a 25 year corporate career in 2019 to pursue his passions of photography and social investment. As a former executive in the world’s largest emerging markets gold company, he enjoyed a diverse career in multiple geographies in Africa and Latin America leading teams in strategy, corporate finance, investor relations and corporate communications, together with constructing impactful values-based transformation and productivity improvement programmes in remote operational environments. He has chaired one of Southern Africa’s largest corporate philanthropic foundations, been active in the Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa as an assistant general secretary and national selector,
together with being a director of companies. More recently he has endowed graduate research bursaries in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, together with initiating and funding an annual Playwright and Choreographic Residency programme for South Africa’s Sustaining Theatre and Dance Foundation (STAND). Academic qualifications include a BA.Hons in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town and a D.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford. Charles has also recently completed the Harvard HBAP programme in data science. His emerging photographic portfolio can be viewed at www.tsroadphoto.com.
Robert Calderisi (Quebec & St Peter’s 1968): Starting in 1975, when he planned Canadian aid to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, Robert Calderisi spent much of his career promoting economic and social progress in Africa,. He was First Secretary (Development) at the Canadian High Commission in Tanzania in 1976-78 and later, the World Bank’s senior loan officer for Kenya and Tanzania (1979-83); chief of the Bank’s Regional Mission in Western Africa, based in Côté d’Ivoire (1991-94); World Bank
spokesman for Africa (1997-2000); and Country Director for Central Africa (2000-2002). His 2006 book “The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working” was chosen by The Economist magazine as one of the best books of the year. He has recently completed a study of the “Rhodes Must Fall” controversy and is beginning work on a series of short biographies of little-known African heroes. He chairs a social and environmental inspection panel for a major Rio Tinto mine in south-eastern Madagascar.
Khalil Goga is an Associate Executive Director (Community Engagement, Programming and Impact) at the Atlantic Institute. He previously served as the Director of Dialogue and Advocacy at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg where he was also a Senior Director with the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity program. Prior to this, he was a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies. He received both his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of KwaZulu- Natal.
Dr Lisha Jeena
Dr Lisha Jeena
Dr Lisha Jeena (KwaZulu-Natal & Green Templeton 2020) graduated as a medical doctor from the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine in South Africa, before pursuing postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford. Her medical interest is in furthering understanding of HIV infection in young children and adolescents. Growing up in South Africa, Lisha experienced people of diverse cultures, races and
socioeconomic backgrounds from as early as her school years. For Lisha, these interactions stimulated conversations that sought to understand each other’s differences, rather than create divisions. This learning process continued throughout her educational journey, and was heightened in her work as a medical doctor. It is this diversity which she wishes to see represented in the Rhodes Community, and in particular the Southern Africa and African Rhodes constituencies. Being aware of barriers to equal opportunity, and confronting our own biases are necessary to actively improve application and selection processes so that the African continent can show its excellence, while being representative of its people.
Janet Jobson (South Africa-at-Large & St Anthony’s 2007) is the Deputy CEO of the DG Murray Trust – one of South Africa’s largest private foundations. DGMT sees itself as a public innovator working towards building a South Africa where all people can fulfil their potential. The DGMT works through connecting, communicating, and commissioning strategies to achieve three key goals:
- Nurturing an innovative and inclusive society;
- Keeping all children on-track by Grade 4; and
- Enabling all young people to get their first decent job.
Janet joined the Trust in 2011, initially to head-up their work in the field of youth leadership development – which included driving the establishment of Activate!, a network of over 4 000 young people leading for public innovation. Prior to joining the Trust, Janet worked with a range of civil society organisations, including Amnesty International South Africa, CIVICUS, and the South African Girl Child Alliance, focused on human rights, social justice, and youth participation.
Janet completed a BA (Hons) degree in History at Rhodes University as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. Her academic work then took her to Oxford University, where she completed an MPhil in Development Studies as a Rhodes Scholar. In 2009-10 she was a Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Fellow based in Montreal, Canada.
Dr Tariro Makadzange
Dr Tariro Makadzange
Dr Tariro Makadzange (Zimbabwe & Balliol 1997) is an Infectious diseases and Viral/Vaccine immunologist. She earned a BA at Smith College, an MD at Harvard Medical School and a DPhil from Oxford University. Dr Makadzange trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington and Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital where she later joined the faculty. Her research has focused on HIV immunology, clinical trials and implementation science. She has been engaged in training and mentoring HIV clinicians and researchers and co-established
one of the largest HIV treatment programs in Zimbabwe. She has worked in industry and academia in early and late phase clinical trials, and vaccine development.
Dr Anne Makena
Dr Anne Makena
Dr Anne Makena (Kenya & Somerville 2012) is the co-Director of the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx), a vibrant platform for ‘all things Africa’ at the University of Oxford. AfOx facilitates academic and research partnerships by supporting a wide range of activities including researcher mobility schemes for African academics; organising high-quality research engagement meetings and providing financial, academic and mentorship support to African students and research staff in Oxford. Anne has been actively involved in various initiatives with global research funders including contributing to the Africa Strategy for the UK Research and
Innovation, participating in the Rethinking Research Partnerships Collaborative and supporting career development initiatives in partnership with the African Academy of Sciences. Anne completed the DPhil in Chemical Biology as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford with a research focus on biochemical characterisation and inhibition of bacterial enzymes involved in antimicrobial resistance. Prior to joining Oxford, she worked at the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) consortium, a partnership between Moi University (Kenya), Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (Kenya), the Kenyan Government and National Hospital Insurance Fund and Indiana University. Anne has also served as a consultant in equity in research, risk mitigation in collaborative research with LMIC countries and partnership management in major international research programs.
Dr Nomfundo Ramalekana
Dr Nomfundo Ramalekana
Dr Nomfundo Ramalekana (South Africa-at-Large & Lady Margaret Hall 2015) is a lecturer in the Public Law Department at the University of Cape Town’s Law Faculty, where she teaches Constitutional Law. She has an LLB from the University of Pretoria, a BCL, MPhil and PhD in Law from Oxford University.