Ford Foundation Appoints Peter Takirambudde to Lead its Southern Africa Office

Sep 02, 2011, 11:11 ET from Ford Foundation

NEW YORK, Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Ford Foundation today announced the appointment of Peter Takirambudde as representative for Southern Africa, serving South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Takirambudde, the first African to head the Southern Africa office, will be based in the Ford Foundation's office in Johannesburg and oversee all of the foundation's work in the region, leading the next generation of Ford's nearly six-decade record of impact across Southern Africa.

"Peter's distinguished career includes 12 years at one of our longest-standing partners, Human Rights Watch. He is a true leader on the global stage, and we are proud to welcome him to the leadership of our foundation," said Luis Ubinas, president of the Ford Foundation.

Takirambudde arrives with more than 30 years of experience focused on governance and human rights in Africa. He was formerly executive director for Africa at Human Rights Watch, where he led landmark work to document and address some of the greatest human rights challenges facing the continent, including civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the genocide in Darfur and resource exploitation in Congo. He also served as chief strategist and spokesperson for Africa at Human Rights Watch and was responsible for overseeing all of the organization's activities on the continent. He is currently the founding CEO of the African Human Rights Consortium and a professor of law at the University of Botswana-Gaborone.

Takirambudde has also held law professorships at the University of Botswana and the University of Lund in Sweden and served as the dean of social sciences at the University of Botswana. He received a bachelor's degree from Makerere University in Uganda, and a doctoral degree from Yale University. He was also the recipient of a Ford Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

"Peter has consistently brought uncommon skill, commitment and wisdom to his work and we are delighted that he will lead the future of our programming in Southern Africa," said Darren Walker, vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression at the foundation. "His deep knowledge and experience in the region, combined with an unwavering and urgent commitment to human rights and dignity, make him an ideal match for the work of the Ford Foundation and all of our local partners."

Walker, who oversees the foundation's work across Africa, also thanked Alice Brown, the outgoing representative, for her tireless service and indelible contribution to the foundation's longstanding work in the region. Brown has served as representative for Southern Africa since 2007, following two previous posts at Ford. From 1996 to 2007, she was the human rights program officer in Southern Africa, and she oversaw the South Africa and Namibia human rights portfolio from the foundation's headquarters in New York from 1986 to 1990.

Takirambudde begins his new position in November. He was selected after an intensive international search.

SOURCE Ford Foundation