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19 October 2010

New executive director for research on economic performance

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

The Human Science Research Council (HSRC) has appointment Professor Margaret Mabugu from the department of economics at the University of Pretoria as executive director for the research programme on Economic Performance and Development, effective on 1   December 2010.

This position is currently held by Dr Miriam Altman, who will be stepping into a new role as a distinguished research fellow, coordinating the HSRC’s contribution to planning, monitoring and evaluation and continuing her work on employment scenarios.

Professor Mabugu will be responsible for leading and managing basic and applied research on job creation, enterprise culture, economic production processes, competitiveness, macro and micro economic indicators and economic forecasting. The programme will also focus on social policy issues (poverty reduction and social protection), food security, agriculture and rural development, labour and capital markets, inequality (in income, access to opportunities and skills levels), and inclusive and sustainable growth paths. This work aims to generate evidence for policy advice to the government and other interested parties.

The CEO of the HSRC, Dr Olive Shisana, said the HSRC is committed to significantly expanding its ability to conduct economic analysis and modelling in all areas of research.
“We are confident that Professor Mabugu has the competencies and requisite experience to lead this initiative. The HSRC will be contributing to the charting of a new inclusive and sustainable growth path in our country.”

Professor Mabugu teaches microeconomics, public sector economics, development economics, economic modelling and mathematics for economists, and has supervised various PhD and MSc students at the University of Pretoria.

She has also been involved in teaching public finance at the Joint Facility for Electives at the African Economic Research Consortium, and teaching economic modelling at the Collaborative MSc in Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Professor Mabugu holds BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in economics, the latter obtained from Gothenburg School of Economics and Law in Sweden.

Dr Miriam Altman joined the HSRC as an executive director in 2002 and helped lead its early transformation. In particular, she founded the HSRC’s leadership in the field of employment policy analysis, working on evidence-based employment scenarios aimed at developing the capability to solve the very large unemployment and poverty challenge facing South Africa.