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04 September 2012

Prominent political analyst to lead governance research programme

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has appointed Ms Judith February as the new Executive Director: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery Research Programme commencing 1 October 2012.

HSRC CEO, Dr Olive Shisana, said that “as we review 20 years of democracy and contribute to the implementation of the National Development Plan we are confident that Ms February’s  vast knowledge and background in law, governance and policy is a perfect fit.”

Judith studied law at the University of Cape Town where she obtained her BA [Law] and her LlB degrees in 1991 and 1993 respectively. She was then admitted as an attorney in 1996 and practised law in Cape Town until 2000. In 2000 she obtained her LlM in Commercial Law also from the University of Cape Town.

Judith then moved to Idasa in 2000 and was head of its South African governance programme, The Political Information and Monitoring Service (PIMS) as of 2003. There she worked extensively on issues of good governance, transparency and accountability within the South African context. Her focus at Idasa included corruption and its impact on governance, Parliamentary oversight, institutional design and general political analysis.

She is also a regular commentator in the media on politics in SA and has been listed in the Financial Mail’s “Little Black Book” of Black professionals in South Africa. Judith was also listed in the MtN/Mail and Guardian 100 women in South Africa, released in August 2010. She served on an ad hoc panel to evaluate the effectiveness of South Africa’s Parliament, chaired by Pregs Govender in 2009. In 2009 she was awarded a summer fellowship at the Freeman Spogli Institute for Democracy Development and the rule of law at Stanford University, California.

Her column, ‘Between the Lines’ appears in the Cape Times newspaper, fortnightly.  She is the co-editor with Neeta Misra-Dexter of ‘Testing democracy: which way is South Africa going?’, March 2010, Idasa. Judith has taught a course on Contemporary South African politics within the Politics Department at the University of Cape Town in 2011 and has recently returned from Washington DC where she was selected as a Reagan-Fascell Spring Fellow for 2012 at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC. ( )

Ms February said, “I am looking forward to leading a team of world class researchers. I know I can count on the assistance of a dedicated team of HSRC staff, both professional and support, to ensure that we fulfil our mandate of informing and deepening public debate, national dialogue and theoretical discourse in key national, regional and international issues and dominant trends related to democracy, development, justice, governance and service delivery.”

For more information contact:

Julian A Jacobs
Phone: +27 (0) 21 466-8042
Cell:   +27 (0)82 454 4902

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