Professor Heidi van Rooyen is the Group Executive of the Impact Centre and Acting Deputy CEO at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. Her 30-year professional career spans government, higher education, and the science council environments. Heidi is a social scientist and clinical psychologist holding an honorary professorship from the University of the Witwatersrand, a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and one of a few social scientists on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19 in South Africa. She is an internationally recognised and accomplished scholar with a NRF B rating and over 140 publications, a Google Scholar index of 35 and a H-Index of 58 on Scopus. Her research has addressed HIV risks and vulnerabilities as well as the broader contexts and inequalities that shape this risk, the influence of sexual orientation and gender identity as social determinants of health, race and identity and the use of poetry/as/in/for research. Heidi is a certified life coach who balances the demands of leadership, publishing and grant writing with regular walks, poetry, and cold-water swimming.