Who We Are

Our People

Prof. Narnia Bohler
Executive Director
Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)

Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller is a divisional executive in the HSRC's Developmental, Capable and Ethical State research division and acting Group Executive: Shared Services (since April 2021). She holds a Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Pretoria and specialises in participatory democracy and social justice as well as gender equality and the fulfilment of socioeconomic rights.

Bohler-Muller was formerly a professor at Nelson Mandela University (then known as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) before she joined the Africa Institute of South Africa in 2011 as a research director. In 2012, she became the deputy executive director of the HSRC's former Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery research division. Bohler-Muller was an adjunct professor of law, University of Fort Hare (2015-2020) and is currently a research associate with the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies, University of Free State. At the HSRC, she has led numerous large projects for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Department of Monitoring, Planning and Evaluation in the Presidency, the European Union Commission in South Africa, and the UK Commonwealth and Foreign Office. Bohler-Muller has also led a collaboration with the University of Johannesburg on the COVID-19 democracy survey, with five rounds of the survey conducted from April 2020 to November 2021. Before joining the HSRC, Bohler-Muller spent sixteen years as an academic, during which time she taught numerous courses in law and legal philosophy, beginning her career at the Port Elizabeth campus of Vista University. During the past decade, she has mostly conducted research in the area of human rights and social justice within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as gender equality and socio-economic rights.

Bohler-Muller has published 49 scientific articles in local and international peer-reviewed academic journals, 6 books, 15 book chapters and 30 research reports. She has also presented more than 100 papers at local and international conferences, many of them as an invited keynote speaker. She is on the editorial board of one national and two international accredited journals, regularly conducts peer reviews for journals and writes book reviews. She is often called upon to assist with the National Research Foundation's researcher ratings. Bohler-Muller has officially represented South Africa at international forums, including BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa economies), IBSA (India Brazil and South Africa dialogue), the W20 (Women20) and IORA (the Indian Ocean Rim Association. She has completed visiting research fellowships at Birkbeck University (London), Griffith University (Brisbane) and the BRICS Research Centre (Rio de Janeiro).