Zackie Achmat, Chairperson
Zackie Achmat became an activist in 1976, and thereafter became a leading figure in the youth activism that developed in the Cape. As an anti-apartheid activist and ANC member he was repeatedly imprisoned and spent time underground and in exile. He later formed the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality which successfully campaigned for non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. He spent time working at the AIDS Law Project, and in 1998 formed the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) which campaigned for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and for the rights of HIV-positive people. This won Zackie numerous awards, including a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Recently he founded the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) which works against social inequality and violence.
Professor Metcalfe returned onto the Board of Equal Education in 2011 after finishing as Director General: Higher Education in the Department of Higher Education and Training. She was Dean of the Faculty of Education at Wits University. She was previously MEC for Education in Gauteng, and Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. During this time, she was a member of the ANC PEC in Gauteng. Prior to democracy she worked on education policy for the ANC. She has a history of activism with the Black Sash, Detainees' Parents Support Committee and the National Education Crisis Committee, amongst other organisations. Mary is a qualified teacher and has worked in teacher training.
Nathan Geffen holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from UCT. He joined the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in 2000 and has since served as its National Manager and Director of Policy, Communications & Research. He is presently Treasurer of TAC. In his position as Director of Policy, Communications & Research, Nathan oversaw all TAC publications, the development of its advocacy around medicines, and the development of materials for mass public education on HIV. His activist interests have included Zimbabwe, Palestine/Israel and the rights of foreigners.
Professor Paula Ensor is currently the Dean of Humanities at UCT. Prior to her promotion to Dean, she taught as a Professor in the Department of Education. She has had an extensive teaching career, and has participated in many projects in relation to education. Professor Ensor holds a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of London.
Peliwe Lolwana is the Director of the Education Policy Unit at the University of Witwatersrand. Previously, she was the Chief Executive Officer of Umalusi – the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training for 8 years. She has worked at all levels of education in South Africa and the United States of America. She has served in many commissions tasked with the transformation of education in the country. She serves in a number of Associations, Boards and Councils in education and training in South Africa, in Africa, and the Commonwealth. She consults for international education and training entities. She has published and presented papers on a number of issues in education and training. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA).
Moses Masitha is the president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of the Free State. After a successful election campaign he became the first ever Black president of the SRC. He is currently reading for his Honours in philosophy.
Doron grew up in Durban and attained degrees in Finance & Law at UCT. He has previously led Habonim South Africa and Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ). He is responsible for the overall management and operations at Equal Education.
Professor Soudien is Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Cape Town. Previously he was head of the School of Education at UCT. Hs interests include sociology of education, race, class and gender; policy shifts in education; museum and heritage education. To date, Soudien has published 58 journal articles and 55 book chapters. He is the founder of the Southern African Comparative and History of Education Society. He is a member of the American Educational Research Association, and was the president of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies in 2007. In 2008, Crain was a committee member for the Ministry of Education's Teacher Education Advisory Committee, and chair of the Ministerial Review Committee into transformation in higher education.
Graeme Bloch was DBSA education policy analyst. He taught in the education faculty at the University of Western Cape, and was project manager for youth development at the Joint Education Trust. He has worked as head of Social Development in the Department of Welfare, and as Director of Social Development in the Joburg Metro. Before 1994, he was executive member of the National Education Crisis Committee (NECC) as well as the United Democratic Front (UDF). He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town where he specialised in economic history. He is a member of UCT Council, serves as director on Lafarge Education Trust and is a judge in the Impumelelo Innovation Awards. He has written and published widely, in particular on education, in both academic and more popular publications.
Sean grew up in Durban and graduated from UCT with a Business Science degree in 2002. He was actively involved in Habonim Dror South Africa for many years, culminating in him running the technical side of their three week annual camps of 1000 people for three consecutive years. After spending five years working for Nedbank he is now the Risk and BI manager for a Financial services company based in Cape Town.