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Judy Sikuza


Judy Vatiswa Sikuza is passionate about education and leadership development, finding deep meaning in projects that seek to give every human being an opportunity to fulfil their highest potential. Judy joined the MRF in 2014, holding several manager and director positions as head of the Foundation’s flagship Scholarships and Leadership Development Programme. Judy was one of the instrumental players in the successful execution of the 2013 – 2018 strategy to double the number of Scholars in Residence; introducing end-to-end programmatic enhancements that continued to bring to life Mr Mandela’s vision that the Foundation build exceptional leadership in Africa. Judy also led key strategic projects for the Foundation, such as the 15 year impact study and 100 Scholars for Madiba’s 100th celebrations. Since 2014, Judy has represented the Foundation as a non-executive board director of Oxford University Press (Southern Africa), and chairs the Board’s social and ethics committee.

Judy began her career with Absa Bank, and subsequently worked with Investec and Reos Partners. She specialised in the fields of organisation development and systems change, working with emerging and senior leaders on areas such as strategy, leadership development, diversity and transformation, organisational culture, change management, systems collaboration, scenario planning and coaching.

Judy is an International Advisory Board member of University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Education unit. She is also the Board Chairperson of Sound Africa, a documentary podcast non-profit committed to telling African stories in an innovative, in-depth and informed manner. Judy has been invited as a keynote speaker, panellist, moderator and programme director on several public platforms locally and internationally, for institutions such as the Graça Machel Trust, Obama Foundation, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Oxford University, and various provincial and national school principals association conferences. She has addressed topics such as leadership, education, youth, transformation, resilience, nation building and delivered graduation speeches at Wits University and University of Cape Town. Judy has published work in the Mail & Guardian, The Journalist, and Thought Leader.

Some of Judy’s other achievements include being an Abe Bailey Fellow to the United Kingdom, Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Michelle Obama’s Young African Women Leaders, and Sarie magazine’s top 10 women under 30.

Judy was born in 1985 and spent most of her formative years in the old Transkei in the Eastern Cape. She matriculated in 2003 from Stirling High School in East London (with distinction); completed a BA Psychology degree (Cum Laude) from the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth and went on to obtain an Honours degree in Industrial/Organisational Psychology also from NMU as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar in the Class of 2007. Judy holds an MA in Organisational Psychology from Columbia University in New York City, which she completed as a Fulbright Scholar. She is also a certified coach through the Centre for Coaching at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. In her spare time Judy enjoys travelling, music, reading, and spending time with family, friends, her wife Janet and beloved daughter Zazi.

Phone: +27 21 424 3346
Twitter: @judysikuza