Zamyn Associate

Zohra Dawood has degrees in Law, African Government and Administration and a Master’s Degree in Economic History. She has worked for a decade as a chief researcher for a land rights organisation in South Africa and has during this time, written widely on the issues of land reform and in particular on the restitution of land rights. 

After 1994, she was involved in drafting land legislation for the new South African government. Her work with the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture involved policy formulation and implementation, including negotiations and settlement of land claims. She has been advisor to Cabinet Members and the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. 

She has also worked for the Department of Defence in drafting their legislation and policies on Land and Environment in South Africa. In mid-1999 she joined the Open Society Institute as the Deputy Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and from June 2001 has held the position of Executive Director.

In addition to her responsibilities for South Africa and African programmes for the Open Society Foundations, she had, since December 2006, been appointed to head up OSI’s efforts in Indonesia as country director, where she headed up an OSF entity that seeks to institutionalize democracy and an open society in the largest Muslim country in the world.She has recently0 been actively engaged in issues related to foreign policy and international relations, through the South African Foreign Policy Initiative, which she founded in 2011. 

From February 2013, she joined Dr Mamphela Ramphele to strengthen democracy in South Africa by launching a new political party. She was Director of Communications, Strategy and Resource Mobilisation.