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ICLEI Africa staff

Kobie Brand

Regional Director: ICLEI Africa

Kobie has more than 25 years of practical and managerial experience in Environmental Management and Urban Development. Her expertise range from biodiversity, climate change, coastal management to urban sustainability and planning. She is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, partnerships, programmes and scope of work for ICLEI in Africa. Kobie is also Global Director for ICLEI’s Biodiversity and Nature-based solutions work, and in this capacity heads up the Cities Biodiversity Center embedded in ICLEI Africa.

ICLEI has more than 260 staff in 22 offices around the world, offering expertise that positions local and regional governments to advance sustainable urban development along our five pathways.

Our multidisciplinary team is divided into 5 teams, which include technical and support staff. However, since the urban challenges we face today are often complex, we work across workstreams to ensure we offer cities integrated solutions.

ICLEI AFRICA TEAM

AllManagersRegional DirectorSenior ManagersSenior Professsional OfficersThe Team
Regional Director: ICLEI Africa & Senior Manager: Urban Systems

Kobie Brand

Kobie has more than 25 years of practical and managerial experience in Environmental Management and Urban Development. Her expertise range from biodiversity, climate change, coastal management to urban sustainability and planning. She is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, partnerships, programmes and scope of work for ICLEI in Africa. Kobie is also Global Director for ICLEI’s Biodiversity and Nature-based solutions work, and in this capacity heads up the Cities Biodiversity Center embedded in ICLEI Africa.

Senior Manager: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Ingrid Coetzee

Ingrid has more than 30 years’ experience in sustainability and governance. Her work focuses on mainstreaming nature, its benefits, and nature-based solutions into urban planning and decision-making in cities and city regions thereby helping them become healthier, and more resilient and liveable places. She also serves as technical lead on ICLEI’s biodiversity advocacy work. Ingrid’s expertise includes stakeholder engagement, facilitation, law reform, policy, and strategy development.

Senior Manager: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dr Meggan Spires

Meggan believes that African cities are places of innovation and potential, where globally relevant solutions are found. She leads the Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream at ICLEI Africa, where a diverse team works with African city stakeholders to build resilience, enable low emission development, and improve access to finance and energy. Meggan holds a PhD in Environmental Science and before joining ICLEI Africa worked as a municipal official.

Senior Manager: Communications, Membership and Knowledge Management

Michelle Preen

Michelle has close to 20 years’ experience in the field of environmental communications, most of these within local government, and covering a broad range of environmental issues. Her MSc in Environmental Biology, various communications qualifications and advanced writing skills, allow her to proficiently translate complex issues and concepts into accessible, action-oriented information. Michelle manages communications for ICLEI Africa and the Cities Biodiversity Center, as well as oversees the membership team.

Manager: Urban Systems and Strategic Alliances

Nachi Majoe

Nachi has 10 years’ experience in local government policy, practice, and capacity building. She holds two Master’s degrees: Public Management & Governance, and International Planning & Sustainable Development (Urban Resilience). As Manager of Urban Systems & Strategic Alliances she leads on urban governance, finance, infrastructure, and settlements as well as the localisation of global agreements (such as the SDGs). She further maintains ICLEI’s strategic partnerships.

Financial Manager

Stephanie Babef

Stephanie has been working at ICLEI Africa since 2011, when she started as an accounting assistant. She is currently Financial Manager, overseeing all of the company’s accounting processes and financial project reporting. She ensures the books are in order for the Annual Financial Statement and the financial deadlines for all projects are respected. Sustainable development has always been a passion of hers, having grown up on a self-sufficient island.

Membership Manager

Steven Molteno

Steven is responsible for Membership and Governance. He joined ICLEI Africa in 2011 and has worked on communications, membership, governance and several events. He has a special interest in international relations, African history and current affairs, linguistics, and biodiversity. He also has a background in IT, and wants to use his skills and interests to serve Africa’s cities and their sustainable development.

Senior Professional Officer: Social-ecological Systems

Dr Ernita Flynn

Ernita Flynn is a senior professional officer (social-ecological systems) at ICLEI Africa and ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center: Urban Biodiversity Work stream. Her work focus is on mainstreaming nature-based benefits in urban environments through planning and implementation. Following initial training in ecology and conservation, Ernita developed an interest in how people and institutions value and interact with the natural environment. She brings 22 years’ experience to the work place.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Biodiversity

Jess Kavonic

Jess has a background in atmospheric science with a specialised knowledge of climate change and its relationship with a sustainable approach to development. She has seven years’ experience working with and for local governments, working to improve urban human well-being, build climate resilience and protect the urban natural asset base through influencing development policies and planning systems. Jess manages the UNA Programme and the FRACTAL and Reflecting Cities projects.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Coastal Management

Dr Kate Strachan

Kate holds a PhD in Environmental Science, focused on coastal changes associated with climate change. She has a special interest in understanding climate change and the associated risks, especially relating to coastal cities. She has worked with and for local governments to build climate resilience, developing climate adaption plans, and identifying challenges and opportunities associated with natural assets to overcome shocks and stressors associated with climate change.

Senior Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Paul Currie

Paul is fascinated by the multi-layered relationships that give each city its unique flavour. With his Sustainable Development MPhil and current doctoral research, Paul uses urban metabolism, resource nexus and political ecology as lenses for shaping sustainable, inclusive cities. At ICLEI, he supports local governments to apply systems perspectives to food, water, energy and nature, and facilitates the development of policies and plans appropriate to contexts of change and uncertainty.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Rebecca Cameron

Rebecca is a professional planner with more than eight years’ experience bringing together climate change and the urban context in Africa. She works across the scales of the built environment to assist subnational governments to embed and operationalise climate action and resource efficiency in urban planning processes. At ICLEI Africa, Rebecca manages and provides technical assistance to Urban-LEDS ll, the BEA Partnership, and the Sustainable Procurement Programme.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Tara Caetano

Tara is an energy economist with more than a decade of experience in climate change and development in the African context. She holds an Engineering Masters in Energy Studies from the University of Cape Town. Her experience includes leading projects across Africa at the national and subnational level in areas such as long-term emission development strategies, energy transitions, development economics, and the circular economy.

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Adél believes in the beauty and power of stories to bring change. She combines an honours degree in Media Theory and Practice with an MPhil in Sustainable Development. Her six years’ experience range from travel, lifestyle and nature to urban metabolism, energy, and climate change. She works with the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience team at ICLEI Africa on communications, focusing primarily on writing and film.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adrian Lotter

Adrian bridges the divide between financial and technical solutions with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. His expertise span financial research and analysis, energy and green buildings systems, and strategy development, gained through work across private and public sectors over the last 5 years. His work is founded in principles of human-centred design, environmental protection through resource efficiency, and economic feasibility.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Avuyile Kewana

Avuyile has a deep passion for urban sustainability. She joined ICLEI Africa in April 2019 to offer technical input and support in implementing low emission strategies, carbon reporting and development of greenhouse gas inventories for cities. Avuyile has experience working as a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Assistant Intern at the City of Cape Town.

Researcher: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Balbina Nyamakura

Balbina completed her BSc Honours in Environmental Sciences at Rhodes University in 2017. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Environmental and Geographical science at the University of Cape Town. She joined ICLEI Africa in 2018 as a Masters student and is conducting her research as part of the IMPACT project, focusing on cross-sector collaboration for drought disaster resilience in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Ben Hetherington

Intern: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Carine Lehtem Buma

Carine is passionate about energy, especially given the urgent need for sustainable energy access in Africa. She holds a MSc. in Physics and B.Eng in Petroleum Engineering. Carine joined ICLEI as an intern and is working on climate change and energy projects, including CoM SSA. She has experience in the design, monitoring and evaluation of photovoltaic systems, as well as on technical properties of petroleum products.

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Claudia holds degrees in Social Dynamics and Environmental Management and is currently completing her Masters in Environment, Society and Sustainability through the University of Cape Town. Her role as a Research and Communications Officer since 2018 enables her to explore the complex dynamics between humans and nature in the face of climate change as well as bring insight to the manner they are communicated to ICLEI’s audiences and stakeholders.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Damien holds a Double Master’s degree in International Relations from Aston University, United Kingdom, and Sciences Po Lille, France. With international experience, various skills and interests in international relations and sustainable development, and a proficiency in French, English and Portuguese, he assists to enhance the ICLEI network in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dania Petrik

Dania is a MPhil graduate from the Energy Research Centre, UCT, with a focus on climate change and poverty. Her background in communications equips her to effectively communicate climate related issues. She has over five years’ experience in climate research and consulting, working alongside donor agencies, practitioners, local and national government, regional networks, and with academia to implement a range of projects specifically around building capacity and improved climate governance.

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Faghmieda joined ICLEI Africa in 2014. Her key responsibilities are membership, logistics and office administration. She has 10 years’ experience as entrepreneur developer, coordinating member events, undertaking coaching sessions and other support activities.

Communications and Membership Officer

Jannike Bergh

Jannike has over ten years’ editorial experience and is fully proficient in French. She spent seven years in France, where she founded her own translation business after completing an MA degree in Languages and Cultural Studies. Prior to joining ICLEI Africa, she worked at the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs at the French Embassy of South Africa as a project coordinator in the fields of cultural, research and university cooperation.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jehan Bhikoo

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Kim Pillay

Kim is an energy access expert with more than four years’ experience implementing, monitoring and evaluating household energy consumption and energy interventions in Southern Africa. She has contributed to various local and international projects drawing on experience in environmental science, sustainable energy and social development. At ICLEI Africa, Kim is on the technical team of the CoJ Vehicle Emissions Control Strategy, Urban-LEDS II and CoM SSA.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Kirsty Griffin

Kirsty holds a Masters in Climate Change and Sustainable Development and joined ICLEI Africa in 2015. Her work focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, capacity building, and climate and biodiversity action planning. Kirsty is currently the project manager of ICLEI Africa’s CAPS Project and a member of several highly experienced and dynamic project teams responsible for implementing ICLEI’s key biodiversity and climate change projects.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Melissa Kerim-Dikeni

Melissa works primarily on the CoM SSA and Urban-LEDSII projects, focusing on low-carbon transition and access to local climate finance. Being French and Togolese she spearheads projects in West and Central Africa. Melissa graduated from SciencesPo and La Sorbonne in Paris with a double Masters in International Relations and Law. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town.

Financial Administrator

Mellissa Moses

Mellissa has six years’ experience in finance, having assisted in financial management and administration, mainly focused in the financial services sector and more recently within the digital marketing space. Here she also gained project finance experience.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Mthobisi Wanda

Mthobisi is an environmental practitioner with three years’ experience in the public and NGO sectors. His work experience is varied, having been exposed to a number of sub-disciplines in the broader environmental field. These include biodiversity mainstreaming and mapping ecosystem services. Mthobisi’s practical work experience is complemented by a solid academic grounding through a BSocSc in Geography and Environmental Management, and an Honours in Environmental Monitoring and Modelling.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Nelson is part of both the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience work stream, and the Membership team, while undertaking his MA in International Studies at Stellenbosch University. He has experience working for the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service, a global network of International Voluntary Service CSOs, as well as the culture and education sectors of UNESCO.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Nikara Mahadeo

Nokubonga Gwangqa

Bongi supports our ICLEI Africa team by ensuring our offices are clean and welcoming. She also assists with catering for our events and workshops, and taking care of our array of beautiful plants.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Quraisha Bux

Quraisha joined ICLEI Africa’s Biodiversity & Nature-Based Solutions workstream and the Cities Biodiversity Center in October 2018. She currently works on various projects, including INTERACT-Bio and CitiesWithNature. She holds an MSc in Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining ICLEI, Quraisha gained experience in environmental consulting in the private sector. She has a special interest in urban ecology, climate change and sustainable development.

Intern: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Samantha Williams

Samantha is primarily responsible for assisting with the CitiesWithNature Initiative and Post 2020 advocacy projects. She holds a Master’s Degree in Geography and Environment Studies from the University of the Western Cape. Prior to joining ICLEI she assisted on climate change, environmental, sustainability and green procurement projects as an Environmental Policy and Strategy Intern at the City of Cape Town.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Solophina Nekesa

Travel Coordinator

Sonya Smith

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Tamlyn Duncan

Professional Officer: Climate Change and Water Resource Management

Tarryn Quayle

Tarryn joined ICLEI Africa in 2009 and focuses on urban water and sanitation projects through the lens of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Tarryn has a keen interest in co-developing projects that reflect the demand-driven, inclusive and multi-stakeholder approaches integral to supporting sustainable urban development on the continent.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Thandeka Tshabalala

Thandeka is involved in implementing the Urban-LEDS II, Urban Natural Assets (UNA) and Reflecting Cities projects. She has experience implementing informal settlement upgrading projects with the South African affiliate of Slum Dwellers International (SDI). Her expertise lies in urban infrastructure and planning, sustainable urban systems, network and relationship building, and on-the-ground project implementation.

Events Co-ordinator

Thembisa Ngcobo

Thembisa is an accomplished events coordinator with a marketing background and more than 8 years’ experience in events planning and management. Most recently she organised global events and conferences for the South African Medical Research Council. Thembisa holds a National Diploma in Marketing Management. She speaks four languages and joined ICLEI Africa in October 2018.

Professional Officer: Urban Planning and Nature-based Solutions

Timothy Blatch

Timothy is an urban development professional with a background in the social sciences and city and regional planning. As a Professional Officer for ICLEI Africa and ICLEI’s global Cities Biodiversity Center, Tim is responsible, amongst other projects, for driving the global partnership initiative, CitiesWithNature. Tim is interested in the nexus of humans, nature, and urban development in cities, specifically in the African context, and is passionate about nature conservation and advocacy.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Urban Systems

Ryan Fisher

Ryan has more than 6 years’ experience working for and with subnational governments. Since joining ICLEI Africa in 2013, he has been active in the fields of energy and climate change mitigation, biodiversity and nature-based solutions, food systems, and sustainable transport. With an undergrad in Environmental Management, his expertise include policy review and drafting, facilitation, strategy development and mainstreaming of sustainability good practice into subnational government operations.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Vanessa Tshite

Vanessa holds a postgraduate diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management and a BSc in Environmental and Water Science from the University of the Western Cape. She joined ICLEI as an intern, working on two main projects – UNA and IMPACT. She has experience assisting with environmental legislation and related projects as an Environmental Compliance Assistant at the City of Cape Town and in the private sector.

Intern: Graphic design & layout

Widaad Pienaar

Urban Systems

ICLEI Africa’s Urban Systems workstream focuses primarily on the systems that manage and influence the consumption of resources in African cities. By focusing on systems, cities can identify strategic areas of intervention that facilitate more sustainable urban living and unlock broader ecological and social benefits. The workstream’s themes include resource-efficient service provision, resource flows and circular development, ecomobility, visioning sustainable future cities, procurement, finance, capacity building and governance.

AllManagersSenior ManagersThe Team
Regional Director: ICLEI Africa & Senior Manager: Urban Systems

Kobie Brand

Kobie has more than 25 years of practical and managerial experience in Environmental Management and Urban Development. Her expertise range from biodiversity, climate change, coastal management to urban sustainability and planning. She is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, partnerships, programmes and scope of work for ICLEI in Africa. Kobie is also Global Director for ICLEI’s Biodiversity and Nature-based solutions work, and in this capacity heads up the Cities Biodiversity Center embedded in ICLEI Africa.

Manager: Urban Systems and Strategic Alliances

Nachi Majoe

Nachi has 10 years’ experience in local government policy, practice, and capacity building. She holds two Master’s degrees: Public Management & Governance, and International Planning & Sustainable Development (Urban Resilience). As Manager of Urban Systems & Strategic Alliances she leads on urban governance, finance, infrastructure, and settlements as well as the localisation of global agreements (such as the SDGs). She further maintains ICLEI’s strategic partnerships.

Senior Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Paul Currie

Paul is fascinated by the multi-layered relationships that give each city its unique flavour. With his Sustainable Development MPhil and current doctoral research, Paul uses urban metabolism, resource nexus and political ecology as lenses for shaping sustainable, inclusive cities. At ICLEI, he supports local governments to apply systems perspectives to food, water, energy and nature, and facilitates the development of policies and plans appropriate to contexts of change and uncertainty.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jehan Bhikoo

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Solophina Nekesa

Intern: Urban Systems

Esethu Mmngxunyeni

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

Events Co-ordinator

Thembisa Ngcobo

Thembisa is an accomplished events coordinator with a marketing background and more than 8 years’ experience in events planning and management. Most recently she organised global events and conferences for the South African Medical Research Council. Thembisa holds a National Diploma in Marketing Management. She speaks four languages and joined ICLEI Africa in October 2018.

The Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream tackles issues of relevance to African cities, including low emission development, climate change adaptation, access to finance and energy, resilience, and disaster risk reduction. The team consists of a diverse set of individuals with backgrounds in energy, economics, environmental science, engineering and planning. Our goal is to co-develop sustainability solutions with our cities, with the aim of enhancing urban resilience on the continent.

CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY AND RESILIENCE

AllSenior ManagersThe Team
Senior Manager: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dr Meggan Spires

Meggan believes that African cities are places of innovation and potential, where globally relevant solutions are found. She leads the Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream at ICLEI Africa, where a diverse team works with African city stakeholders to build resilience, enable low emission development, and improve access to finance and energy. Meggan holds a PhD in Environmental Science and before joining ICLEI Africa worked as a municipal official.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Biodiversity

Jess Kavonic

Jess has a background in atmospheric science with a specialised knowledge of climate change and its relationship with a sustainable approach to development. She has seven years’ experience working with and for local governments, working to improve urban human well-being, build climate resilience and protect the urban natural asset base through influencing development policies and planning systems. Jess manages the UNA Programme and the FRACTAL and Reflecting Cities projects.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Coastal Management

Dr Kate Strachan

Kate holds a PhD in Environmental Science, focused on coastal changes associated with climate change. She has a special interest in understanding climate change and the associated risks, especially relating to coastal cities. She has worked with and for local governments to build climate resilience, developing climate adaption plans, and identifying challenges and opportunities associated with natural assets to overcome shocks and stressors associated with climate change.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Rebecca Cameron

Rebecca is a professional planner with more than eight years’ experience bringing together climate change and the urban context in Africa. She works across the scales of the built environment to assist subnational governments to embed and operationalise climate action and resource efficiency in urban planning processes. At ICLEI Africa, Rebecca manages and provides technical assistance to Urban-LEDS ll, the BEA Partnership, and the Sustainable Procurement Programme.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Tara Caetano

Tara is an energy economist with more than a decade of experience in climate change and development in the African context. She holds an Engineering Masters in Energy Studies from the University of Cape Town. Her experience includes leading projects across Africa at the national and subnational level in areas such as long-term emission development strategies, energy transitions, development economics, and the circular economy.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adrian Lotter

Adrian bridges the divide between financial and technical solutions with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. His expertise span financial research and analysis, energy and green buildings systems, and strategy development, gained through work across private and public sectors over the last 5 years. His work is founded in principles of human-centred design, environmental protection through resource efficiency, and economic feasibility.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Avuyile Kewana

Avuyile has a deep passion for urban sustainability. She joined ICLEI Africa in April 2019 to offer technical input and support in implementing low emission strategies, carbon reporting and development of greenhouse gas inventories for cities. Avuyile has experience working as a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Assistant Intern at the City of Cape Town.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Ben Hetherington

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Damien holds a Double Master’s degree in International Relations from Aston University, United Kingdom, and Sciences Po Lille, France. With international experience, various skills and interests in international relations and sustainable development, and a proficiency in French, English and Portuguese, he assists to enhance the ICLEI network in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dania Petrik

Dania is a MPhil graduate from the Energy Research Centre, UCT, with a focus on climate change and poverty. Her background in communications equips her to effectively communicate climate related issues. She has over five years’ experience in climate research and consulting, working alongside donor agencies, practitioners, local and national government, regional networks, and with academia to implement a range of projects specifically around building capacity and improved climate governance.

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Kim Pillay

Kim is an energy access expert with more than four years’ experience implementing, monitoring and evaluating household energy consumption and energy interventions in Southern Africa. She has contributed to various local and international projects drawing on experience in environmental science, sustainable energy and social development. At ICLEI Africa, Kim is on the technical team of the CoJ Vehicle Emissions Control Strategy, Urban-LEDS II and CoM SSA.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Kirsty Griffin

Kirsty holds a Masters in Climate Change and Sustainable Development and joined ICLEI Africa in 2015. Her work focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, capacity building, and climate and biodiversity action planning. Kirsty is currently the project manager of ICLEI Africa’s CAPS Project and a member of several highly experienced and dynamic project teams responsible for implementing ICLEI’s key biodiversity and climate change projects.

Professional Officer: Climate Change and Water Resource Management

Tarryn Quayle

Tarryn joined ICLEI Africa in 2009 and focuses on urban water and sanitation projects through the lens of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Tarryn has a keen interest in co-developing projects that reflect the demand-driven, inclusive and multi-stakeholder approaches integral to supporting sustainable urban development on the continent.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Thandeka Tshabalala

Thandeka is involved in implementing the Urban-LEDS II, Urban Natural Assets (UNA) and Reflecting Cities projects. She has experience implementing informal settlement upgrading projects with the South African affiliate of Slum Dwellers International (SDI). Her expertise lies in urban infrastructure and planning, sustainable urban systems, network and relationship building, and on-the-ground project implementation.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Vanessa Tshite

Vanessa holds a postgraduate diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management and a BSc in Environmental and Water Science from the University of the Western Cape. She joined ICLEI as an intern, working on two main projects – UNA and IMPACT. She has experience assisting with environmental legislation and related projects as an Environmental Compliance Assistant at the City of Cape Town and in the private sector.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Carine Lehtem Buma

Carine is passionate about energy, especially given the urgent need for sustainable energy access in Africa. She holds a MSc. in Physics and B.Eng in Petroleum Engineering. Carine joined ICLEI as an intern and is working on climate change and energy projects, including CoM SSA. She has experience in the design, monitoring and evaluation of photovoltaic systems, as well as on technical properties of petroleum products.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Nelson is part of both the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience work stream, and the Membership team, while undertaking his MA in International Studies at Stellenbosch University. He has experience working for the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service, a global network of International Voluntary Service CSOs, as well as the culture and education sectors of UNESCO.

Researcher: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Balbina Nyamakura

Balbina completed her BSc Honours in Environmental Sciences at Rhodes University in 2017. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Environmental and Geographical science at the University of Cape Town. She joined ICLEI Africa in 2018 as a Masters student and is conducting her research as part of the IMPACT project, focusing on cross-sector collaboration for drought disaster resilience in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Adél believes in the beauty and power of stories to bring change. She combines an honours degree in Media Theory and Practice with an MPhil in Sustainable Development. Her six years’ experience range from travel, lifestyle and nature to urban metabolism, energy, and climate change. She works with the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience team at ICLEI Africa on communications, focusing primarily on writing and film.

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Claudia holds degrees in Social Dynamics and Environmental Management and is currently completing her Masters in Environment, Society and Sustainability through the University of Cape Town. Her role as a Research and Communications Officer since 2018 enables her to explore the complex dynamics between humans and nature in the face of climate change as well as bring insight to the manner they are communicated to ICLEI’s audiences and stakeholders.

Events Co-ordinator

Thembisa Ngcobo

Thembisa is an accomplished events coordinator with a marketing background and more than 8 years’ experience in events planning and management. Most recently she organised global events and conferences for the South African Medical Research Council. Thembisa holds a National Diploma in Marketing Management. She speaks four languages and joined ICLEI Africa in October 2018.

BIODIVERSITY AND NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS

This workstream helps cities and urban communities work with nature to design their cities to improve urban health, resilience and well-being. We do this by assisting local governments to adopt green-blue infrastructure solutions, interpret global biodiversity and sustainability targets, and find innovative ways of mainstreaming nature-based solutions. We support local leaders to apply sustainable governance practices and advocate multilevel governance in the negotiation and implementation of the UN Conventions.

AllSenior ManagersThe Team
Senior Manager: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Ingrid Coetzee

Ingrid has more than 30 years’ experience in sustainability and governance. Her work focuses on mainstreaming nature, its benefits, and nature-based solutions into urban planning and decision-making in cities and city regions thereby helping them become healthier, and more resilient and liveable places. She also serves as technical lead on ICLEI’s biodiversity advocacy work. Ingrid’s expertise includes stakeholder engagement, facilitation, law reform, policy, and strategy development.

Senior Professional Officer: Social-ecological Systems

Dr Ernita Flynn

Ernita Flynn is a senior professional officer (social-ecological systems) at ICLEI Africa and ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center: Urban Biodiversity Work stream. Her work focus is on mainstreaming nature-based benefits in urban environments through planning and implementation. Following initial training in ecology and conservation, Ernita developed an interest in how people and institutions value and interact with the natural environment. She brings 22 years’ experience to the work place.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Mthobisi Wanda

Mthobisi is an environmental practitioner with three years’ experience in the public and NGO sectors. His work experience is varied, having been exposed to a number of sub-disciplines in the broader environmental field. These include biodiversity mainstreaming and mapping ecosystem services. Mthobisi’s practical work experience is complemented by a solid academic grounding through a BSocSc in Geography and Environmental Management, and an Honours in Environmental Monitoring and Modelling.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Nikara Mahadeo

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Urban Systems

Ryan Fisher

Ryan has more than 6 years’ experience working for and with subnational governments. Since joining ICLEI Africa in 2013, he has been active in the fields of energy and climate change mitigation, biodiversity and nature-based solutions, food systems, and sustainable transport. With an undergrad in Environmental Management, his expertise include policy review and drafting, facilitation, strategy development and mainstreaming of sustainability good practice into subnational government operations.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Tamlyn Duncan

Professional Officer: Urban Planning and Nature-based Solutions

Timothy Blatch

Timothy is an urban development professional with a background in the social sciences and city and regional planning. As a Professional Officer for ICLEI Africa and ICLEI’s global Cities Biodiversity Center, Tim is responsible, amongst other projects, for driving the global partnership initiative, CitiesWithNature. Tim is interested in the nexus of humans, nature, and urban development in cities, specifically in the African context, and is passionate about nature conservation and advocacy.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Quraisha Bux

Quraisha joined ICLEI Africa’s Biodiversity & Nature-Based Solutions workstream and the Cities Biodiversity Center in October 2018. She currently works on various projects, including INTERACT-Bio and CitiesWithNature. She holds an MSc in Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining ICLEI, Quraisha gained experience in environmental consulting in the private sector. She has a special interest in urban ecology, climate change and sustainable development.

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

Events Co-ordinator

Thembisa Ngcobo

Thembisa is an accomplished events coordinator with a marketing background and more than 8 years’ experience in events planning and management. Most recently she organised global events and conferences for the South African Medical Research Council. Thembisa holds a National Diploma in Marketing Management. She speaks four languages and joined ICLEI Africa in October 2018.

ICLEI Africa’s multi-skilled communications team has extensive experience in the fields of communications, as well as urban sustainability and environmental issues, working at local and subnational government levels. We work closely with the technical workstreams to design effective communications strategies and deliver impactful communications campaigns, resources and events, both in Africa and globally. We support our members in Africa by profiling their sustainable urban development work.

COMMUNICATIONS

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Senior Manager: Communications, Membership and Knowledge Management

Michelle Preen

Michelle has close to 20 years’ experience in the field of environmental communications, most of these within local government, and covering a broad range of environmental issues. Her MSc in Environmental Biology, various communications qualifications and advanced writing skills, allow her to proficiently translate complex issues and concepts into accessible, action-oriented information. Michelle manages communications for ICLEI Africa and the Cities Biodiversity Center, as well as oversees the membership team.

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Adél believes in the beauty and power of stories to bring change. She combines an honours degree in Media Theory and Practice with an MPhil in Sustainable Development. Her six years’ experience range from travel, lifestyle and nature to urban metabolism, energy, and climate change. She works with the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience team at ICLEI Africa on communications, focusing primarily on writing and film.

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Claudia holds degrees in Social Dynamics and Environmental Management and is currently completing her Masters in Environment, Society and Sustainability through the University of Cape Town. Her role as a Research and Communications Officer since 2018 enables her to explore the complex dynamics between humans and nature in the face of climate change as well as bring insight to the manner they are communicated to ICLEI’s audiences and stakeholders.

Communications and Membership Officer

Jannike Bergh

Jannike has over ten years’ editorial experience and is fully proficient in French. She spent seven years in France, where she founded her own translation business after completing an MA degree in Languages and Cultural Studies. Prior to joining ICLEI Africa, she worked at the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs at the French Embassy of South Africa as a project coordinator in the fields of cultural, research and university cooperation.

Events Co-ordinator

Thembisa Ngcobo

Thembisa is an accomplished events coordinator with a marketing background and more than 8 years’ experience in events planning and management. Most recently she organised global events and conferences for the South African Medical Research Council. Thembisa holds a National Diploma in Marketing Management. She speaks four languages and joined ICLEI Africa in October 2018.

Intern: Graphic design & layout

Widaad Pienaar

MEMBERSHIP

The Membership office builds and serves the ICLEI network in Africa, working with the communications and technical teams to provide a range of services to members. While being a unique commitment to sustainable development, ICLEI membership also grants subnational authorities democratic powers to govern the organisation internationally. We therefore support the ICLEI Africa Committee and its Mayors, both across our continent and globally.

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Membership Manager

Steven Molteno

Steven is responsible for Membership and Governance. He joined ICLEI Africa in 2011 and has worked on communications, membership, governance and several events. He has a special interest in international relations, African history and current affairs, linguistics, and biodiversity. He also has a background in IT, and wants to use his skills and interests to serve Africa’s cities and their sustainable development.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Damien holds a Double Master’s degree in International Relations from Aston University, United Kingdom, and Sciences Po Lille, France. With international experience, various skills and interests in international relations and sustainable development, and a proficiency in French, English and Portuguese, he assists to enhance the ICLEI network in sub-Saharan Africa.

Communications and Membership Officer

Jannike Bergh

Jannike has over ten years’ editorial experience and is fully proficient in French. She spent seven years in France, where she founded her own translation business after completing an MA degree in Languages and Cultural Studies. Prior to joining ICLEI Africa, she worked at the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs at the French Embassy of South Africa as a project coordinator in the fields of cultural, research and university cooperation.

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Faghmieda joined ICLEI Africa in 2014. Her key responsibilities are membership, logistics and office administration. She has 10 years’ experience as entrepreneur developer, coordinating member events, undertaking coaching sessions and other support activities.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Nelson is part of both the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience work stream, and the Membership team, while undertaking his MA in International Studies at Stellenbosch University. He has experience working for the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service, a global network of International Voluntary Service CSOs, as well as the culture and education sectors of UNESCO.

This workstream helps cities and urban communities work with nature to design their cities to improve urban health, resilience and well-being. We do this by assisting local governments to adopt green-blue infrastructure solutions, interpret global biodiversity and sustainability targets, and find innovative ways of mainstreaming nature-based solutions. We support local leaders to apply sustainable governance practices and advocate multilevel governance in the negotiation and implementation of the UN Conventions.

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

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Financial Manager

Stephanie Babef

Stephanie has been working at ICLEI Africa since 2011, when she started as an accounting assistant. She is currently Financial Manager, overseeing all of the company’s accounting processes and financial project reporting. She ensures the books are in order for the Annual Financial Statement and the financial deadlines for all projects are respected. Sustainable development has always been a passion of hers, having grown up on a self-sufficient island.

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Faghmieda joined ICLEI Africa in 2014. Her key responsibilities are membership, logistics and office administration. She has 10 years’ experience as entrepreneur developer, coordinating member events, undertaking coaching sessions and other support activities.

Financial Administrator

Mellissa Moses

Mellissa has six years’ experience in finance, having assisted in financial management and administration, mainly focused in the financial services sector and more recently within the digital marketing space. Here she also gained project finance experience.

Travel Coordinator

Sonya Smith

Nokubonga Gwangqa

Bongi supports our ICLEI Africa team by ensuring our offices are clean and welcoming. She also assists with catering for our events and workshops, and taking care of our array of beautiful plants.