Zukiswa Mqolomba


Zukiswa Mqolomba is a senior Public Sector Executive with roots deeply embedded in strategy, economics, poverty and public policy work.

She is a Mandela Rhodes Scholar and Chevening scholar. She has two master’s degrees: a Master’s from the University of Cape Town and a Master’s in Poverty and Development from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom respectively. She also holds an executive leadership training certificate in 21st Century Leadership with Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Boston, United States. She is doing her PHD in Sociology at the University of Cape Town doing a dissertation on professionalisation of the state and (re)building state institutional capabilities.

She has won international, continental and domestic awards for her leadership in public policy and governance. For instance, she has been awarded the Africa Youth Awards 2021, and Africa3535 leadership laureat award for Governance. She has also won the Humphrey Leadership award from the United States also for her policy contribution in the Public sector, as well as 2 time winner of the Mail&Guardian top 200 leaders award, running in the top 10 for Politics and Government. She is also a recipient of the Vice-chancellor's award, University of Cape Town.

She has a keen interest in finding solutions to public sector challenges, as well as public service innovations and transformations. She’s done research and policy work on public sector innovation and transformation. Her research work includes conducting research on the developmental state and the institutional architecture pertaining to building it. She has done some work on building meritocratic states, including recruitment in the public service, as well as strategies on how to deal with corruption and to professionalise the public service. She’s also done work on the National Development Plan and how to build a professionalised and transformed public service.

She is a member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) headquartered in the United States. She used to serve as a member of the Panel of Experts, which has been tasked to develop a poverty alleviation and job creation strategy/policy for the Department of Public Works of South Africa. She used to work for the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa at the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as a Senior Sector Expert: Economy (“Senior Economist”).

She formerly worked as an Executive Manager: Research, Training, Monitoring and Evaluation at a State Agency, namely the Media Development and Diversity Agency; influencing the country's community media and development agenda on inclusion, marginalization and transformation. She’s participated in civic programmes of the United Nations, NATO, The Elders and African Union Commission.

She is interested in reading biographies of legends in international and local nations. She also likes to write on various themes and topics affecting women, youth and marginalised communities. She is a co-editor of a book of essays entitled ‘Chasing Freedom: Histories, Analysis and Voices of Student Activism in South Africa' published by CODESRIA in March 2002.

She has been appointed by the President of the Republic of SA to be a National Commissioner (Deputy Chairperson) for the Public Service Commission of South Africa. She is now an Adjunct Faculty member and member of the Experts Network of the Chandler Institute of Governance headquartered in Singapore, appointed to train public sector officials in Africa and across the globe; in an effort to build capacity and to professionalise it.