A Board of Directors consisting of influential stakeholders in the electoral process and civil society provides the strategic leadership and the financial accountability structure of the organisation.
Current members of the Board
Mr Leshele Thoahlane (Chairperson) (Lesotho) is a King's Counsel who serves as the Director General (DG) of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) in the Kingdom of Lesotho. He undertook Labour Studies at the Ruskin college, Oxford and an Honours degree in Law at the Cardiff College, Wales. Mr Thoahlane was called to the bar of England and Wales and the bar of the High Court of Lesotho in 1981. He was formerly Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission in Lesotho.
Dr Denis Kadima (Democratic Republic of Congo) is the Executive Director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). He has participated in about 50 electoral processes worldwide in different capacities. In July 2010, he took sabbatical leave and worked for the United Nations, first as the Director of the United Nations Referendum and Electoral Division supporting the self-determination referendum in Southern Sudan (July 2010 - March 2011) and, second, as the Chief Technical Advisor for UNDP in Tunisia (April - July 2011) helping to kick-start preparations for the forthcoming National Constituent Assembly elections. Mr. Kadima has published extensively on political party systems, electoral systems and processes and election observation. He founded EISA's accredited Journal of African Elections and has published extensively on elections and democracy. Mr. Kadima is the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Johannesburg-based Southern Africa Trust and a Board member of the Geneva-based Peace Nexus Foundation.
Email the Executive Director
Mr Yusuf Aboobaker (Mauritius) is a Senior Counsel at the Mauritius Bar and is currently Chairperson of both the Electoral Supervisory and the Electoral Boundaries Commissions of Mauritius. He has been Chairperson of the Bar Council and a member of the National Economic and Social Council in that country. He has been part of electoral missions throughout Africa and has acted as consultant for a number of international organisations, including the UN, on election related assignments. He was elevated to the rank of Commander of the Star and Key of the Indian ocean (CSK) for his contribution to the legal profession. He has also contributed to the elaboration of the code of corporate governance. Mr Aboobaker also sits on the board of several companies.
Ms Otília Aquino is the Executive Director of AMODE (Mozambique Association for the Development of Democracy, Associação Moçambicana para o Desenvolvimento). From 1994 till 2000 her activities in the democracy and governance sector were focused around electoral processes, the conception and preparation of electoral civic education programmes and the promotion of Human Rights. Her work has included training of civic educators and observatory teams and working with Parliament (1999-2000) in various forms: participating in teams of international organizations carrying out capacity building; facilitating deputies in their work as elected representatives; organizing activities at the level of electoral circuits and preparing the way for the integration and participation of deputies in these circuits. From 2000 Ms Aquino has been the Executive Director of AMODE, promoting women's inclusion, and right to participate, in governance as well as working towards equal rights for all. Since 2004 she has participated with other implementing organizations in the arena of Local Governance and since 2005 her work has included Governance Monitoring. Ms Aquino has coordinated and collaborated with various civil society organizations in order to promote citizen participation and distribute information via the media to all citizens in order to build a stronger social justice system. She has also participated in various international fora on local development and governance, citizenship, peace and election observation.
Dr Muzong Kodi (Democratic Republic of Congo) is currently an Associate Fellow of the Africa Programme of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, in London, where he coordinates the British Congo Forum and focuses his research and consultancy work on governance, anti corruption, human rights and civil society organisations in Africa. He holds a PhD in African History from Northwestern University, Illinois, USA. He started his professional career as an academic and taught at the University of Lubumbashi in the DRC from 1976 to 1979 and the University of Nairobi in Kenya from 1979 to 1983. From 1983 to 1993, he was Director of Publications at the African Centre for Monetary Studies in Dakar, Senegal. He then worked for international non governmental organizations, including Amnesty International (as Director of International Development, from 1994 to 2002) and Transparency International (as Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East, from 2002 to 2005). He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Diamond Development Initiative International (DDII) and member of the Board of Directors of the African Institute for Governing with Integrity.
Professor Tom Lodge (UK) is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick. He obtained a BA, B Phil and Ph D from the University of York. Before his arrival in Limerick in 2005 he was Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has also held positions at the University of York, the Social Science Research Council in New York, and the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), where he helped direct research programmes through 1999. In 1999–2000 he was Chair of the Africa Institute in Pretoria. He is the author of six books and two edited volumes. They include Black Politics in South Africa since 1945 (Longman, 1993), Politics in South Africa From Mandela to Mbeki (University of Indiana Press, 2002) and Nelson Mandela: A Critical Biography, (Oxford University Press) in July 2006. He has completed a book on the Sharpeville massacre that will soon be published by Oxford University Press. He has written and researched extensively on elections in Southern Africa including a full length study for EISA on South Africa’s 1999 general election. For EISA he has also compiled a series of handbooks on electoral laws and regulations in various SADC countries.
Dr Nandini Patel (Malawi) is an Associate Professor at the Catholic University of Malawi. She has taught Political Science and International Relations for over 20 years; the last 14 years in Malawi and before that, in India. Dr Patel has carried out various consultancy assignments on democracy and good governance for a number of international and regional bodies and is currently carrying out an assignment on electoral disputes management mechanisms in SADC for the African Union. She has published a number of research reports, articles and book chapters and is the Chairperson of the Institute for Policy Interaction based in Blantyre, Malawi as well as representing Malawi in the Hindu Council of Africa.
Dr Christiana Thorpe (Sierra Leone) is the first female Chief Electoral Commissioner & Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission Sierra Leone. Under her leadership the National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone has undergone radical restructuring to become a self accounting independent institution with authority over the recruitment of its own staff, and ownership of independent infrastructure. Sierra Leone is one of the lead countries in Africa in the conduct of transparent, credible, free and fair elections. Dr Thorpe is also the founding Chairperson for the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE Sierra Leone Chapter) which advocates for girls' education nationwide. In this position she seen membership of the Chapter increase to embrace all four regions and fourteen districts in the country with a volunteer membership of almost one thousand women. She has also served as Secretary of State, in the Ministry of Education and as a board member for various organisations. She is the recipient of national and international awards, most recently the prestigious German Africa Award 2009.
Ms Ilona Tip (South Africa) has been employed with EISA since its establishment in 1996 as the Senior Advisor, Conflict Management, Democracy and Electoral Education, and more recently as Operations Director. Ms Tip holds a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Her work includes designing and developing materials in human rights, active citizenship, conflict management, voter education, electoral observation, capacity building for locally elected leaders and women’s participation in decision making. She has also facilitated workshops and trained stakeholders in the region in facilitation skills as well as in the programmes offered by EISA. She has written or contributed to numerous publications on electoral observation and conflict management and has been a member of election observer missions in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe (though not recently), Somaliland, Sri Lanka, Namibia, the DRC and Madagascar.