Current Fellows

2016-17 Harvard South Africa Fellows


James Donald

Mid-Career Master in Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School

James Donald photoJames is a non-profit manager with expertise in programs for urban youth and a commitment to unleash their potential across Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and served as the President of the Students’ Representative Council during his time there. This was his first experience seeing how youth leadership can bridge racial and gender divides and tackle complex ‘adult’ issues.  At Wits, James was awarded a Clinton Democracy Fellowship to study civil society and youth service in the United States. Through this experience he helped start City Year South Africa, a program that brings together young South Africans from all races for a year of community service and citizenship.

In 2011 James was named one of South Africa’s top 100 young people by the Mail & Guardian newspaper for his work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Through the NGO Grassroot Soccer (GRS) the project reached 80,000 at risk youth, taking 15,000 to see matches. James also lead the development of the Khayelitsha Football for Hope Center in Cape Town, the first of twenty FIFA centers across Africa that use football to link children to health and education.

James went on to become the Managing Director of Grassroot Soccer South Africa and saw the organization win platinum at the Impumelelo Social Innovation Awards and investments from Gates Grand Challenges and others. GRS has become a global leader in sport for development with programs and partnerships in over 20 countries reaching more than 1 Million young people.

James is joined in Cambridge by his wife Carin, a disaster and project risk management specialist, and his two sons, Quinn and Ash.


Alexandra Fitzgerald

Master of Laws At Harvard Law School

Alex Fitzgerald photoAlexandra (Alex) is a qualified attorney of the High Court of South Africa who holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Witwatersrand. While studying for her law degree, Alex served as an inaugural editor of ‘Inkundla’ a student law journal of the University of the Witwatersrand, currently in its 4th edition, which encourages scholarly legal writing amongst law students.

Alex commenced her term as a candidate attorney at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa in 2012 and was appointed as an Associate in the Norton Rose Fulbright Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions practice group in 2014. In that capacity she has acted for listed and unlisted companies in transactions related to infrastructure, mining and commodities, transport and telecommunications. Alex has also acted for both sponsors and lenders in renewable energy projects in various rounds of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program, including the Ilanga 1 CSP Project which won the 2015 Project Finance International Solar Deal of the Year.

She recently took a year’s leave of absence to take up the position of Law Research Clerk to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. This led to a professional interest in the tensions that arise at the intersection of human rights and commercial interests. In 2015 Alex was named as one of the Mail & Guardian’s top 200 Young South Africans (in the ‘Business and Law’ category). She intends the focus of her Masters of Law at Harvard to be on the nexus of human rights and business in order to facilitate a greater emphasis on human rights in business and law in South Africa.


Fatima Jakoet

Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School

FatimaPhotoFatima Jakoet is currently an airline pilot at South African Airways (SAA). She started her career at SAA on the Boeing 747-400 in 2005 and a year later began working on the Airbus 340 series international routes. She currently operates the Airbus 319/320 and is based in Cape Town.  Fatima obtained her frozen Airline Transport Pilot license (ATPL) at the BAE Flight Training College in Adelaide, Australia and joined Airlink in November 2002 where she operated the Jetstream 41.

Fatima graduated with her MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) in 2009 and achieved a distinction for her thesis entitled: A safely culture survey amongst Aircraft Maintenance Engineers. She has since been actively involved in activities of Stellenbosch University (SU) and was appointed as brand ambassador for SU in 2013. She also holds a degree in Chemistry and was part of both the National Health and the South African Police Services Forensic teams where filled the roles of forensic toxicologist and narcotics expert respectively.

In 2010, Fatima established a foundation to create aviation awareness and develop skills amongst learners from grade 1-12. To date the Sakhikamva (Xhosa: building a future) Foundation has interacted with more than 70 000 learners and has run more than 12 programs and projects on a rotational basis. The Sakhikamva Foundation formed strategic partnerships with Universities to ensure that meaningful sustainable development platform is built for the youth in the aerospace industry.

She developed and launched the world’s first Science Technology Robotics Engineering Aerospace and Mathematics (STREAM) laboratory in June 2015. The STREAM laboratory is an interactive space for the development of essential skills for youth in the aerospace sector.


Mbali Khumalo

General Management Program at Harvard Business School

Mbali KhumaloMbali Khumalo currently works for Liberty Health Holdings, a subsidiary and wholly owned company of Liberty Holding Limited. As a divisional director and an executive committee member, Mbali manages health operations, offering healthcare solutions across 22 countries in the African continent. Mbali also serves as a director for Vmed Administrators (Pty) Ltd, a healthcare administration company owned by Liberty Health Holdings.

Mbali holds a Certificate in Banking and Marketing Diploma from The Institute of Bankers of South Africa, and has completed a Management Advancement Program through Wits Business School.  She has also completed a Senior Leadership Program through Duke CE, a division of Duke University, and an MBA through Business School Netherlands.

Mbali has held numerous positions across various Financial Services institutions since 1989 including and not limited to Small Medium Enterprise Manager at Standard Bank, Sales Manager, Client Services Provincial Manager, Operations Manager, Service Delivery Manager and Strategy Manager at Old Mutual (Service, Technology and Administration division) as well as Operations Executive at Metropolitan Health Group.


Click here for a list of past fellows