Above picture: Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Patron, Mouse-Free Marion Project.

We are honoured to announce the appointment of Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as a Patron of the Mouse-Free Marion (MFM) Project.

Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka was appointed Deputy President of South Africa in 2005, following her term as the Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005).  She resigned as Deputy President, and from Parliament, in 2008, following the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki.  In addition to her many responsibilities as Deputy President, she had been championing a prescient conservation initiative for green energy, promoting equity and efficiency in the supply of and demand for energy at the time of her resignation,

Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka had a stellar career as the Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and a United Nations Under-Secretary-General, from 2013 to 2021.  She has won acclaim as a global advocate for women and girls, working on programmes and policies to reduce gender inequality.  Under her leadership, an unprecedented US$40 billion in financial commitments from Member States, the private sector, philanthropies and civil society was mobilised for gender issues.

Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka has continued her work in the field, being a founder and leader of the Umlambo Foundation, which is dedicated to improvement of education and digital literacy training for educators, and sits on various Boards.  She is also the currently Chancellor of South Africa’s University of Johannesburg.

Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka was awarded a doctorate in Technology and Education from the UK’s Warwick University in 2013, following a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the National University of Lesotho and a Masters in Philosophy majoring in Educational Planning from the University of Cape Town.

She has received honorary doctorates from the Witwatersrand Technikon (2003), University of the Western Cape (2007), Nelson Mandela University (2014), the University of Fort Hare (2016), the University of the Witwatersrand (2019) and Rhodes University (2020).  She has also been inducted as a Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership in the USA.

As a Patron of the MFM Project, Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka brings a wealth of experience and expertise, a stellar track-record, and a reputation among many influential people and organisations for integrity, commitment and delivery.  We are honoured and grateful for what her support will mean for this critical conservation initiative.


Wandering Albatrosses on Marion Island; photograph and poster design by Michelle Risi


The Mouse-Free Marion Project is a registered non-profit company (No. 2020/922433/08) in South Africa, established to eradicate the invasive albatross-killing mice on Marion Island in the Southern Ocean.  The project was initiated by BirdLife South Africa and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.  Upon successful completion, the project will restore the critical breeding habitat of over two million seabirds, many globally threatened, and improve the island’s resilience to a warming climate.  For more information or to support the project please visit mousefreemarion.org.