Above Picture: Dr Mavuso Msimang 

In this series of posts, we introduce the Board members of the Mouse-Free Marion Non-Profit Company (MFM NPC) who have volunteered to lend their considerable skills and expertise to help oversee, guide and support this important project. It is a project that aims to secure a positive conservation future for Marion Island, and its globally important seabirds and biodiversity.

In this first post of the series, we introduce Dr Mavuso Msimang, the Chairperson of the MFM NPC Board. The MFM Project is incredibly privileged to have a person of Dr Msimang’s experience, knowledge and stature playing a leading role in the MFM NPC.

Dr Msimang has worked as the Executive Director of South African Tourism. He also previously served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of South African National Parks (SANParks) from 1997 to 2003, moved to be the CEO of the State Information Technology Agency until 2007 and then was Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs from where he retired in 2010.

Whilst in exile, Dr Msimang completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Zambia and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the United States International University in California. In 2020, Dr Msimang was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of South Africa. He has worked for the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme, was a country director for Care International and has directed (United Nations Children’s Fund’s) (UNICEF) Ethiopia programme.

Dr Msimang writes: “I have spent large parts of my career transforming agencies that manage natural areas in South Africa. It is imperative that protected areas serve their purpose in providing safe areas for the species that call them home. I am honoured to chair this project that not only secures the future for Marion Island’s seabirds but ensures that this Special Nature Reserve is maintained for all its species and for generations to come’’.

In addition to being the chairperson of the MFM NPC Board, Dr Msimang is also a board member of several other leading private sector, environmental and civic organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa. He is a founding and now Emeritus Board Member of African Parks Network and currently chairs Corruption Watch. Dr Msimang is passionate about conservation and ensuring a lasting natural heritage for South Africa.

Robyn Adams, Communications Officer and Project Assistant, Mouse-free Marion Project, 5 October 2021