BA (Hons) LLB (UCT) PDM (Stell) MA (UWC) LLM (Leiden) PDM (UCT)

4 Cragwood • 10 Fifth Street, Parkhurst • 2120 • Johannesburg • South Africa
Mobile: +27-82-335-3290 • E-mail: kahmed@sahrc.org.za

Linkedin profile: za.linkedin.com/pub/kayum-ahmed/35/381/671/


Current University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Master of Laws (MSt) in International Human Rights Law

May 2010 Graduate School of Business (GSB), University of Cape Town, South Africa
Post-Graduate Diploma in Trade Law and Policy (with distinction)

June 2009 American University Washington College of Law, United States of America
Independent Research on Congressional Foreign Policy Development

Nov. 2006 Graduate School of Business (GSB), University of Cape Town, South Africa
Programme for Management Development

Sep. 2004 Leiden University, The Netherlands
Master of Laws (LL.M) in International Law

Dec. 2003 University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology cum laude

Dec. 2002 Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Post-Graduate Diploma in the Management of HIV and Aids

Dec. 2001 University of Cape Town, South Africa
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B)

Dec. 1999 University of Cape Town, South Africa
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) first class


Sep 2013 Commonwealth Chevening Scholarship
Full scholarship awarded to complete my Masters degree in International Human Rights Law at Oxford

June 2011 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans Award
The Mail & Guardian newspaper annually recognises 200 South Africans aged 35 and under for their impact,
creativity and the resonance of their values in building a young South African democracy.

June 2009 Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship
The fellowship is a non-degree programme run by the United States Government bringing together mid-
career professionals with remarkable leadership skills.

Sep 2003 Nelson Mandela Scholarship
This prestigious scholarship is offered by Leiden University in The Netherlands to South Africans who
demonstrate the ability to contribute to the development of South Africa and the African continent.

Feb 2002 South Africa Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development Scholarship
This scholarship was awarded through the University of the Western Cape to complete my Masters degree in
Anthropology focusing on gender and HIV and Aids


2010-present South African Human Rights Commission, Johannesburg, South Africa
Chief Executive Officer
 Provide strategic leadership and overall management of the Human Rights Commission secretariat
 Responsible for 178 staff members across ten offices nationally with a budget of just over R120 million
 Represent the Commission at all levels including at Parliament and in the media

2004-2010 Parliament of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
Team Leader: Multilateral, International Relations Section
 Manage Parliament’s relationship with international multilateral institutions including the UN
 Provide international policy advice and analysis to senior politicians, including the Speaker, on strategic
relations with multilateral institutions

Jan.-Jun. 2009 United States Congress, Washington D.C., United States of America
Congressional Fellow, Congressman Jim McDermott’s Office
 Conduct research and develop position papers on various topics
 Attend congressional and constituency meetings with the Congressman

Jun.-Oct. 2004 University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Lecturer, Anthropology
 Prepare and present lectures to first and third year students on various topics
 Develop tutorials, set and mark exams and provide general academic assistance to students


 Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) Accredited Human Rights Expert

 Member of the Millennium Development Goals National Coordinating Committee for South Africa

 Aspen Institute Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellow


 Member of the Advisory Board of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

 Board Member of the Community Development Resources Agency

 Member of the selection committee for the Rhodes Scholarship


 ‘Rethinking Human Rights Education’ The Mail & Guardian (March 2014)

 Expert panellist on Constitutional Literacy and Human Rights Education, Section 27 (February 2014)

 Invited as an expert by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to train human rights defenders in Iraq
(September 2013)

 ‘(Un)social Media: A Human Rights Perspective’ The Thinker Magazine (September 2013)

 ‘Human Rights Law and Advocacy’ Two-week summer school lecture series presented at Duke University (June 2013)

 Human Rights Training provided to a high level diplomats from Somalia during the Diplomatic Training Programme
hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (March 2013)

 ‘Plato: The Ring of Gyges is on Your Finger’ The City Press (March 2013)

 ‘Right to Dignity is Pointless Without Water’ The Mail & Guardian (March 2013)

 ‘The Progressive Realisation of the Right to Access Healthcare’ Lecture delivered at the Ethics Alive Symposium,
University of the Witwatersrand (March 2013)

 ‘Are Police Suffering from Compassion or Leadership Deficit?’ The New Age (March 2013)

 ‘Human Rights: the Good, the Bad, and the Large Grey Area in Between’ The Mail & Guardian (January 2013)

 ‘Reflections on Leadership’ Independent Newspapers (December 2012)

 ‘A Complexity of Complexion: Perspectives on Race’ Independent Newspapers (October 2012)

 ‘Is the Human Rights Commission Winning the Battle to Promote Respect for Human Rights and a Culture of Human
Rights in South Africa?’ Lecture delivered at the International Human Rights Exchange Seminar, University of the
Witwatersrand (September 2012)

 Lecture on Human Rights at the Political Sciences Department, University of the Western Cape (August 2012)

 ‘Human Rights Law and Advocacy’ Two-week summer school lecture series presented at Duke University (July 2012)

 ‘Understanding the Legal Framework for National Reconciliation and Challenges for its Implementation in Nation
Building’ Presentation to the Iraqi Ministerial Delegation (June 2012)

 ‘Human Rights Advocacy’ Presentation at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (May 2012)

 ‘The South African Human Rights Commission’ Presentation at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Johannesburg
(May 2012)

 ‘Towards a Perfect Society’ Presentation to all staff in the Presidency at the Union Buildings, Pretoria (April 2012)

 ‘Understanding the Mandate of the South African Human Rights Commission’ Presentation to the National Editors
Forum, Johannesburg (December 2011)

 ‘The Reluctant Learner and Hesitant Educator? The Role of the South African Human Rights Commission in Shifting the
Government’s Human Rights Discourse’ Presentation at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Human Rights Conference
(November 2011)

 ‘Leadership Challenges and Opportunities’ Presentation at the Student Leadership Conference at the University of Cape
Town (May 2011)

 ‘The South African Human Rights Commission: A Critical Examination of our Mandate, Role and Approach to Good
Governance’ Presentation to the Public Protector’s Conference on Good Governance, Pretoria (December 2010)

 Chairperson and discussant of a panel discussion on ‘Domestic Political Structures and Foreign Policy Making’
International Studies Association Conference, New Orleans (February 2010)

 ‘The Role of Parliament in South Africa’s Foreign Policy Development Process: Lessons from the United States Congress’
The South African Journal of International Affairs (December, 2009)

 ‘Democratising Foreign Policy Development in South Africa’ Presentation to the Dilemmas of Citizenship in Africa
Colloquium, University of the Western Cape (October 2009) South African Association of Political Studies