EISA’s Board of Directors is comprised of stakeholders in the electoral process and civil society from the African continent and beyond. The Board provides strategic leadership and upholds financial accountability and oversight.
Dr Christiana Thorpe (Sierra Leone) was elected Chairperson of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) Board of Directors in July 2015. She is former Secretary of State for Education in 1994 and the only woman in a 19 person cabinet, is also the first woman to become Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, Sierra Leone. Under her leadership the National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone underwent radical restructuring to become a self accounting independent institution with authority over the recruitment of its own staff, and ownership of independent infrastructure. She was the President of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commission (ECONEC). Dr Thorpe is also the founding Chairperson for the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE Sierra Leone Chapter), a Pan African organisation which advocates for girls’ education. In this position, membership of the Chapter has seen an increase in Sierra Leone 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 a board member for various organisations. She is the recipient of national and international awards, including the prestigious German Africa Award 2009, the Sierra Leone Women for Excellence Golden Jubilee Award Winner, April 2011 and the Golden Image Award in the International Category of Democracy, presented by Her Excellency President Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, in July 2013.
Roukaya Kasenally is a senior lecturer in media and political systems at the University of Mauritius and currently a senior adviser with the African Media Initiative (AMI) since January 2015. AMI is an umbrella organisation that supports independent media on the continent.. Prior to that (2012 – 2014), she was the Director of Programmes and Knowledge Management at AMI. Kasenally also has wide experience working in Africa as a consultant for a number of international, Pan African and regional institutions. Kasenally has authored / co-authored a number of publications on media and democratic systems and has held a number of key positions at regulatory and governance institutions in her home country, Mauritius. She is the co-founder of the a local NGO – the Institute for Social Development and Peace (ISDP)
Kasenally was a Regan Fascell Democracy Fellow (2010-2011) at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and a Draper Hills Democracy Fellow (2015) at Stanford University. She is fluent in English and French and holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield (UK).
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, Politics in South Africa From Mandela to Mbeki and Nelson Mandela: A Critical Biography 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.
Sheik Sau, 45 years old, is the Chairperson of the Mozambique National Electoral Commission (CNE) since 2013. He has previous extensive electoral experience with the Mozambique Electoral Observatory, a Civil Society Network, including programme management. In this position he participated in various symposiums and observer missions in various countries around the world, such as the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Belgium, Nigeria, South Africa, United States of America. Sheik Sau holds a Masters Degree in Governance and Public Administration from the Eduardo Mondlane University (2008-2009).
Irene Chirwa Mambilima (born March 31, 1952) is the Chief Justice of Zambia, in office since 2015. Prior to her appointment as Chief Justice, Mambilima was the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia. In this position, she presided over Zambia's 2006, 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections, and the January 2015 presidential by-election. She has been part of several election observer missions including in Liberia, Kenya, Mozambique and Seychelles. Other past international assignments have included serving as Sessional Judge of the Supreme Court of The Gambia. Justice Mambilima sits on the International Board of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) as a Director of the Africa Region. She is also a member of a number of professional associations including the Zambia Association of Women Judges, the Editorial Board Council of Law Reporting, the Child Fund (Zambia), Women in Law Southern Africa, and the Council of the Institution of Advanced Legal Education. Her appointment as Chief Justice was unanimously ratified by the Zambian Parliament in February 2015, making her the country's first female Chief Justice.
Professor John Stremlau is Visiting Professor, International Relations, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and a visiting Bradlow Fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs. He served from January 2006 until January 2015 as vice president for peace programs at The Carter Center, where he oversaw the Center's programs to advance human rights, democracy, and conflict resolution globally; regional cooperation in the Americas; and promotion of grassroots democracy, rule of law, and social justice in China. From 1998 to 2006, he resided in South Africa where he was Jan Smuts Professor, Head of the International Relations Department, and the founding co-director of the Centre for Africa's International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand. Previously, he served as senior adviser to the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict in Washington, D.C. (1994-1998), deputy director for policy planning in the office of the U.S. Secretary of State (1989-1994), strategic planning officer for the World Bank (1988-1989), and an officer of the Rockefeller Foundation (1974-1987), directing its international relations division from 1984-1987. Prof. Stremlau publishes extensively on foreign affairs and is a frequent media commentator on international network news programs. He authored 'The International Politics of the Nigerian Civil War' and edited several books..
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.
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.