The ACCORD Team

In true African tradition, the ACCORD extends across the African continent. The founder of the organisation, Vasu Gounden, is still at the helm after leading the organisation for 21 years, and is ably supported by a growing and vibrant international team of staff and associates.

Strong Foundations

Much of the success of the organisation has to do with its historical links and strong roots. The founding trustees of ACCORD were the then-principles of South Africa's "black" universities. Sibusiso Bengu, Jakes Gerwel, Jairam Reddy, Chabani Manganyi and Wiseman Nkuhlu went on to take up prominent positions in the new government - from Education Minister to Director General in President Mandela's office, but have remained loyal to the work of ACCORD and played a major role in the organisation's success over the years. In 1995, Madame Graca Machel joined the ACCORD team as it's sixth trustee. She was joined by Ambassador Billy Modise and Mr Josias de Kock in 2007.

Many of our staff team have been with the organisation for a decade or more. ACCORD maintains a strong team of external associates and consultants - many of them leaders in their fields worldwide - who work regularly on ACCORD projects.

Board of Trustees

ACCORD’s Board of Trustees is headed by the current Chair of the Board Madame Graca Machel (President FDC, Mozambique), and comprises

  • H.E. Ambassador Sibusiso Bengu (the former South African Ambassador to Germany and former Minister of Education);
  • Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu (Chairperson, Pan African Capital Holdings, former Chairperson of the NEPAD Steering Committee and the former Economic Advisor to former President Mbeki);
  • Professor Jairam Reddy (Chairperson of the Council of the Durban University of Technology and former Director, United Nations University International Leadership Institute);
  • H.E. Ambassador Billy Modise (former South African Ambassador to Canada and former South African Chief of State Protocol);
  • Mr Josias de Kock (Chief Financial Officer for Premier Foods and a former Chief Risk Officer for Sanlam); and
  • Mr. Vasu Gounden (Founder and current Executive Director of ACCORD).
  • The late Professor Jakes Gerwel (Chair, Mandela-Rhodes Foundation and the former Head of the Office of former South African President Nelson Mandela) was one of the founding members of ACCORD's Board of Trustees and is sorely missed by all at ACCORD.

EXCOM

Besides our Board of Trustees, since 2007 ACCORD has also had an Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the Board, which meets twice a year and which reports at the two full Trustees meetings held each year. The EXCOM Board comprises:

  • Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu (Chairperson, Pan African Capital Holdings and the former Economic Advisor to former President Mbeki). Prof Nkuhlu is the Chair of the EXCOM;
  • Mr. Josias de Kock (Chief Financial Officer for Premier Foods and a former Chief Risk Officer for Sanlam);
  • Professor Jairam Reddy (Chairperson of the Council of the Durban University of Technology and former Director, United Nations University International Leadership Institute);
  • Vasu Gounden, Founder and Executive Director;
  • Sunitha Singh, General Manager: Finance and Administrator; and
  • Hayden Allen (Board Secretary and General Manager: Corporate Affairs)

Staff and Trustee Profiles

Please click on the links, at left, to find out more about our team, and to contact them if necessary.