Theresia OttTheresia Ott


South Africa

 

Occupational Information


Occupation: Ecologist

Occupational Position: Theresia heads up the world-renowned best practice rehabilitation program at Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals (RBM).

Projects


After many family trips throughout southern Africa, Theresia pursued studies in natural sciences and completed a Doctorate in Zoology, specializing in landscape ecology. Exploring even more remote parts of southern Africa during her research, she experienced a variety of challenges where people and nature interact. Here, a deep-rooted love for the African bush developed into the desire to make a difference on the ground.

Professional History


At RBM, Theresia manages over 3,000 hectares of rehabilitated land in a rural setting, she leads a team of five contractors that employ over 100 employees from local communities to rehabilitate mined land. Theresia played a critical role in ensuring the seamless startup of three of these companies as newly formed locally owned and managed businesses. Aside from operations, she advises the company regarding biodiversity concerns, breaking down walls between stakeholders to drive land use planning initiatives to secure sustainable futures for people and the environment.

Qualifications


MSc and PhD in Zoology, University of Pretoria; BSc & BSc Honours Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Programs


2015 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

Featured News

Peter Wilson
14 March 2017

The African Leadership Institute has a strong cohort of candidates for the prestigious Tutu Leadership Fellowship.  Amongst nearly 300 nominees from over 30 African countries, 26 of Africa’s highest potential young leaders were selected to take part in the programme. Spanning various industries, representing eleven African countries and ranging from 29 to 39 years of age, the selected candidates demonstrate the wealth and breadth of leadership talent that exists in Africa’s youth.  The biographies of the 2017 candidates follows:

Norman Smit
02 March 2017

The United Nations has called attention to the wave of attacks in South Africa targeting foreigners living in the country. The attacks in South Africa have spawned calls for retaliation on South African businesses and nationals in Nigeria. The UN news site, the UN Dispatch, reports that youth groups have been the major drivers in this violence, and it goes on to quote an open letter by Ugandan youth leader and Tutu Fellow Victor Ochen. In his open letter, Ochen says that while the youth have been at the center of the attacks, they can also be part of the solution. He called on youth leaders in Africa to embrace non-violence. 

Peter Wilson
10 February 2017

There were 283 nominations of Africa’s finest young leaders from over 30 countries for the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship, which starts on 22nd April. Applications closed on 15th January 2017.  Since then, a selection panel of past Fellows and AFLI Board Members have been working tirelessly to draw up a short list of candidates for final evaluation by the selection panel. The short list of 52 candidates was finalised on 7th February, and the plan is for the final selection of the 2017 Tutu Fellows to be agreed upon by the AFLI Board at the end of February. Only 17 candidates are finally selected.

Norman Smit
07 February 2017

The Bertha Centre, which is run by 2013 Tutu Fellow Dr. Francois Bonnici, has been profiled as one of the top five university-based social impact centres in the world.  The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is at the University of Cape Town and is part of the Graduate School of Business.  The nonprofit organisation the Bridgespan Group published the report which was done by the Skoll Foundation


A Selection of Tutu Leadership Fellows

About AFLI

AFLIICONCROPPED

 

The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) is unique among leadership initiatives in that it focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.

­