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

Norman Smit
23 December 2017

Making a simple change can help realize one’s full potential. At TED Talent Search Lagos 2017 in Nigeria, Victoria Ohaeri describes the importance of changing her name to positively affect others' perceptions.  The 2016 Tutu Fellow tells her personal story about the effects of labeling, and how changing her name made all the difference.

Norman Smit
21 December 2017

Young farmers participating in a project started by 2017 Tutu Fellow Samuel Kariuki have had their first harvest and been paid for the fruits of their labour.  The new farmers in the agro-entrepreneurship Fort Hall Eye Project harvested two tons of beans. This green success is taking place in one of the most troubled counties in Kenya, where alcoholism has left almost no household unaffected.

Peter Wilson
21 December 2017

When nominations closed earlier this week, there were close to 300 really top quality nominations of emerging African leaders from across the continent for the 2018 Tutu Leadership Fellowship.  We were again impressed by the breadth of outstanding candidates who are applying for the Fellowship, reinforcing what we already know: that there is no shortage of excellent young leaders on the continent. 

Norman Smit
20 December 2017

The CEO of All On, 2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer is helping to build access to affordable sustainable energy for low income households, small business, and communities.  All On is an independent impact investing company.  As part of its approach it has also provided a grant to the acclaimed Nigerian tech incubator, Co-Creation Hub, to challenge Nigeria’s innovators on energy. Co-Creation Hub is run by 2017 Tutu Fellow 'Bosun Tijani.

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.

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