Fellowship Year: 2024
Nationality: South Africa
Job Title: Head of Development
Organisation: Good Work Foundation


Job Title: Head of Development

Organisation: Good Work Foundation

Professional History: Gemma Thomson is the Head of Development at the Good Work Foundation (GWF). GWF is a non-profit education organisation that has pioneered a unique ecosystem of learning and working on the edge of rural Bushbuckridge, one of South Africa’s largest informal economies. This ecosystem delivers experiential learning programmes to children and adults in six locally-managed digital learning campuses. Gemma's path to GWF began in the advertising industry. She was headhunted for a position at Ogilvy in Cape Town before going on to Ogilvy in London to join the global Unilever brand team. After a few years, she returned to South Africa to manage Ogilvy's Unilever brands. With 12 years of experience under her belt, she decided to switch gears to work in the philanthropic non-profit space, joining GWF as their Senior Communications Manager before going on to manage their fundraising and communications as Head of Development.

Academic and professional credentials: BA in Industrial Psychology, Political Science, and Decision-Making & Values studies at Stellenbosch University
Post-Graduate Diploma in Advertising & Marketing Communications



South Africa
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About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) 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.