Minister Pandor congratulates Professor Tshilidzi Marwala on his appointment as the Rector of the United Nations University

Media Statement


25 July 2022


Minister Pandor congratulates Professor Tshilidzi Marwala on his appointment as the Rector of the United Nations University


The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has congratulated Professor Tshilidzi Marwala on being appointed the seventh Rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan.


The decision to appoint Professor Marwala was taken by the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, with the concurrence of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Director-General, Ms Audrey Azoulay, following extensive consultations and international search for the right candidate. Professor Marwala will succeed Professor David M Malone of Canada, who has served as the United Nations University Rector since 2013.


Professor Tshilidzi Marwala is currently the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg. Previously, he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, both at the University of Johannesburg.


From 2003 to 2008, he progressively held the positions of Associate Professor, Full Professor, the Carl and Emily Fuchs Chair of Systems and Control Engineering, as well as the SARChI Chair of Systems Engineering, at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. From 2001 to 2003, he was Executive Assistant to the technical Director at South African Breweries. From 2000 to 2001 he was a post-doctoral research associate at Imperial College (then University of London).


He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University (USA) in 1995, a Master of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria in 1997 and a PhD specialising in Artificial Intelligence and Engineering from the University of Cambridge in 2000. Prof. Marwala completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Columbia University Businesses School in 2017 and completed a Program for Leadership Development (PLD) at Harvard Business School in 2007.


Professor Marwala is a registered professional engineer, a Fellow of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), the Academy of Science of South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences and the South African Academy of Engineering. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering) and a distinguished member of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery).


His research interests are multi-disciplinary and they include the theory and application of artificial intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. He has an extensive track record in human capacity development and is committed to leveraging technology and global connectedness towards the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.


The Minister wishes Professor Marwala well in his new position and has no doubt that he will do South Africa and the African continent proud by leading the United Nations University to greater heights. “I wish Professor Marwala well as the incoming Rector of the United Nations University and have utmost confidence that through his leadership, the University will further contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare, that are the concern of the United Nations, its peoples and member states,” Minister Pandor said.


Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974




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