An internationally renowned democracy and human rights activist, Dr Brigalia Bam is the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission. Born in the eastern part of South Africa, Dr Bam has a Masters Degree in Communications from the University of Chicago. She also holds seven honorary doctorates from universities in South Africa and Canada. Her first formal employment was as a teacher, and she has held a variety of posts throughout the world, which have included Africa Regional Secretary and Coordinator of the Women Workers’ Programme for the International Food and Allied Workers’ Association; National Executive Secretary of the World Affiliated YWCA of South Africa; and Executive Programme Secretary for the Women’s Department of the World Council of Churches. Dr. Bam is also a Social worker by training from Jan Hofmeyr School of Social Work. At the time of her appointment as one of the original commissioners when the Electoral Commission was established in 1997, she was General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. Dr Bam has served on several public bodies: she’s a member of the South African Human Rights Commission. In addition, she is Founder and President of the Women’s Development Foundation and has numerous other memberships and interests. Dr Bam was recently appointed onto the Panel of the Wise of the African Union. Dr. Bam is former Vice- Chancellor of Port Elizabeth now Nelson Mandela Municipality University and Walter Sisulu and is currently the Chancellor of the Walter Sisulu University.