Dr Shereen Usdin

Programme Director

Dr Shereen Usdin is a South African medical doctor and public health specialist. Her work has focused on the social determinants of health leading her to become a lifelong activist for gender equality and social justice. She is a respected and outspoken feminist and has almost three decades of experience in social change and development communication. She is recognised both locally and internationally for her pioneering contribution to this field.

Shereen is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Soul City Institute for Social Justice and remains a key member of the organisation’s executive team. She has led to the growth of the organisation as one of South Africa’s largest and sustainable NPOs and one of the most successful Communication for Development organisations globally.

Her professional career within the Soul City Institute has taken many paths as she has been instrumental in the organisation’s growth and innovation including its transition to an intersectional feminist organisation focusing on young women and girls in all their diversities. She currently heads the Programme Department, responsible for, inter alia, young feminist movement-building through the RISE club programme. In 2010, she received a meritorious award for CEO Magazine’s “SA Most Influential Women”. In 2004 she was awarded the Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year Award for her work on addressing Violence Against Women, and in 2006, received a Gordon Institute for Business Science’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Believer Award. She co-chaired the South African National AIDS Council’s Prevention Technical Task Team for a number of years and served on UNAIDS Expert Technical Committee on Social Change Communication. She authored numerous academic papers as well as two books on the politics of global health and on the HIV epidemic.

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