Dr. Narissa Ramdhani is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ifa Lethu Foundation and a member of the South African Board.While starting out her career with deep involvement in academia at institutions such as the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal (SA) Yale and Connecticut(USA), especially in the areas of politics and international relations, Dr. Ramdhani moved into the areas of Business, Heritage and Creative Development upon her appointment to the Ifa Lethu Foundation.
Her previous positions have included Directorships of Research Centres at the former Universities of Durban-Westville and Natal and positions with Yale University, former President Nelson Mandela’s special projects and the African National Congress.
She has held various fellowships, executive and non executive membership of national and international boards, and has chaired many national programmes and international partnerships and collaborative efforts.
Under her leadership Ifa Lethu has become the largest heritage repatriation organisation in South Africa with collections having been repatriated from countries such as the United States of America, Canada, France, Australia, Spain, Holland, the United Kingdom and Germany. She has also provided the vision to morph the Foundation into one of the largest creative entrepreneurial development organizations in the country providing skills for creative practitioners so they may become successful entrepreneurs. This extension has allowed the Foundation to align its work with the national priorities and Millennium Goals of poverty alleviation and community upliftment. This has led to several South Africa creative practitioners being catapulted onto the international stage and has assisted in turning their skills into commercially viable entities.
Dr Ramdhani holds the following degrees: University of KwaZulu- Natal Ph.D. (History), MA (African History): B.A. (History, Classical Civilization); University of South Africa – Honors (History; University of Connecticut - M.A. (Public History); and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters conferred in 2010, in Recognition of her contribution to South Africa’s rural development and from the University of Connecticut, USA. She is also currently the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Chile in South Africa.