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Sonja Giese.

Executive Director

Sonja Giese is Executive Director of Innovation Edge and successfully bridges policy and practice, and private and public sectors.

She has over 20 years of experience in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes in some of the poorest rural and urban communities in SA. She has engaged extensively with all levels of Government and has been instrumental in national policy reform and systems enhancements which have effectively leveraged massive gains for children.

Sonja has held senior leadership positions within the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute, international NGO Absolute Return for Kids, the community-based Bulungula Incubator, and a national ECD donor consortium Ilifa Labantwana. Prior to taking up her position at Innovation Edge, Sonja consulted for nine years on a range of child rights issues spanning health, education, identity and social protection, and led the drafting of South Africa’s country report to the United Nations on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Cape Town and an honours degree in Psychology.

“I believe that innovation happens when we open ourselves up to the unexpected; when we are mindful of and question our assumptions; and when we purposefully connect with people and processes that challenge us.”