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Anton du Plessis appointed as Managing Director of ISS
18 December 2013

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Executive Director Jakkie Cilliers announced that Anton du Plessis has been appointed Managing Director of the ISS. Du Plessis has been acting Executive Director since February this year while Cilliers was on sabbatical to undertake a seven-month Fulbright Fellowship.

As Managing Director, du Plessis is responsible for the operational and substantive management of the ISS. Cilliers remains Executive Director with a focus on strategic oversight and external positioning of the ISS, and will work with du Plessis on the development of new opportunities, strategic direction and innovation. 

Du Plessis has worked on human security, international criminal justice and rule of law issues in over 20 African countries. He has three law degrees and is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa with more than 14 years of legal and management experience that include working as an expert advisor to various United Nations (UN) entities and other intergovernmental organisations such as the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. He is also vice-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Terrorism.

Du Plessis has a well-established knowledge of the ISS. He joined the ISS in 2003 as head of the Crime and Justice Programme where he worked on a range of crime and criminal justice projects in the research, policy and technical assistance fields. In 2008 he established the International Crime in Africa Programme and was later appointed as head of the Transnational Threats and International Crime Division – the largest of the four divisions at the ISS – and a position he still holds while a new head is being recruited.

In addition to his time with the ISS, du Plessis spent two years in Vienna as a criminal justice and counter-terrorism legal expert for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He began his legal career as a Senior State Advocate at the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa where he specialised in the prosecution of serious and violent offences. Du Plessis has published widely and is the co-author of Counter-Terrorism Law and Practice: A Practitioners’ Handbook published by Oxford University Press.

Along with the appointment of a Managing Director, ISS has also appointed Ambassador Olusegun Akinsanya as ISS Regional Representative and Special Advisor (focusing on the African Union and other regional organisations working on the continent). Prior to joining the ISS in June 2010, Akinsanya served as, among others, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Representative to the AU and UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), consultant at UNECA, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti as well as Permanent Representative to the AU and UNECA.

About the Institute for Security Studies

The ISS is an African organisation which aims to enhance human security on the continent. It does independent and authoritative research, provides expert policy analysis and advice, and delivers practical training and technical assistance.