Pretoria, South Africa – Anton du Plessis, managing director of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), joins more than 200 outstanding leaders from 66 countries as they begin their six-year tenure as Young Global Leaders. Launched by the World Economic Forum in 2004, the Forum of Young Global Leaders recognises outstanding leadership in the public, private and civil society arenas.
‘Young Global Leaders are not just exceptional people in their own right: they are leaders that already have a track record in improving the state of the world’ says David Aikman, Managing Director and Head of the New Champions at the World Economic Forum. ‘We welcome the Class of 2014 into our community and look forward to collectively engaging them to deliver change of genuine global significance’.
The award is reserved for bold young individuals who are dedicated to helping make the world a better place. Each year, thousands of candidates from across the globe are proposed through a qualified nomination process and assessed according to rigorous selection criteria.
Of the 214 honourees, du Plessis is one of only 22 from Africa. With a career spanning national government, civil society and the United Nations, he has worked on human security, international criminal justice and rule of law issues in over 20 African countries and has served as an expert advisor to the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. He was appointed Managing Director of the ISS in December 2013 and is currently the vice-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Terrorism.
For du Plessis this is both a personal and a professional achievement. ‘The Forum of Young Global Leaders presents many opportunities to debate and improve the work we do at the ISS. This is a unique and diverse network that is quite different from the policy-making environment I am accustomed to’, he explains. The exposure to peers in the corporate world will be especially beneficial says du Plessis. ‘We want to enhance human security in Africa, and this Forum will help me do that’.
Among the South African leaders selected in 2014 is Charlize Theron, well-known actress and founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. Other notable young global leaders have included Larry Page, Co-Founder and CEO of Google, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and Nasoko Yamazaki, astronaut and mission specialist on the crew of STS-131 Discovery, Japan.
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.