Justin Sylvester is a senior program officer based in the foundation’s Southern Africa office in Johannesburg. He is part of the Natural Resources & Climate Change team.
Justin has 15 years of experience in the democracy, governance, and human rights arena. His work focuses on public participation, accountability, social justice, and human rights. From 2011 until he joined Ford in 2015, he was based at the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, where he was the program manager for human rights and governance. He also managed the program in freedom of expression and was critical in building the private and public sector accountability program. Justin also served as a senior political researcher in Cape Town for the democracy think tank Idasa. He has a keen interest in the governance and human rights challenges faced by democracies in the Global South, especially those hosting large-scale extractive activities/industries and transitioning their energy systems.
Justin earned a bachelor of social science in governance and political studies and a master of social science in international relations from the University of Cape Town. He has also completed an advanced human rights course at the University of Pretoria, focusing on comparative African human rights systems and Executive Training on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development at Columbia University.