Ambassador Nozipho January-Bardill is the chairperson of the Council of the Nelson Mandela University and the United Nations (UN) Global Compact Local Network in South Africa. She is also an independent non-executive director of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, the MTN Foundation, and two NGOs, Tshwaranang Legal Services (for women who are victims of gender-based violence) and Phenduka Literacy (for under-educated primary school pupils in Alexander Township).
At the start of 2021, she was appointed to the board of trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Assistance and the Implementation of the Universal Periodic Report (UPR) in the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Her own company, Bardill and Associates, advises companies on integrating race, gender, and sustainable development into their business strategies.
She served as South Africa’s ambassador to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Holy See as well as deputy director general, responsible for human resources and the Foreign Service Institute, in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs. She was chief of staff and special adviser to UN Women in New York and South Africa.
A four-year position as corporate affairs executive at MTN Group, the largest and most diverse mobile telecommunications company in Africa, exposed her to executive leadership in the private sector at home and on the continent, and the challenges of creating a human rights culture in business. Ethical leadership and governance, social justice, and sustainable development are central to her life and work.
She has a BA degree and a certificate in education from the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland; an MA degree from the University of Essex in the UK; and a diploma in human resources management from Damelin SA. In 2019, she was conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree from Glasgow Caledonian University (for the Common Good) in Scotland.