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Pro vice-chancellors

At UCT a Pro vice-chancellor is responsible for strengthening and raising the profile (both internally and externally) of a particular major strategic area or initiative that crosses faculty and departmental boundaries.

Their role includes:

  • academic leadership
  • fostering co-operation between internal and external stakeholders
  • creating synergies between community interest and the existing research strengths of UCT
  • leading fundraising efforts
  • lending it central institutional support.

Professor Mark New | Professor Murray Leibbrandt

Professor Mark New

Professor Mark NewProfessor Mark New is the pro vice-chancellor and director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI).

Acting on behalf of the vice-chancellor, New focuses on the climate and development challenges of Africa from an African perspective. He works to extend climate research at UCT, as well as continuing his own research.


New graduated from UCT with a BSc Geology in 1986 and completed his honours the following year. He received an MPhil in environment and development from Cambridge University in 1992 and a PhD in geography (climate change and hydrology) from the same institution in 1998.

Over the last 12 years, his experience includes:

  • lecturer with Oxford University's master's programme in Environmental Change and Management
  • academic director of Oxford University's MSc in water science, policy and management
  • supervision of doctoral students.

He has an international reputation and track record and has attracted significant external funding for large research programmes.

In addition to cutting-edge research in the United Kingdom, New also has experience of climate and development issues through work in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and South America.


Professor Murray Leibbrandt

Professor Murray LeibbrandtProfessor Leibbrandt  is pro vice-chancellor for poverty and inequality.


Leibbrandt teaches in the School of Economics and is the director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit. He holds the National Research Chair of Poverty and Inequality Research and is a research fellow for IZA – the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn, Germany.

His research focuses on South African poverty, inequality and labour market dynamics. He is currently one of the principal investigators on the National Income Dynamics Study commissioned by the Presidency. He is a past president of the African Econometric Society and of the South African Economic Society.

A graduate of Rhodes University, where he obtained his BSocSc and honours degrees, and Notre Dame where he graduated with an MA and PhD, Leibbrandt has held academic posts in South Africa and abroad. He began his career as a lecturer at Rhodes University and came to UCT in 1994. He has held a visiting fellowship at Cornell University, and visiting professorships at the University of Michigan and Yale University.

Leibbrandt has participated in a number of committees tasked with poverty reduction, as well as uplifting and improving the standards of living in South Africa and internationally.

He was a member of

  • South Africa's first post-apartheid Labour Market Commission
  • the international panel evaluating World Bank Research into poverty and inequality
  • the international panel on population growth and human welfare in Africa.

Professor Leibbrandt has been the recipient of numerous honours, scholarships, bursaries and awards.

He has written extensively on the subject of poverty and inequality, with a wide range of journal articles, book chapters and books published under his name.