CDE Staff Profiles

Ann Bernstein
Executive Director

Ann Bernstein heads the Centre for Development and Enterprise, South Africa. CDE is regarded by many including the London Financial Times as the country’s leading policy centre for social and economic development. In addition, CDE has a special focus on the role of business and its contribution to development. Ann was a member of the Transition Team and then the Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (1994 – 2001). In 2005 she was a Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington DC. In 2007 she joined the Board of the Brenthurst Foundation. In 2008 and 2009 she was an invited faculty member at the World Economic Forum in Davos and participates in their Global Agenda Council’s Initiative. Her book, The Case for Business in Developing Economies was published by Penguin in 2010. She is a regular public speaker and has been published by newspapers around the country, often appearing on radio and TV. Her many other publications and books include Migration and Refugee Policies (with M. Weiner, London, 1999), Business and Democracy: Cohabitation or Contradiction? (with P.L. Berger, London, 1998), and Policy Making in A New Democracy: South Africa’s Challenges for the 21st century (CDE,1999).

Refiloe Benjamin
Digital Communications Officer

Refiloe Benjamin joined the CDE team in 2016, assisting with media and communications related affairs, now with an added responsibility of monitoring the effectiveness of the website and other digital platforms.  She has obtained an Honours degree in Journalism at the University of Johannesburg. Throughout her four years spent at University, Refiloe gained practical experience through internships and freelance writing. With a background in online journalism and feature-writing, she also enjoys conducting research, photography and has a new set of basic skills in graphic design.

Michelle Breytenbach
Personal assistant and Human Resources Coordinator

Michelle Breytenbach joined CDE in November 2015 and is a highly experienced and resourceful PA/Administrator with more than 20 years’ experience in Executive Assistant and Project Manager positions working for CEO’s and Board Members of Blue Chip South African companies.

Heather Dawson
Personal assistant to Senior Management

Heather Dawson is a seasoned executive assistant. She has extensive experience with all administrative tasks, having held positions in finance, engineering and local municipality service fields. Heather has assisted Ann Bernstein since 2008 till 2017.

Charlotte James
Office and Project Manager

Charlotte joined CDE in 2018. She recently completed her Masters degree in Public Administration and holds and Honours degree in Public Administration as well as a BA Law and Politics degree. She has worked in the government and NGO sector for the past 18 years, both locally and in the UK. She is passionate about social change, and is involved in several local charities.

Brenda Lunda
CRM, Events and Office Coordinator

Prior to joining CDE in 2018, Brenda most recently worked with Pearson where she was a team leader in Business Development. She has many years’ experience in administration specifically sale’s administration and CRM. She has also worked in recruitment and client retention. She is currently studying towards a Higher Certificate in Economics and management.

Motlhabane Modupe
Communications Assistant

Motlhabane holds a BA Politics degree from the University of Johannesburg, and has experience in fundraising in the NGO sector. Prior to joining CDE, Motlhabane was a Junior Regional Analyst focusing on political economy and regional integration in the South Africa Development Community (SADC). He has also completed a short course in entrepreneurship through the Awethu project Business Incubation Programme.

Tintswalo Mofokeng
Financial Consultant

Tintswalo Mofokeng is a Chartered Accountant and she holds a Bachelor of Accountancy honours degree from University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She has over seven years of solid experience in financial accounting and management both in the government and private sector. She completed her articles with Deloitte within the Financial Services Department. She is registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). She held senior positions at the Competition Commission, Office of the Auditor General, Department of Public Enterprises. She also served as CFO and acted as CEO for the Wholesale and Retail SETA. She is an independent member and chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Competition Tribunal.

Lydia van den Bergh
General Manager

Lydia van den Bergh joined CDE in 2008. As the General Manager she is responsible for the day to day operations of CDE. Previously she worked as the Managing Director of the Thembalitsha Foundation a non-profit organisation based in the Western Cape that focussed on HIV/AIDS in-patient and home based care mainly for children, a school for age on appropriate learners and early childhood Development.

Rehan Visser
Policy Analyst

Rehan holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as a BA Honours in Philosophy and a BSocSci in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Cape Town (with a semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison). Prior to joining CDE, Rehan worked as a media analyst. He is interested in the political economy of development.

Tessa Yeowart
Project Manager

Tessa Yeowart joined CDE in 2008 where she has been responsible for managing the design and implementation of strategic intervention. Tessa has an MBA (University of Cape Town), a BA with honours in Economics and a Higher Diploma in Education (both from the University of Natal, now UKZN). Her prior experience comprises almost ten years spent in various operations and planning positions for the organization representing South Africa’s higher education institutions, Higher Education SA (previously the SA Universities Vice-Chancellors Association.) She has also spent time in a senior position at a financial communications firm and has previous experience in education policy analysis.