Cobus de Swardt brings exceptional perspective to fight against corruption

Berlin, 05 June 2007 – Cobus de Swardt, 44, Director of Global Programmes at Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption, has been appointed Managing Director of TI’s Berlin-based Secretariat.

“With Cobus de Swardt at the helm, the TI Secretariat is entering a new era of leadership and accomplishment in the fight against corruption,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. “He brings a unique blend of talent, intellect, public and private sector expertise, and civil society experience – made richer by his years of fighting apartheid in his native South Africa – to the task of leading the Secretariat, which serves the TI movement’s chapters in over 90 countries,” she added.

De Swardt has served as Global Programmes Director since May 2004, leading the work on TI’s global priorities, and heads the International Group of four regional departments. Since 30 April 2007, he has also served as Acting Managing Director.

Cobus de Swardt brings a solid commitment to social justice to a position that also demands clear, decisive and strategic leadership: “Social justice can only be achieved through rigorous efforts to ensure transparent and corruption-free governance, whilst vigorously protecting the virtues of cultural diversity,” he said. “I joined Transparency International because I believe that it is a unique change agent for social justice, both in its organisational structure and in its mastery of political influence through critical but constructive advocacy. I have been inspired by the many courageous individuals and national chapters who work tirelessly to fight corruption.”

“The challenges facing Transparency International are immense,” he continued. “As Managing Director, I seek to ensure an efficient and well-managed Secretariat to strengthen the global anti-corruption network and TI’s competitive advantage.”

De Swardt has had an illustrious career. As a sociologist, his achievements spanned the fields of globalisation, development policy, international relations and multinational business management. He has taught at universities in Australia, Germany, Japan and South Africa, and worked in various countries for multinational corporations, trade unions and research institutes in managerial and research capacities.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, he was active in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, chairing the African National Congress in Cape Town. He led the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, an international research and development policy network, in South Africa, and represented it internationally.

De Swardt’s appointment was unanimously endorsed by an international selection committee and TI’s Board of Directors. He takes up his new position immediately, replacing David Nussbaum, who resigned.

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