Alison Gillwald (PhD) is the Executive Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA), an African digital governance think-tank that collaborates with networks across the Global South to build an evidence base for policymakers and regulators. She is also an adjunct- professor at the University of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance where she convenes a transdisciplinary doctoral programme on digital policy, regulation and data governance. A former regulator, she was appointed to the founding Council of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA), having headed the policy department at the first broadcasting regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority established in 1994.
She has advised the South African Presidency, the National Planning Commission, the Competition Commission and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, in addition to the African Union Commission, SADC, CRASA and the SADC Parliamentary Forum. She has been commissioned by the ITU, UCTAD, the World Bank and the African Development Bank to undertake research and provide technical assistance to inform policy to several African countries and c. She is a UNESCO nominee to the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence and serves on the contact group of the Internet & Jurisdiction and UN Broadband Commission Roundtable on Digital Inclusion.
Alison has served as the chairperson of the South African Digital Broadcasting (migration) Advisory Board and as the deputy-chairperson of the SA Ministerial Broadband Advisory Council. She is the outgoing deputy-chairperson of Giganet, the only international academic conference dedicated to internet governance.