Desmond Lesejane

Deputy Director

Desmond Lesejane was the Director of Social and Structural Drivers Portfolio and in this capacity oversaw Sonke’s growing body of work with religious leaders and faith communities as well as the organisations work on inequalities and its relationship to violence and inequalities. Desmond had been actively involved with Sonke since the very beginning serving as vice chair of our board of directors from 2006 to 2009. He had worked in a range of civil society, religious and government initiatives aimed at attaining social transformation towards a more just society, while remaining rooted in the Christian faith community. Often this has entailed working across a range of sectors to promote the pursuit of common objectives. In recent years, gender and economic justice have been areas of special interest. Desmond is the father of two children and is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa.

Until 2009, Desmond was the Director of Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (ESSET). Desmond was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Society Secretariat of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Programme Director of Faith and Mission & Poverty Eradication for the South African Council of Churches.

He has written a number of book chapters and peer reviewed articles on men, gender equality and fatherhood and is recognised as a leader in the area of working with men to achieve gender equality. He has completed courses towards a Masters in Management: Public and Development Administration and has a Bachelors in Theology with Honours in Church History and a Bachelors in Arts from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.