Vuyiswa is a scientist by training with an MSc in Biochemistry. She has, however, worked within the social justice and development arena for more than 20 years. Over this time, she has worked within government, civil society, the United Nations and the philanthropy sector.
Vuyiswa joined Ford Foundation Officer for Southern Africa team on 1 October 2017, after spending over 12 years at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation where she was employed as the Country Director for South Africa since 2009. Prior to this she worked as an Associate Program Officer and Program Officer within the Mott Foundation. Her time at the Mott Foundation focused on areas of: race and ethnic relations; rights, responsibilities, and participation; access to justice; and local philanthropy. She has overseen evaluations of the country program and strategy development within the office as well as positioning the office for a Pan African focus. She also designed programs to strengthen the organizational capacity and sustainability of organizations supported by Mott and played a key role in building relationships between government, philanthropy and civil society as well as civil society and social movements. Vuyiswa also spent time working within government as the Director of Donor Relations in the then Department of Provincial and Local Government in South Africa where she focused on donor monitoring and evaluation. Prior to working in government, she worked as a Program Officer within the United Nations Development Program and for the Sedibeng Centre for Organizational Effectiveness. She has also worked as a consultant on organizational effectiveness and impact assessments. Vuyiswa has pioneered work in the local philanthropy space in South Africa and in the U.S. and currently serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Africa Grantmaker’s Affinity Group (AGAG). She also serves on the board of the Listen Charity South Africa.