Zohra Dawood has degrees in Law, African Government and Administration and a Masters’s in Economic History.
On moving to the government after 1994, Ms Dawood was involved in drafting legislation for the new government. Her work with the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture involved policy formulation and implementation, including negotiations and settlement of land claims. She was also an advisor to Cabinet Members and the Presidency of Nelson Mandela.
In 1999, Ms Dawood joined the Open Society Institute, founded by financier and philanthropist George Soros, as Executive Director for South Africa and Country Director of Indonesia for fourteen years. Ms Dawood also founded the South African Foreign Policy Initiative in 2011.
She has subsequently worked as a Professional Associate of the Zamyn Foundation, an independent analytical organisation working at the intersection of socio-economic, political and cultural theory and practice and in the areas of promoting arts and culture as a Business Executive at the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 2016, Ms Dawood served as the Director of the Centre for Unity in Diversity. She was responsible for policy analysis, drafting policy briefs and media statements, and actively promoting constitutional values of unity, equality and justice.
Ms Dawood is currently an independent policy analyst engaged internationally in key issues related to economic and legal reform. She serves on the boards of the Southern African Litigation Centre, Mathsmums, Cape Town City Ballet and ONE Africa Policy Advisory Board.