Vanessa Phala

Director, ILO Country Office

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Ms. Vanessa Phala, a South African national, is the Country Director of the ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Prior to this appointment, she worked as a Senior Specialist (Employers’ Activities) at the ILO Office for the Caribbean in Port of Spain. Before that, she undertook several leading roles in the public and private sectors from 2004 to 2016.  She was the Executive Director of Social and Transformation Policy at Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), a non-profit company representing organized business in South Africa. She also served as the Director of the Ethics and Integrity Management Unit and Special Anti-corruption Unit of the South African Department of Public Service and Administration and as an Assistant Director at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Ms. Phala graduated magna cum laude from Westcliff University, where she obtained a  Doctorate in Business Administration in June 2023. She also obtained an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA, Cum Laude) from the University of the West Indies in 2021 and a Master’s in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2004.  

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