Themba Mahleka is a Senior Program Officer, Justice for All, which is part of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies project at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation. He has over ten years’ experience in areas such as transparency and accountability, governance, access to justice, and legal tech and innovation. He has worked in the Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the United States of America.
Themba started his career as an attorney (Law Society of Zimbabwe) working on labor/employment and commercial law. It is during the course and scope of the labour law litigation that his passion for access to justice was ignited. Thereafter, Themba joined Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI Z) as the Senior Legal Officer, heading the policy and legislation unit there.
Themba’s role at TI Z included advocacy for the better implementation and enforcement of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). To this end, he authored a civil society parallel report that outlined Zimbabwe’s enforcement and implementation of the UNCAC. Upon publishing this report, Themba was, inter alia, invited to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Headquarters in Vienna, Austria to present and discuss insights based on this report. Themba joined the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) first as an Innovating Justice Agent, and then as the Co-Head of the HiiL Innovation Hub, Southern Africa. His responsibilities included the identification of legal innovations that improve access to justice through a rigorous selection process. The successful entities entered the Justice Accelerator which included financial, technical, and operational assistance that he and his colleagues provided. Themba was also a founding board member of the HiiL Innovation Hub in Southern Africa.
He holds an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and an Post-Graduate Certificate in Corporate Governance from the University of Johannesburg.
He currently lives in New York City with his wife and their son.