Setshaba is a demographically diverse research site that is currently led by an Executive Committee (EXCO), which encompasses four strategic leadership roles within the organisation, as outlined below.

The organisation has a staff complement of approximately 130 employees. The organisation comprises of medical doctors, research nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technologists, regulatory officers, data management personnel, quality assurance personnel, study coordinators, social scientists, counsellors, community engagement officers, retention officers, and other administrative staff. All relevant staff is fully ICH GCP trained.

The EXCO reports to the board of directors and actively aims to achieve the site’s vision and mission.

The EXCO leads the site’s research agenda and maintains close oversight of all the site processes to ensure that high-quality clinical research is conducted and standards of excellence are maintained. More details regarding their research experience are outlined below.

Dr Babalwa Maholwana, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), obtained her MBChB degree from the University of Natal in 1999. She was awarded a Fellowship grant by the Medical Research Council and is a published medical researcher. Her pharmaceutical and health industry experience spans over 15 years, having held several leadership roles in Clinical Research, Medical, and Regulatory affairs. Outside the pharmaceutical industry, she gained wide experience running projects in non-profit HIV research for the Medicines Control Council (now the South African Health Products Regulatory Agency, or SAHPRA) and the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM). Dr Maholwana completed the Global Executive Development Programme (GEDP) at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in 2016, achieving a distinction. She further qualified for a GIBS Masters in Philosophy (MPhil), specialising in Strategy, in 2021. Since 2017, she has been invited as a regular speaker on the GIBS Women as Leaders programme. In the past two years, she has been instrumental in driving a strategic emphasis on sustainable growth, impact, and process innovation at SRC and has recently taken over as CEO of the organisation.

Dr Khatija Ahmed, Chief of External Relations and Capacity Building (CERCB), is a medical doctor and clinical microbiologist by profession, with a wealth of experience in HIV, TB, COVID, RSV, and other research. She served as the founding CEO of the site, and under her leadership and guidance, the site excelled and expanded its research portfolio. Dr Ahmed sits on numerous leadership and steering committees and has established relationships with many key institutions and organisations both nationally and abroad. Through her leadership and guidance, she has contributed to the development of many early-career research staff. She has worked closely with many research and other organisations, including both local and international organisations across various spectrums of the research and health industries. She has made valuable contributions to research science and has presented at many conferences, as well as co-authored a large number of research publications. Dr Ahmed has served as a Principal Investigator on many research trials across different research focus areas and is committed to maintaining high standards of quality across all her studies.

Ismail Adam, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) by profession, who is passionate and enthusiastic about the global health impact made by SRC. He has gained strong experience with regards to the financial aspects of a clinical research, non-profit organisation. This in-depth knowledge and insight into clinical trials facilitates effective financial planning and management thereof. Ismail has contributed to many operational and other strategic aspects of the company, enhancing cost-effectiveness and reinforcing sustainability of the organisation. He focuses on working SMART while ensuring that all processes remain effective and efficient. He also maintains a strong focus on compliance with all relevant regulations and the organisation has a track record of receiving clean audit reports under his leadership. Ismail was nominated as one of the Top-35-under-35 CA’s in South Africa by SAICA in 2017, based on his role and value add at SRC.

Dr. Ayman Osman, Chief Operating Officer (COO), is an experienced scientist and researcher with over 14 years of experience. He has a Masters in Medical Microbiology and has recently obtained his PhD in Medical Immunology from the University of Pretoria. His experience ranges across many areas of a clinical trial process, including laboratory, data management, and operational management. He has worked on many research trials, including TB, HIV, COVID, and Maternal / Paediatric trials. He aims to implement lean principles that maintain high standards of quality. He has a strong passion for clinical research and for upskilling and mentoring upcoming researchers and scientists.