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Mr Kevin Govender

Director, International Astronomical Union-Office of Astronomy for Development (IAU-OAD)


Kevin began work at the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in 2011 as its first Director.… (more)

Kevin began work at the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in 2011 as its first Director. Since then, the OAD has established 11 regional offices and language centres around the world and coordinated an annual call for proposals that has supported over 200 projects targeting audiences in over 100 countries. During his previous position as the Manager of the SALT Collateral Benefits Programme at the South African Astronomical Observatory he worked extensively, especially within the African continent, in the area of “astronomy for development”. In 2007 he was part of an IAU delegation that successfully lobbied the UN to declare 2009 the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). He chaired the “Developing Astronomy Globally” Cornerstone Project of IYA2009 and was involved in the development of two IAU decadal Strategic Plans (for 2010-2020 and 2020-2030 decades). With an experimental nuclear physics background and experience from many community development initiatives in post-apartheid South Africa, Kevin was previously named one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans, and received the National Science and Technology Forum’s Science Communicator award in 2011. In 2016 Kevin was jointly awarded the Edinburgh Medal, together with the IAU, for "the creation and practical establishment of the Office of Astronomy for Development, which integrates the pursuit of scientific knowledge with social development for and with those most in need".