Distinguished Alumni Award

Georgina Kemp
Georgina Kemp

Distinguished Alumni Award 2018

Dr Georgina Kemp (nee Cundill) has a global reputation for her work in sustainability and climate change, a well-established and internationally recognised expertise in natural resource management and climate change adaption research as well as an expertise in action research, research for impact and working to close the gap between science and policy.  She has 12 years of direct experience of research, stakeholder engagement and/or research management in Africa, South Asia and Latin America.  Dr Kemp has a strong track record co-ordinating, supporting, monitoring and offering technical guidance for a portfolio of research projects that seek to ensure that research influences policy and practice in developing countries.  She has strong capabilities in supporting and providing intellectual leadership in collaborative research processes involving multiple partners, particularly consortium based projects that strive for impact and learning.

Dr Kemp completed her studies at Rhodes University, obtaining her PhD in 2009. In her years of being a Senior Lecturer at the institution’s Environmental Science Department, she supervised and successfully graduated 17 postgraduate students and mentored two post-doctoral fellows.  Dr Kemp was also a member of the university Senate and periodically acted as Head of Department. She managed a National Research Foundation (NRF) grant on social justice and ecosystem stewardship and an International Social Science seed grant for transformative global networks. After leaving Rhodes in 2016, she was appointed as a Research Associate and has since continued to mentor post-doctoral fellows, PhD and Masters Students registered at Rhodes University.

She works as a Senior Program Officer at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa. In this role, she supports collaboration and impact-oriented research among more than 450 researchers and practitioners across 17 countries as part of the Collaborative Adaption Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), a $70 Million partnership between IDRC and the Department for International Development (DFID).  Dr Kemp oversees the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), a knowledge brokering network that seeks to connect evidence to policy across Africa, Asia and Latin America.  The partnership between IDRC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands constitutes an investment of roughly $12 Million over three years.

Dr Kemp has obtained international recognition and is regularly invited to review research proposals for a variety of organisations, including the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Research Council of Norway, the Technology Foundation STW of Netherlands, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in partnership with South Africa’s NRF.

She has produced 46 peer-reviewed publications and her work has been cited more than 3 000 times.  Dr Kemp has also produced two handbooks for practitioners and a wide range of non-peer reviewed academic products, policy briefs and popular science pieces.  Dr Kemp has an H-index of 22 on Google Scholar.

Dr Kemp is tremendously creative, very committed to social justice and uplifting the most vulnerable. Dr Kemp is a perfect example of a Distinguished Alumni of which the university is extremely proud.  Her work in supporting research and development in the field of climate change is critical for finding solutions to one of the biggest challenges facing society today.