Please see our employee profiles; you’ll find out their individual qualifications, what they enjoy outside of the RIIS family and their preferred super power.
Whats it like to work at RIIS
See what happens behind the scenes at RIIS
Davis is our Chief Executive here at RIIS, his passion for innovation is evident in both his business and social life. His extensive educational background is made up of undergraduate degrees in Physics, Applied Mathematics and Politics, Philosophy and Economics and a Global Executive MBA from IESE Business School. Davis has also completed his MSc in Development Studies with a specific focus on Income Inequality in South Africa. In his down time Davis can be found participating in almost any adventure sport due to him being an expert martial artist, having lightning reflexes and a complete lack of fear as well as just generally exploring the world.
Clen is an Executive at RIIS and is currently studying towards his MBA in Business Administration. Aside from studying his MBA Clen has received qualifications in Programming and Business Management. Clen has worked extensively with multiple start-ups and incubators. In his off time Clen enjoys rowing and jumping out of aeroplanes- adrenaline junkie!
Chief Operating Officer
Thiru joined RIIS in 2019 and is part of the management team responsible for RIIS. Prior to this she has worked in different roles in the innovation space from research institutes, with development agencies and with a range of innovation partners in Southern Africa, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique over the past 12 years. Thiru’s experience spans across Agricultural and Forestry Biotechnology, Biotechnology Education, ICT for rural development, ICT in education, innovation ecosystem development with regional partners including policy makers and innovation intermediaries, social entrepreneurship, innovation and entrepreneurship, training and capacity building. She has been fortunate to be involved in the development and implementation of many ground-breaking innovation programmes both with national, regional and international partners. She has BSc (Chemistry & Cell Biology) UKZN, BSc Hons (Microbiology & Plant Pathology) UKZN, BCom (Inudstrial Psychology & Business Administration) UNISA and MPhil (Science & Technology Studies) Univ of Stellenbosch. Her perspective on innovation is to promote practical implementation through innovation intermediaries in the multi-helix who facilitate and drive the development of innovation ecosystems.
Rinus’ initial studies have a highly scientific influence, he has completed a BSc in Biological Sciences with a specific focus of Environmental Microbiology and Human Physiology. He also holds a qualification in BSC Honours in Medical Microbiology and MSc in Medical Microbiology for which he was awarded Cum Laude. Rinus enjoys gaming, anime, making music and listening to good Djen.
Alex, as she is affectionately known, began her studies with a Bachelor of Arts in English Linguistics, Civilisation and Literature from the Paris IV, Sorbonne University. She then obtained an MSc in Public Health (Health Promotion) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Alex has gained experience in communications and reporting with the United Nations in South Africa, and more recently, as part of RIIS, she has focused on the social impact and footprint of the mining industry in South Africa. For leisure Alex enjoys trying to climb on things, hanging out with her three dogs and trying to become a better handyman around the house.
Nahungu began her studies with a BEng in Civil Engineering. Shortly after completion of this degree, she received the following qualifications; BEng Honours in Transportation Engineering, MEng in Transportation Engineering and Project Management. Nahungu prefers to spend quality time with those around her whether its listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations, going to the gym or collecting stories on people’s experiences using public transport. A special interest of hers is to engage in spoken word poetry.
Louis Moussi Sopp
Louis has an interest in economics which he has explored through several degrees and certifications. Louis holds a B.Com in Economics and Finance, a B.Com Honours in Economics and a M.Com in Applied Economics. He alsohas a certification in public economics from the GTAC, and published a paper for the African Development Bank on mineral resource accounting in Africa. Louis enjoys watching and playing soccer as well as hiking, reading and playing sports. If he isin’t enjoying his time in the outdoors he is watching Netflix, chilling at home or cooking.
Litha began her studies by completing a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering. Litha’s interests outside of her work life include reading, art and animals.
Daniel is officially known and loved as the IT component of RIIS, he has completed qualifications in communication technology and support services. However, his passion lies within teaching and interacting with young minds. Daniel has completed a postgraduate certification in education and with this qualification he hopes to contribute positively to the lives of young people. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys listening to music and watching series.
Vishaylin J. Mahadeo
Vishaylin has qualifications in a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physiology and Psychology, Honours in Health Science with specific focus on Physiology and a Diploma in Business Administration. He has received certifications for Project Management and Python Basics. Vishaylin spends his time away from the office socializing with friends or finding the nearest mountain on which to snowboard.
Alana joined the RIIS team as one of the first graduates in South Africa to complete a B. Design Degree majoring in innovative processes and business studies. She has also completed and received certifications in project management and negotiations. Alana loves creating and exploring art, playing drums, cycling, travelling and spending time with her dogs.
Nandi’s passion for innovation is what attracted her to RIIS and its values. Nandi enjoys reading, assembling pieces of furniture or décor for herself and travelling. You can find Nandi on holiday wherever there is the warm sun and a beach not too far away. For leisure Nandi enjoys playing with her dogs and anything food related!
Tahira has completed a BSc in Geoscience and Aquatic Science and a BSc Honours in Geoscience. She has also gained certifications in the following courses; GIS, Poject Management and First Aid. Tahira enjoys rock climbing, practising yoga and socializing with new friends and old.
Shannon Van Gool
Shannon has completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and English. She has further completed and received a qualification for a BA Psychology Honours Degree. She also holds a Highland Dancing Teaching qualification. Shannon loves being active and spends most of her time out in the sun, in the gym, at a dance class or hanging out with friends and family.
Lindo has completed a BA degree in Economics as well as a MSc in economics. Lindo enjoys cooking especially when it comes to trying new and challenging recipes. In her leisure time Lindo enjoys shopping, spending time with her family and friends, dancing and the odd outdoor activity.
Poitah holds a BSc in Engineering specialised in Metallurgy & Materials. Poitah loves being active and engaging in physical activities, whether it's jogging, playing soccer or netball.
Erika is our caretaker and most importantly our support system at RIIS. Her passion for learning and creation has her as the perfect colleague to help you out in any scenario. She has an extensive knowledge about almost everything from learning about other cultures to how to build a tiny house. If she is learning something new she is happy. In her spare time Erika enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones, a good book, a cup of hot chocolate and the sound of rain refreshing the Earth.