Kayum Ahmed

CEO: South African Human Rights Commission

Kayum Ahmed is used to being the youngest person at the decision-making table. A former director of Parliament's international relations section, 35-year-old Ahmed is CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission � an institution created to monitor, uphold and protect the human rights of all South Africans. It's not a small job, or one he takes lightly. Every day he witnesses the worst of humanity � something his master's in international human rights law didn't quite prepare him for. His experiences have taught him that "dealing with our past is more of an art than a science�. Whether he's implementing the commission's transformation objectives or accounting for the public purse, the buck stops with him. It may sound like youthful idealism but Ahmed knows that when he's sitting at the negotiating table, helping opposing parties to look each other in the eye, every question counts and reconciliation is possible. � Cat Pritchard

Website: sahrc.org.za