Renowned Jurist Yasmin Sooka Appointed to Prestigious George Soros Visiting Chair

CEU's School of Public Policy (SPP) announced the appointment of Yasmin Sooka as the inaugural George Soros Visiting Chair for the fall 2015 term. “The appointment of Yasmin Sooka as the inaugural George Soros Chair at SPP is a fitting tribute to CEU's founder," said CEU President and Rector John Shattuck.  "The vision of George Soros inspired the establishment of the School and this distinguished chair, and Yasmin Sooka will inspire our students with her leadership on human rights.”

“We are delighted to welcome Yasmin Sooka to SPP,” said Founding Dean Wolfgang H. Reinicke. “Her international reputation as a human rights lawyer, and her active engagement in public policy, make her an ideal choice for this appointment at SPP. She embodies the values that are integral to the School: a commitment to thoughtful and passionate engagement with public policy.”

The George Soros Visiting Chair was established with generous contributions from the friends and family of George Soros, the founder of CEU and of SPP, and the Honorary Chairman of the CEU Board of Trustees. “I am especially pleased with this appointment,” commented George Soros. “It was in South Africa more than 35 years ago that I began my philanthropy.”

Yasmin Sooka is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) in South Africa. A widely respected human rights lawyer, she is recognized as an expert in the field of transitional justice and gender. Throughout her career, she has focused on the legacy of apartheid and is especially interested in issues related to poverty, HIV/AIDS, and gender.

“I am deeply honored and humbled at having been asked to be the inaugural George Soros Visiting Chair,” said Sooka. “George Soros and the Open Society Foundation in South Africa continue to play an important role in building constitutionalism. A key area that I have been working on in the last decade is public policy in respect of building a human rights culture in the aftermath of a transition and violent conflict. Coming to the School will allow me to deepen my understanding of these issues. I look forward to interacting with the students on these issues.”

SPP is seeking applications and nominations for the George Soros Visiting Chair and also the George Soros Visiting Practitioner Chair for the 2015-16 winter term (January-March 2016); the 2015-16 spring term (April-June 2016); and the 2016-17 fall term (October-December 2016). To find out more please visit our website here or email