Thandika Mkandawire "was appointed Director of UNRISD in 1998. A Swedish national of Malawian origin, he is an economist with many years’ experience in the promotion of comparative research on development issues. He studied economics at Ohio State University and the University of Stockholm and has taught at the Universities of Stockholm and Zimbabwe. He holds a Doctorate in Letters from Rhodes University.
"From 1986 through 1996, he was Executive Secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) based in Dakar, Senegal. Prior to taking up his appointment with UNRISD, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen.
"He has published broadly on the social sciences in Africa and on problems of policy making, adjustment and democratization.
"Thandika is a member of the editorial boards of Africa Development; Africa Review of Books; Development and Change; Global Governance; Journal of Development Studies; Journal of Human Development and Oxford Development Studies; Africa Review of Books, and Feminist Economics; and has recently served on the executive committees of the International Institute for Labour Studies, the Swedish NGO Fund for Human Rights, the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) of the International Social Science Council, Care International, the Steering Committee of the UNU Project on Intellectual History, and the African Gender Institute." 
- Trustee, Dag Hammarskjold Foundation 
- Advisory Board, International Development Economics Associates