The United States
- South Africa Leadership Development Programme
what is


The mission of USSALEP is to develop leaders who will enhance democratic values and the quality of life at all levels of South African society by drawing on American, South African and other resources.


1. Implementing human resource development programmes that enhance the competence, confidence and creativity of South Africa's present and future leaders, especially among the historically disadvantaged.

2. Building capacity within organisations and institutions that provide essential social services and contribute to strengthening the South African economy.

3. Promoting dialogue and constructive relationships among individuals and groups whose collective energies may be channelled towards programmes that reinforce the values and activities important to nation building.

4. Gathering and managing resources for the achievement of the above.


4.Accountability and Transparency


USSALEP is the first truly bi-national organisation with a presence in both countries. This has enabled us to draw upon the wisdom and support of a diverse representation of race, gender, profession and geography in achieving our objectives.

The genesis of USSALEP goes back to May 1955 and an American Friends Service Committee meeting at Haverford College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. There, representatives of eleven religious, philanthropic, educational and cultural organisations met to discuss the importance of two-way exchanges between South Africa and the U.S. Recognising that many South Africans shared the same commitment to intergroup understanding and to the promotion of peaceful change, the conference organisers sent Dr. Frank Loescher to explore their recommendations. A co-operative undertaking both in spirit and in form was born, and USSALEP was founded in 1958.

During the apartheid era, it was essential to promote interaction, mutual respect and an ethos of cultural diversity among the disparate and polarised groups in both the United States and South Africa. USSALEP hosted the first multiracial meeting in South Africa at a time when such gatherings were banned. A 1971 USSALEP symposium was held at the Holiday Inn at Johannesburg's Jan Smuts Airport to circumvent restrictions on interracial meetings and socialising. Two years later, the current US ambassador to South Africa, Jim Joseph, had his first exposure to this country during a USSALEP international symposium at Umhlanga Rocks in KwaZulu Natal.

USSALEP has hosted or arranged over 150 dialogues and larger symposiums in the US, Africa and Europe. These meetings did much to break down barriers of ignorance and fear, and served as valuable forums on which to build USSALEP's programmes. Our purpose was to nourish open and direct human links among all people by whom the history of South Africa will be shaped, and this organisational ethos prevails to this day.


USSALEP's accomplishments in leadership development are reflected in the slate of programme alumni who presently occupy key positions in the South African government, business, media, judiciary and legal fraternity, medical profession, academic institutions, the arts, and private voluntary sector. Our oldest existing programme is the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, followed by the USSALEP Community Leader Training Programme (in a new alliance with the Wits Graduate School of Public and Development Management [P&DM]), and Trial Advocacy Skills Training Programme in collaboration with the Black Lawyers Association.

>From an institution-building perspective, USSALEP contributed to the establishment of the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa (AMCHAM), the National Black Consumers Union (NBCU), the Black Lawyers Association (BLA), and the Black Management Forum (BMF). Other programmes have included teacher training in writing, mathematics and the sciences, industrial relations, management internships, journalism, conflict resolution, the USAID-funded Transition to Democracy Project, and the development of higher education policy. Past programmes in the business sector include the Careers Development Programme, the annual Black Businessman of the Year Award in conjunction with NAFCOC, and the Entrepeneur Exchange Programme. At present, USSALEP runs the USAID-funded South African Black Economic Empowerment (SABEE) Programme. This includes the BROAD Project (Business Representation, Organisation and Development) for the purpose of building the capacity of business development organisations, and the BUILD Project (Business Integration and Leadership Development) which develops business leaders in the areas of financial market operations, macro-economics, corporate governance, business process re-engineering, and change management.



Sydney Maree (Chairman)
Hilary Ashton
Elize Bezuidenhout
Kevin Davie
Willie Esterhuyse
Joe Latakgomo
Michael Leaf
Kristine Menell
Michael Mohohlo
Jeremy Ractliffe
Windsor Shuenyane
Bheki Sibiya
Richard Steyn
Peter Vale


Wayne Fredericks (Chairman)
George Burditt
Donald Duster
Petra Harris
Robin Hoen
Helen Kitchen
Joseph LaBonte
John Marcum
Walter Massey
Steven MacDonald
Melvin Miller
Edwin Munger
Stanley Sanders
Witney Schneidman
Putney Westerfield
Oliver Williams

The South African office is headed by Lyn Soudien, director of operations, who reports to a national board of directors chaired by Sydney Maree. He succeeds Prof. Louise Tager and Ambassador Franklin Sonn. USSALEP's U.S. office, headed by executive director, Robin Hoen, reports to its own board of directors chaired by Wayne Fredericks, counsellor-in-residence at The Carnegie Corporation of New York.



P.O. Box 32869
Braamfontein 2017

Tel: (011) 339-6774
Fax: (011) 403-1113



1719 Corcoran Street
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20005

Tel: (202) 293-5410
Fax: (202) 293-5413


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