Board of the Institute (BoI)

Board Members

Yoko Chhana: Chair of the Board

Yoko Chhana holds a Master of Science (Mathematical Statistics) from University of KwaZulu Natal. She is a staff member in the School of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Witwatersrand and the Past President of the South African Statistical Association

Philip Steyn: Chief Executive Officer

Philip Steyn has a BSc in Business Mathematics and Informatics, BSc Honours in Computer Science and an MSc in Business Mathematics and Informatics (Majors: Bank Risk Management, Data-Mining & Statistics). While studying, he lectured at the PU for CHE and also at the Vaal-Driehoek Technikon. He completed his MSc with a project at ABSA in the field of Event-Driven Marketing. In July 2007 he started Multisoft Consulting (PTY) Ltd. Before starting his own consulting firm, he worked in various statistical and analytical implementation roles in the consulting services and financial services industries. The positions include senior manager of Credit Risk, and Management and Quantitative Modelling consulting at IQ Risk, as well as various roles at ABSA. His first role at ABSA was in the field of Customer Relationship Management and then in Enterprise-Wide Risk Management Development (recently changed to Group Credit, Portfolio Decision and Analysis). Mr Steyn sits on the board of ICCSSA.

Valentina Litvine: Financial Director

Valentina Litvine holds a Masters in Statistics from the University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom. Since graduating, she has worked in Marketing and sales forecasting, as a consultant in the banking industry, and is currently working as a Statistical Analyst at ABSA bank. Ms Litvine is the treasurer of ICCSSA.

Vanessa Ndlovu: Secretary

Vanessa Ndlovu has a BCom (Economics and Econometrics), BCom Hons (General Economics), an MCom (Economics) and is currently doing her PhD (Economics) with thesis topic: The Role of Renewable Energy in determining the optimal Energy mix for South Africa. She is a member of the Economic Society of South Africa (ESSA) and a member of the African Econometric Society (AES). She is currently a Senior Econometrician in the Centre of Energy Analytics at RT&D Eskom.

Dr Inger Fabris-Rotelli, PhD: Director

Inger Fabris-Rotelli holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Pretoria. She currently works at the Department of Statistics, University of Pretoria. Her expertise is Statistics and Applied Mathematics, specifically image analysis and spatial statistics. She is now a Senior Lecturer giving classes to third year and Honours students, as well as coordinating the postgraduate degrees within the department. She is currently supervising a number of Honours students and Masters students, each of whom are looking at a different application of the theory of LULU that she developed, and also the implementation of spatial statistics in image processing, amongst other topics.

Dr Paul Mokilane, PhD: Director

Paul Mokilane holds a PhD in Mathematical Statistics and a Post graduate Diploma in Science from University of the Witwatersrand, a BSc, BSc honours and MSc in Statistics from the University of South Africa. He worked in the Banking industry, education sector, telecommunication sector, research and in the manufacturing industry as a statistician. He is currently working at the CSIR as a Senior Statistician in the Next Generation Enterprise and Institutions (Data science group).

Dr Mark Nasila, PhD: Director

Mark Nasila is currently the Head of Advanced Analytics, Chief Risk Office and Retail Banking at First National Bank since 2014. Mark has a PhD in Mathematical Statistics from NMMU and MSc (cum laude) in Mathematical Statistics from NMMU. He is a Committee Member of First National Bank Consumer Retail Bank Executive Committee, the Chair of First National Bank Advanced Analytics Committee, the First National Bank Data Executive Committee, the Financial Crime Risk Model Validation Committee and First National Bank Non Credit Risk Model Validation. Mark has published five papers.

Dr Ruan Rossouw, PhD: Director

Ruan Rossouw holds a PhD Mathematical Statistics from the University of Stellenbosch. He is currently working as a Senior Scientist in the Sasol Group Technology Industrial Statistics Group. He has more than 20 years’ experience in Industry. He is co-author of seven articles in scientific journals.  He is a Franz Edelman Laureate, and a recipient of the Tom Rozwadowski Medal in 2011 for the best paper published in a peer reviewed journal by ORSSA members.

Dr Caston Sigauke, PhD: Director

Caston Sigauke holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of the Free State and an MSc in Operations from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. He is a member of the: International Institute of Forecasters (IIF), Member ID: 7178; Operations Research Society of South Africa (ORSSA), Member ID 511 and South African Statistical Association (SASA). Caston has published 32 papers in refereed journals and 5 refereed conference proceedings. He has presented 13 papers at international conferences. His fields of professional expertise are lecturing, research and consulting. His fields of expertise are forecasting and time series, statistics of extremes, statistical learning and modelling, exploratory data analysis with applications in probabilistic forecasting in energy and environmental systems. Current research is on probabilistic electricity demand forecasting and solar energy modelling.

Ex-officio Board Members

Ashwell Jenneker: Deputy Director-General, Statistics South Africa

Ashwell Jenneker has been the DDG for Statistical Support and Informatics at Statistics South Africa since 2008. The cluster exists to optimise the use of technology in the production and use of official statistics, to promote and provide better access to official statistics, and to support the production and use of official statistics. Ashwell started his career at Stats SA as a Statistical Training Officer before progressing to Deputy Director of Marketing, Acting Director of Communication for the Census 2001, Executive Manager of Statistical Information Services and Executive Manager of the Data Management and Information Delivery Project (DMID) before his DDG appointment. Ashwell is married and has two sons. His passion is clearly visible on the squash court. He has won numerous squash tournaments and currently plays in the Northern Gauteng squash team. He has a BSc (honours) in mathematics and a higher diploma in education from the University of Western Cape. He is a Fellow of the seventh class of the Africa Leadership Initiative-South Africa.

Prof Maseka Lesaoana, PhD: President of the South African Statistical Association

Maseka Lesaoana, professor in the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at the University of Limpopo, was elected Vice-President of the South African Statistical Association (SASA) during the annual general meeting of the association in 2017, and became SASA President in 2018.  Prof Lesaoana’s research interests are in Applied Statistics and Operations Research.

Past Chairpersons of the ICCSSA Board

Dr Pravesh Debba, PhD: Chairman of the Board 2015 – 2018

Dr Pravesh Debba was born in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He obtained a BSc degree with majors in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in 1991. He completed an Honours degree in Statistics from UKZN in 1992. He was then appointed at UKZN in the Statistics Department in 1993 and at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 1994. In 1998, he completed an MSc degree in Biostatistics at Universiteit Hasselt in Belgium.

He was awarded a full scholarship from the Flemish Ministry of Education during this period. He then joined UKZN as a lecturer in Statistics in 2000. He completed his Ph.D. in Statistics in 2006 from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation ITC and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He was awarded a scholarship from ITC and grants from NRF Thuthuka during 2003–2008. In 2007, he returned to Unisa as an associate professor in the Statistics Department. In 2008, he joined the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR as a senior statistical researcher and promoted to principal statistical researcher in 2009.

Dr Vincent Micali, PhD: Chairman of the Board 2012 – 2015

Dr Vincent Micali, with 37 years of varied experience in the energy industry, has a PhD from the University of the Free State in Extreme Value Theory (Statistics). Dr Micali is one of South Africa’s most knowledgeable people regarding quantitative techniques as applied to energy generation asset utilisation, performance management (target setting) and benchmarking. He plays a leading role in the measurement, estimation and contractual settings in Industrial Companies’ performance. He is also involved with instruments that use complex trending techniques, forecasting and risk analyses; these are applied with foresight and discrete expertise in achieving a delicate balance between enhanced performance, international best practice and hedging of business risks. Dr Micali is particularly interested in the field of measuring and analysing the production of energy behaviour. Born in Asmara (Eritrea) in 1951, lived and attended the French Lyceum in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) till 1969 and immigrated then to South Africa. He is married and lives in Johannesburg.

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