Mr. J.R. Hersov | Mr. M. Read | Dr. J.S. Berger | Mrs. J.S. Evans | Prof. L.R. Berger | Dr. W.A. Haseltine

William A Haseltine


William A. Haseltine PhD has an active career in Science, Business and Philanthropy. He was a professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health from 1976-1993 where he was Founder and the Chair of two a cademic research departments the Division of Biochemical Pharmacology and the Division of Human Retrovirology. He is well known for his pioneering work on cancer, HIV/AIDS and genomics. He has authored more than 200 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. He is the Founder of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. and served as the Chairman and CEO of the Company for twelve years. He is also the Founder of several other successful biotechnology companies. Eight pharmaceutical products from companies he founded are currently approved by US and international regulatory agencies.

William Haseltine is currently Chairman and President of ACCESS Health International, Inc., a Foundation active in the United States, India, China, Singapore, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Philippines ( He is also Chairman Haseltine Foundation for Science and the Arts.He is a founder and CEO of Demetrix, Inc., a biotechnology company specialized in pain and anxiety medications and a founder and member of the board of X-VAX a company developing a novel Herpes simplex vaccine.

Dr Haseltine is a member of the Advisory Board of the IE University, Madrid, a Lifetime Governor of the New York Academy of Sciences, a Trustee of the New York Academy of Medicine, and of the Lee Berger Trust for Paleoanthropology, SouthAfrica. He is Trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the advisory council on Creativity and Innovation of the NYU-Shanghai University, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the Chairman of the US-China Health Summit.

He is a patron of the Metropolitan Opera, the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Asia Society. He is a Member of Board of Directors of the Young Concert Artists, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas.

William Haseltine is the author of two recent books Affordable Excellence:The Singapore Healthcare Story(2013) and Aging with Dignity: Innovation and Challenge in Sweden, the Voice of Healthcare Professionals (2017)


Jane Evans

In her early career Jane Evans worked as a journalist for the Rand Daily Mail newspaper in Johannesburg. This culminated in her being made editor of the Mail’s Women’s Pages in 1975 prior to her marriage to Anthony Evans a well-known and respected farmer and businessman in the Free State province of South Africa.

In her new role as a farmer’s wife, Jane founded ‘Ntataise’ a not for profit organisation which pioneered early childhood education for the children of farm workers and children growing up in some of South Africa’s poorest areas. The organisation provided farm workers wives and women in rural areas with the knowledge and skills to establish and run pre-schools which offered children opportunities for early learning in safe, healthy and stimulating environments. Ntataise has grown to become one of the leading non-government organisations operating in the field of early childhood development in many disadvantaged communities in South Africa. It forms the core of a Network of early childhood development organisations based in six of this country’s nine provinces which reaches some 120 000 pre-school aged children on an annual basis.

Jane has held positions on a number of government bodies involved in the early childhood development field as well as serving as a trustee on a number of trusts not involved in early learning. These include the Helen Suzman Foundation, a think tank which aims to uphold Constitutional Democracy in South Africa, The St Anne’s School Board of governors, PAST and the Lee Berger Foundation for Exploration Trust. Jane has a particular interest in palaeoanthropology, palaeontology and archaeology.

She has received a number of awards including “Woman of the Year” awarded by the Star newspaper in Johannesburg, The Johannesburg College of Education’s Rectors Gold medal, “for exceptional contribution to education in South Africa”, and the Chancellors Medal awarded by the University of Pretoria.

Jane’s husband Anthony Rhys Evans recently died.

She has three married daughters and a son.


James Hersov


James was co-founder and joint managing director of Otterbea International and then served on the board and executive committee of Anglovaal Limited. He served on the board of Aveng Limited and was also a member of its audit and risk committee. He was a managing director of Veracity Worldwide LLC and was the executive chairman of Amatheon Agri Zambia.

He is currently a director of AVI Limited and is also a member of its audit and risk committee and also a partner in a corporate advisory firm. He has produced and directed several international award winning documentaries on anthropological subjects. As a qualified pilot he has flown himself around much of southern and East Africa and was also a licenced paraglider and skydiver. He is a keen hiker and scuba diver. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and The Explorers Club and holds an M.A. from the University of Cambridge.

Dr Jacqueline Smilg / Berger

MBBCh, Dip Pec (SA), FF Rad (D) (SA)

Dr. Jacqueline Smilg graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in 1988 with an MBBCh (Cum Laude) winning a University of Witwatersrand Entrance Scholarship, the Convocation Prize and the Isaac Kushlick Memorial Prize for Physics during her study years. She completed her FF Rad [D] (SA) in 1994, winning a Standard Bank Postgraduate Scholarship during her registrar time. Dr. Smilg holds a Diploma in Emergency Medicine (Dip Pec [SA]) and served as an Emergency Room Medical Officer at Hillbrow Hospital in 1990. She served as a Registrar on the Johannesburg Academic Radiology Circuit between 1991 and 1994. She has worked as a diagnostic Radiologist in the State Hospital system since 1995, serving in the Radiology Departments at Hillbrow Hospital and the Johannesburg General Hospital (now the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital). She has held numerous positions including acting Head of Department at the Johannesburg General Hospital (2000-2004) and currently holds an appointtment as a Principal Radiologist at Charlotte Maxeke, where she is Head of the Breast Imaging Department.

Dr. Smilg also holds a joint appointment as a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand and has extensive teaching experience at the postgraduate level. She completed an Observership in Breast Imaging at Stanford University, USA in 2014. She has significant work experience in the private sector, largely specializing in breast imaging. She is a member of a number of professional and academic societies and serves as Chair of the Breast Imaging Society of South Africa (BISSA), a specialty sub group of the Radiology Society of South Africa (RSSA). She has delivered a number of invited lectures and has several academic publications largely related to radiology and radiological imaging. Dr.Smilg has co-authored a book on Handling Emergencies in the Cradle of Humankind. She is presently enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand undertaking Ph.D. studies in Palaeoanthropology.

Dr. Smilg has travelled extensively.

She is married and has two children.

Prof. Lee R. Berger


Prof. Lee R. Berger Ph.D. D.Sc. FRSSAf ASSAf is an award-winning researcher, explorer, author and speaker. He has been recognized by Time Magazine in 2016 as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.  He is the recipient of the National Geographic Society’s first Prize for Research and Exploration and the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award and was the 2016 National Geographic Society’s Rolex Explorer of the Year.    His work has brought him recognition as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and the South African Academy of Sciences and prominent advisory positions including the Chairmanship of the Fulbright Commission of South Africa, the Senior Advisory Board of the Global Young Academy and the Centre of Excellence in PalaeoSciences of South Africa among many others. He is a South African Ambassador for Tourism, Conventions and Business Events. He has been awarded several humanitarian awards including the Boy Scout Medal of Honor for saving a life and the Red Cross Certificate of Merit. In addition his efforts in conservation have been recognized by the William T. Hornaday Award and Georgia’s Youth Conservationist of the Year.

His explorations into human origins on the African continent, Asia and Micronesia for the past two and a half decades have resulted in many new discoveries, including the discovery of two new species of early human relatives – Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi.  His contributions to exploration sciences have also resulted in advances in the field of applied exploration methods and the application of technology to exploration, excavation and discovery.

He is the author of more than two hundred scholarly and popular works including more than 100 refereed papers and a number of academic and popular books on palaeontology, natural history, and exploration.  His work has been featured three times on the cover of Science, and has been named the top 100 science stories of the year by Time, Scientific American and Discover Magazine on numerous occasions. He has appeared in many television documentaries on subjects related to archaeology, palaeoanthropology and natural history. Berger is an international recognized proponent of open access science and open sourcing.

He has founded the not for profit Lee R. Berger Foundation for Exploration and was a founder of the Palaeoanthropological Scientific Trust and a founding Trustee of the Jane Goodall Society of South Africa.  He is Director of both the Malapa site and Rising Star excavations, the latter resulting in the discovery of the largest primitive hominin assemblage in history.

He is an avid diver and adventurer and holds a PADI Divemaster certificate among many other specialties.

Berger was born in Shawnee Mission Kansas and grew up in rural Georgia.  He was awarded his Eagle Scout in 1983 achieving his silver and gold palms and has been recognized as a Distinguished Eagle Scout by the Eagle Scouts Association of America. Berger co-authored the Boy Scouts of America Exploration Merit badge launched in 2017. Berger is a Kappa Sigma Alumnus.

Berger is presently the Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and an Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. He is also the Division Director of Palaeoanthropology in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand. He holds a Ph.D. in palaeoanthropology and a Doctor of Science in the same field.


Mark Read

Mark Read is the Director of the Everard Read and CIRCA group of contemporary art galleries situated in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London. Mark completed his tertiary education in Zoology and Archaeology at Cape Town University. Since than he has involved himself closely with Palaeontology both in Southern and East Africa. Mark was a founding Trustee of the Paleoanthropological Scientific Trust (PAST). More recently he has joined the board of the Turkana Basin Institute which is concerned with research in human evolution in the Northern Rift Valley.

Mark is a long serving board member of WWF (South Africa). He was chairman of this organization for 10 years.

Mark is married to Christine and has two daughters – Lucy and Frances.