Prof. Julian MAY

Julian May is the Director of the NRF-DST Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape. Before this he was the Director of the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal having previously been employed in the private sector for eight years.

During his 30 year career, he has worked on options for poverty reduction including land reform, social grants, information technology and urban agriculture in Africa and in the Indian Ocean Islands. He has also worked on the development and use of systems for monitoring the impact of policy using official statistics, impact assessment and action research. His current research focuses on food security, childhood deprivation and malnutrition.

He has been an associate researcher at Oxford University, the University of Manchester and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He has also been a visiting researcher at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Ruhr University Bochum, Sorbonne Paris 1 and the University of Cape Town.  He currently serves on the South African Statistics Council and he was a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the International Comparisons Programme, led by the World Bank.  He has served on Expert Group meetings convened by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF).  He has consulted for the World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

He is a Member of the Academy of Science in South Africa, is the President of the South African Development Studies Association and is a Research Fellow in the Comparative Research Programme of Poverty at the University of Bergen.  He is an associate editor of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities and of Development Southern Africa.

In 2009 the South African National Research Foundation awarded him a Tier Research Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment, and in 2013, the Directorship of a Centre of Excellence. He has edited 6 books and published over 70 papers in books and academic journals.