Diploma in Library and Information Science and BA (Honours) from the University of the Western Cape.
Appointed: 14 November 2014
Nationality: South African
Ms Barends is the chairperson, trustee and board member of a number of civil society institutions including
Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement. She has a long history of involvement in arts and culture through the Cape Cultural Collective as well as a strong track record in human rights activism. She served as the Western Cape Head of Investigations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – a commission chaired by Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
In her current portfolio she is a senior executive and chief of staff at Independent Media. Her portfolio includes coordinating the involvement of the Sekunjalo Group in the BRICS Business Council and the South Africa Saudi Arabia Business Council. She is also responsible for coordinating the Sekunjalo Group’s various World Economic Forum activities, which include the Group’s involvement in the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals and the Global Growth Companies Advisory Board.
Major directorships: Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement.