Our AECIT team comprises of reputable academic experts, industry leaders, and policy influencers.

Executive Director

The executive director is responsible for the daily management of Centre. The first executive director of AECIT is Dr Stefan Schepers, visiting professor European Studies at Henley Business School (UK).
Professor Dr. Stefan Schepers

Stefan Schepers is secretary general of the independent tripartite High Level Group on Trade Policy Innovation (www.highlevelgroup.eu) which is focusing on more inclusive and sustainable trade policy making. He is visiting professor at Henley Business School (Reading, UK).

In addition, he is chairman of EPPA (www.eppa.com). Before, he was director general of the European Institute of Public Administration (Maastricht, NL). His work in recent years focused on policy innovation and governance modernization.

His recent publications are Revolutionising EU Innovation Policy, 2016 (co-editor Klaus Gretschmann), and Innovation, Governance and Entrepreneurship in Middle Income Countries, 2017 (co-editor Sefer Sener).


Lead faculty for entrepreneurship and capacity acceleration
Member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) and of the President’s BEE Advisory Council, with special responsibility for rural and township economies and for small business strategies. Special Advisor to the SA Ministry of Small Business Development. Chairman of the South African Finance Exchange (SAFE). Former director of the Centre for Small Business Development at the University of Johannesburg, former professor of entrepreneurship at the Universities of Fort Hare and Western Cape. Thami Mazwai studied at the Universities of Pretoria (SA), Oxford (UK) and Harvard (USA) and has an MBA from Henley Business School (UK).
Academic Director for the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship (UK), Professor of Management and Business History, Programme Director for the MSc Entrepreneurship and Management Andrew Godley is Head of the School of Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour. He joined the University of Reading in 1991 after completing his PhD at the London School of Economics (UK). His research focusses on the economics of entrepreneurship and innovation. He has been a consultant to several leading firms and government departments and is a frequent commentator in the broadcast and written media on industry trends.

Lead faculty for innovation ecosystem development
Member of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of SA, professor of physics and research group leader at the CSIR, and chairman of Innovation Based Entreprises SA. Thembela Hillie studied at the University of the Free State (SA) and was a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (Stuttgart, Germany). He got an MBA of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management (USA) and Harvard Business School (USA).

Lead faculty for trade policy and implementation
Professor of International Business and Strategy at the Henley Business School (UK) He is also Guest Professor at CIRCLE (Lund University, Sweden) and a Research Fellow of Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano (Italy). His publications have appeared in leading journals. He has been involved in a number of international collaborative research projects and acted as an advisor to the European Commission and other international organizations. Davide is also Director of Postgraduate Research Studies within the International Business and Strategy unit. He is a member of the independent tripartite High-Level Group on Trade Policy Innovation (Brussels, B).