In May, 2015, Sir Jose Bright relocated back to the USA, after living and working on the African continent for the last 20 years. He joined the Georgia Center for Nonprofits as a senior consultant.
Previously his work in Africa included consulting with all levels of government in South Africa, regional organisations like the Southern African Development Community and the Media Institute of Southern Africa as well as continental organisation such as the Pan African Parliament, the African Capacity Building Foundation, the NEPAD and African Lawyers Without Borders. Sir Bright has also consulted with the international donor community (e.g.,ACBF, USAID, CIDA, SIDA, GTZ, DFID, DANIDA, UNDP and World Bank). One of his last assignments, he facilitated a Zambian national agency through a restructuring process in order to realign the agency to the country’s new strategic plan. Sir Bright has provided entrepreneurial training and incubation to community groups through SOS Children’s Villages International, Teboho Trust, Oxfam and Wits Rural Facility.
Sir Bright has authored two high school business studies textbooks endorsed by the Wits Business School for MacMillan Publishing. For 15 years, he has lectured part-time at Wits University on strategic management, essentials of entrepreneurship, principles of management, and project management. He was a frequent and popular guest lecturer at the Wits Business School on social entrepreneurship, corporate social investment and business incubation. He has also lectured at the University of Johannesburg to final year community development and leadership degree candidates. For the last three years, Sir Bright supervised over 50 community development interns from the University of Johannesburg placed with community organisations. He also tutored South African government officials participating in the University of London, Centre for Financial & Management Studies and Centre for Education in Economics and Finance.Africa masters programme.
Due to his consulting work with national and provincial departments of education, in 2001 Sir Bright founded Teboho Trust – a highly successful and sought after supplemental educational support platform for orphan, vulnerable and at-risk children and adolescents (OVCs) as well as a small business development / incubation component for the caregivers of the OVCs in Soweto, South Africa. (See: www.tebohotrust.org.za). The people-centred model is supported and owned by the community and receives international acclaim and acknowledgement.
Sir Bright is a Clark Atlanta University Public Administration Department Advisory Board Member. He is a former board member of the University of Johannesburg Advisory Board on Community Engagment and a founding member and board member of Amazing Grace African Church of God. He was a mentor for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Programme and was a fellow in the Gordon Institute of Business Science ImagiNation 2009 programme for senior leaders in the private, public and NGO sectors.
Sir Bright is a Knight of Honor in the Orthodox Order of St. John Russian Grand Priory – the oldest Christian humanitarian order in the world dating back to 1046A.D, which is under the spiritual protection of the Russian Orthodox Churches and imperial protection of the House of Romanov. He has a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish Literature from Loyola Marymount University as well as a Juris Doctor in Law from Loyola Law School, both in Los Angeles, California. When he previously resided in the USA, he was licensed to practice law by both the Supreme Court of the State of California and the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. Prior to 1995, Sir Bright served in very senior appointed positions in government (both legislative and executive branches) as well as a government think tank, the private sector and several public boards and commissions in Washington, DC.
Lessons from the Show: What Poverty Means To You
Jose talked to us about his life in Africa, about what brought him to Georgia, and about the passions that drive him, and he offered us many wonderful lessons that point us towards an authentic, happy and fulfilling life and career including:
- We should see poverty as more than a lack of subsistence: it includes low self-esteem, a feeling of not being loved, and a feeling of being disconnected;
- He learned in Africa that it really does take a village to raise a child, and that points to a collective way of living that is beyond much of what we frequently conceive;
- It is important to cultivate a holistic and collected approach.
You can contact Jose through his website, JoseBright.com and you can find out more about his work at the following locations:
- TEDx Talk;
- American Broadcasting Corporation Nightline article
This is episode # 113