Dr Greg Mills is director of the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation.
Educated at the Universities of Cape Town (BA and BA Hons) and Lancaster (MA and PhD), he taught at the Universities of the Western Cape and Cape Town from 1990-1994. Between 1994 and 1996 he was the Director of Studies at the SA Institute of International Affairs, and from 1996-2005 its National Director.
In 2008 he was deployed as Strategy Advisor to the President of Rwanda. From 2007-12 he directed the Secretariat to the Presidential International Advisory Board in Mozambique, and from 2012-14 the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Economy of Malawi. In 2006 he was on assignment in Kabul as head of the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Prism strategic analysis group, and was seconded to ISAF in Kandahar also with Prism in 2010, and to HQ ISAF again in Kabul in 2012. Dr Mills is widely published on international affairs, development and security, a regular columnist for South African and international newspapers, and the author of the best-selling books ‘Why Africa is Poor – and what Africans can do about it’ (Penguin: 2010) and, with Jeffrey Herbst (former President of the Washington DC-based Newseum), ‘Africa’s Third Liberation’ (Penguin: 2012).
Based on his peace-building experiences, in 2011 he jointly edited, with General Sir David Richards, ‘Victory Among People: Lessons from Countering Insurgencies and Stabilising Fragile States’ (2011: Royal United Services Institute), and in 2013 published ‘Somalia-- Fixing Africa’s Most Failed State’ (Tafelberg) with Peter Pham and David Kilcullen.
In 2009 he was a visiting fellow at the Centre for African Studies at Cambridge University. In 2013 he was appointed to the African Development Bank’s High-Level Panel on Fragile States. In 2014 he was a visiting senior fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He also serves on the visiting faculty of Nato’s Higher Defence College, the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, and the SA National Defence College.
‘Why States Recover’ (Panmacmillan/Hurst/OUP) was launched in South Africa in July 2014, detailing his peace and state building experiences across two dozen case-studies.
In 2014-15 he undertook a major project on the South African economy in collaboration with Dr Herbst. Based on more than 300 interviews across the country it was published in July 2015 as ‘How South Africa Works – and must do better’ (Panmacmillan/Hurst/OUP).
In October 2015 he completed a study on Colombia’s post-conflict governance experience with Dr Kilcullen, Dr David Spencer, and General Dickie Davis, which has appeared as ‘A Great Perhaps? Colombia: Conflict and Convergence’ (Hurst/OUP) and ‘¿UN GRAN QUIZÁS? Colombia: Conflicto y convergencia’ (Planeta).
In 2017 together with Dr Herbst, General Davis and President Olusegun Obasanjo, the chair of the Foundation, he has published ‘Making Africa Work: A Handbook for Economic Success’ (Tafelberg/OPL/ Hurst/OUP).
His leisure interests include motorsport, for which he received his national colours in 2016. He is married to the artist Janet Wilson and their three children -- Amelia, Beatrix and William -- keep his feet firmly on the ground.
Greg Mills, Tendai Biti24 June 2020