Dr. Michael Kahn works as a policy analyst on research and innovation. He has been advisor to the South African Ministers
of Education, and Science and Technology, a Chief Director in the Gauteng Provincial Government, analyst in the Centre for Education Policy Development, Professor of science education in Botswana and South Africa, and Executive Director of the Human Sciences Research Council. He holds a PhD in mathematical physics (Imperial College) and MA in education policy (London).
He is a presently a consultant to governments, multilateral and donor organizations, and Professor Extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch.
Michael’s contributions to education policy include the SYSTEM initiative, the Dinaledi Schools Project, and the ICT in Education strategy of the Department of Education. He also had the opportunity to author the White Paper on Arts and Culture of 1996.
He has contributed to innovation policy in South Africa through the Green and White Papers on Science and Technology, leading and designing the startup of the National Research and Technology Foresight study, and authoring the Foresight Synthesis Report. In 2002 he founded the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) at the Human Sciences Research Council where he was responsible for South Africa’s official R&D and Innovation surveys. His other contributions include the Performance Measurement System for the Science Councils, a study on mobility - Flight of the Flamingoes, and co-authorship of the 2012 Report of the Ministerial Review Committee on the STI Landscape.
Recent assignments cover projects for the World Bank, UNESCO, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Social Science Council, the International Gas Union, European Science Foundation, Finnish Government, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, and African Union/ NEPAD S&T initiatives. He has advised the governments of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Qatar and Zimbabwe.
Dr. Kahn was a member of the Ministerial Review Committee on the Science, Technology and Innovation System over 2010-2012, is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, a board member of the Agriculture Research Council, and serves on the advisory board of the journal Research Policy. He is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences and publishes in the academic literature.