Rooksana Omar
Chief Executive Officer: Iziko Museums of South Africa

Rooksana Omar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Iziko Museums of South Africa, a national Flagship Museum, comprising of 11 museums, a planetarium, the Social History Centre which are located in Cape Town, South Africa.  She is a Director on the Groote Constantia Trust which was one of the earliest wine farms in Cape Town.  Rooksana has worked in museums since 1987.  In 2001 to 2003 she was the President of the South African Museums Association, she has also served as an Executive Board Member of the International Commission on Museums in South Africa (September 2006 – September 2008) and became the President of ICOM-South Africa (2010-2013). In 2002 she participated in the Salzburg Seminar as a guest of the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs Communities and Culture, November 2002.  She served as the President of the Commonwealth of Museums (2011-2017) and currently serves on the Ethics standing committee of the International Committee of Museums (ICOM). In 2019 she was appointed to serve on the Board of International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).  In March 2020 Rooksana was the recipient of the Commonwealth Association of Museums, Cowrie Circle in recognition of serving “the global museum community through her commitment to fostering the role of museums as agencies of human rights and social justice internationally”.  She has extensive experience in transforming heritage institutions in the post- apartheid era at the Local History Museums, Durban; as Acting Director of eThekwini Heritage, eThekwini Municipality; and the Luthuli Museum, Groutville, Kwa Dukuza.  She has also played a role on numerous heritage transformation projects and continues to do so.  

At the Iziko Museums of South Africa her work continues to break through issues relating to societal issues, stimulating active citizenship, and makes it possible for these museums to become as catalysts for social change.  Under her governance Iziko Museums of South Africa has provided valuable spaces for critical debates enhancing democracy and playing a vital role in reaching our goal of building an inclusive society and economy.  At the Iziko Museums of South Africa programmes are geared toward seeking to foster a sense of belonging and identity, increased understanding of diversity and the times we live in, and we encourage self-awareness, personal growth and improve the quality of life through providing inspiration and leisure for the audiences that visit these museums.  We strive to ensure that our offerings explores issues that are critical within contemporary society, and relevant to a diverse audience.