Darias Jonker analyzes the political economy of Southern Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Mozambique, and Angola. He focuses on the evolving nature of political leadership in the region as it moves from the liberation era into a more competitive political space, with impacts for mining, oil and gas, agriculture, retail, communications, and financial services.
A former South African diplomat, Darias has high-level experience with foreign relations in the region, particularly as they relate to the US, China, and Japan. Among other assignments, he worked in the South African Embassy in Washington during both Obama administrations and also supported African delegations participating in the US-Africa Leader Summit, the Forum for China Africa Cooperation, and the Tokyo International Conference on African Development. In Washington, he was an active member of the Rising Leaders Council of the Meridian International Center and the Emerging Powers Forum of the German Marshall Fund. In addition, Darias established a government relations consulting firm in Cape Town and advised international investors and South African corporations on international transactions and public policy issues. He earned a master's degree in futures studies and scenario planning, a graduate degree in international relations, and a bachelor's degree in politics, philosophy, and economics—all from the University of Stellenbosch. He grew up on an ostrich farm in the Little Karoo region of the Western Cape.