Dr Clifford Nxomani

Dr Clifford Nxomani

Dr Clifford Nxomani is the National Research Foundation (NRF) Deputy Chief Executive Officer: National Research Infrastructure Platforms.

He is a driven leader and a strategic thinker who has a wealth of research management experience, having spent 24 years in the academic, research and scientific environment. Of the 24 years, 17 were spent at the NRF part of which were at the South African Astronomical Observatory, where he was manager responsible for the Southern African Large Telescope Collateral Benefits Programme. Dr Nxomani also spent two years at the South African Medical Research Council as an Executive Manager responsible for research administration and management.


Prior to his appointment in his current role, Dr. Nxomani was the Managing Director of the National Zoological Gardens (NZG), a position he held for nine years. As the Managing Director of the NZG he provided executive leadership to a complex and multi-faceted business unit with over 300 staff members. He led the transformation of the NZG from a classical zoo to a research-intensive entity and placed it on a trajectory to claim its place as a credible National Research Facility.  A key strategy followed in the transformation of the NZG was the establishment of research and technology platforms to underpin the research programmes and activities of the organization. This entailed acquisition of state-of-the-art research equipment and recruitment of suitably skilled individuals.

In his current role as Deputy CEO: National Research Infrastructure Platforms, Dr Nxomani is responsible for leading the portfolio of National Research Facilities that currently operate in the following clusters: Astronomy and Geosciences; Biodiversity, Environment and Conservation sciences; and Nuclear sciences. In addition, Dr Nxomani is responsible for establishing and provisioning national research infrastructure located at universities and research institutions. In this function Dr. Nxomani plays an important role in defining the national strategy for securing appropriate national infrastructure for research and for their potential declaration as national facilities.


Dr. Nxomani holds a doctoral qualification in molecular genetics from Rhodes University which he obtained based on the research he conducted while working at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity.