The presidency has announced that first lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe is embarking on an official visit to the US.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to attend the UN General Assembly in New York, but Motsepe has her own official programme.
It includes visiting her alma mater, Harvard University, where she will deliver an address at the Open Summit on Early Childhood Health and Development in South Africa.
She will then attend the unveiling of the Nelson Mandela statue at the United Nations Headquarters.
The presidency issued Dr Motsepe’s impressive list of qualifications and leadership roles:
Dr Motsepe holds a Master of Public Health in maternal child health and aging from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is a qualified medical doctor, holding a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has also completed a Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).
Dr Motsepe has worked in private practice and in hospitals including Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital in South Africa and Parirenyatwa Hospital in Zimbabwe – each the largest in their countries. She also worked with the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute which is a leading African research institute focusing on sexual, reproductive health and HIV research. She has also served as Chairperson of the Gauteng Health Department’s Accreditation Committee.
Dr Motsepe is currently the Chairperson of African Self Help Trust (ASHA), a non-profit organisation which provides early childhood development support programmes for home based crèches in disadvantaged communities.