Professor Heidi van Rooyen is the Group Executive of the Impact Centre at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. She is currently the acting Deputy CEO for Research at the HSRC. Her 28-year professional career spans government, higher education, and the science council environments. Heidi is a social scientist and clinical psychologist with an honorary professorship from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also a certified life coach who balances the demands of leadership, with a regular mindfulness practice, poetry and walking.
Heidi has been writing poetry for more than a decade and is particularly excited about the use of poetry in/for/as research. Her poems explore issues of gender, sexuality, race and identity; having read her work at the McGregor and the Lemon Tree Poetry festivals. Heidi has been active in leading efforts to advance the use of poetic inquiry in South Africa. She has presented this work at various international conferences, has trained close to 50 postgraduate students and researchers across the country in poetic inquiry and had her work published in several national and international journals.
She is currently the Chair of a Consortium on Advancing Poetic Inquiry in the Global South who have been granted the rights to host the 8th International Symposium in Poetic Inquiry in May 2021 in South Africa.