Lael Bethlehem


Bethlehem is currently Director REI Development Management (Property Investment) in Standard Bank’s Corporate Investment Banking division.

She is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Johannesburg Development Agency, and prior to this was the Director of Economic Development for the City of Johannesburg from mid-2002 to mid-2005. In that role, Bethlehem was responsible for the implementation of the Joburg Growth and Development Strategy, and in particular for the City's economic programmes, as well as oversight of the City's economic development agencies.

Before joining the City of Johannesburg Bethlehem was Chief Director of Forestry at the National Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, a post she held for four years. As Chief Director she led the country's forestry programme and represented South Africa in international forestry negotiations including at the United Nations.

Bethlehem’s appointment as Chief Director of Forestry followed a period as an economic researcher at Nedlac (Research co-ordinator 1996-1997), the Cosatu research centre, Naledi (senior researcher 1994-1996) and the Industrial Strategy Project (research 1992-1993).

She has published several books including An Industrial Strategy for the Pulp and Paper Industry (UCT Press), The Bottom Line: Labour and Environment in South Africa (UCT Press) which she co-edited with Michael Goldblatt as well as numerous papers and media articles. She is a board member of the International Institute for Environment and Development which is an environmental research organisation base

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