Simone Haysom is a Senior Analyst with the Global Initiative with expertise in urban development, corruption and organised crime, and over a decade of experience conducting qualitative fieldwork in challenging environments.
Between 2010 and 2013, she worked for the Overseas Development Institute in London, researching urban displacement in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, and humanitarian policy in conflict zones. Before joining the GI in 2017, she worked as a freelance consultant, researching issues related to conflict, development and organised crime for organisations including Médecins Sans Frontières, the Institute for Security Studies, and the University of Cape Town.
She is the author of The Last Words of Rowan du Preez: Murder and Conspiracy on the Cape Flats, published by Jonathan Ball. She has a Mphil in Geography from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Scholar. She has been a Visiting Academic at the School of African Studies at the University of Oxford, and is currently an associate of the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South research project, based at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Simone has been closely involved with GITOC’s pioneering work on heroin markets in Southern and East Africa, including leading multi-country studies on the development of illicit urban markets across the region. She has also led the development of GITOC’s work on online illicit markets in illegal wildlife products using machine-learning technology and is engaged in mapping transborder illicit charcoal value-chains across East Africa.