Students on boards in South Africa
Who We Are
Kouv Changsangva (Tin)
General Manager
Kunsak Phan
Finance Officer
Orng  Taung
Program Officer
Sokha Heng
Community Educator
Vuyolwethu  Cekiso
Programs Officer
Dorothy Dongo
Finance Officer
Sarah Ngwenya
Community Educator
Nita Wink
Executive Coach and fresh thinker
Nita began her career at PwC in the Netherlands and specialized in International Development, working with International Financial Institutions and NGOs, including working in Afghanistan over ten years. After 24 years and nine years as partner at PwC, Nita started her own business, FNX Company, providing executive consulting in leadership development and team coaching. Nita has been an adviser to Skateistan since 2015 and is chair of our Netherlands fundraising entity.
Dr. Simon Adams
Executive Director of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect
Simon became Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in 2011, the world’s leading research and advocacy organization for advancing mass atrocity prevention and the international norm of the Responsibility to Protect at the UN and beyond. He is a former anti-apartheid activist and has authored four books and numerous articles on international conflict. Simon was instrumental in helping Skateistan establish the Skate School in Johannesburg.
Tony Hawk
Professional Skateboarder and Philanthropist
Tony is the most influential skateboarder of all time. During his extraordinary career he has won a multitude of skateboarding contests, made numerous film appearances, and launched his own video game series to huge success. In 2002 he established the Tony Hawk Foundation to help disadvantaged communities and children build quality skateparks. In early 2014 the Tony Hawk Foundation approved a multi-year grant to Skateistan, to support skateboarding outside of the US.
Mimi Knoop
Professional skateboarder and Co-founder of the Women's Skateboard Alliance
Mimi is one of the world’s most respected skateboarders and has claimed five X Games medals in women’s vert and titles at some of the world’s most prestigious bowl contests. Mimi has been dedicated to growing skateboarding for girls and women by co-founding The Alliance, Hoopla Skateboards, and Women’s Skateboard Alliance (WSA). In 2009, through The Alliance and ESPN, Mimi helped achieve prize purse parity for men and women at X Games. WSA co-produced the first ever Women’s World Championship at Street League in 2015.
Cathy Obrecht
Originally from Detroit, Cathy moved to Tucson, Arizona in the mid-80s to find a larger skate scene. Cathy was in charge of content for Transworld Media, producing and directing the Snowboard Video Magazine from 1993-2001 and has also worked for Epitaph Records, Standard Films, Sessions and The Firm. Cathy has spent time in Zambia and established the Swaha Group to support projects run exclusively for girls, such as Waka Simba, Camfed, Chiawa Clinic, and the Chiawa Volunteer House. Cathy has visited Skateistan projects in South Africa and Cambodia.
Holly Thorpe
Associate Professor, University of Waikato
Holly is Associate Professor at Te Huataki Waiora / Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance at the University of Waikato (New Zealand). She is a sociologist of sport and physical culture, with research interests including youth, gender, women’s health, action sports, and sport for development. She has published six books and over 60 articles and chapters, and has been a recipient of Fulbright and Leverhulme Fellowships as well as a Royal Society grant. Holly has worked with Skateistan since 2012 on various research projects and in 2016, she established the Action Sports for Development and Peace website.
Dr Neftalie Williams
Neftalie is a sociologist and USC Provost’s Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and Yale Schwarzman Center Visiting Fellow in Race, Culture & Community. He investigates global issues of race, diversity, identity, and youth empowerment, using the lens of action sports culture. Neftalie is an ‘Ambassador of Skateboarding’ and envoy to the US State Dept and founded The Nation Skate, a series of public panels, lectures, skateboarding demonstrations and media that explores the relationship between race, diversity, and diplomacy through skateboarding, academia, and popular culture. Neftalie joined the Skateistan Board in 2020.
Oliver Percovich
Founder and Executive Director
Hala Khalaf
Deputy Executive Director
Cyndi Mendoza
Programs Director
Felix Spowage
Development Director
Rhianon Bader
Program Manager (Goodpush)
Jessica Faulkner
Communications Manager
Janina Miketta
Development Manager
Mbali Mthethwa
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager
James Green
Development Officer