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Miriam Altman Director at Altman Advisory


Miriam is recognised as a leading economist, strategist and thought leader.

She is a Commissioner on the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the South African Presidency. She was a significant contributor to SA’s first National Development Plan. Amongst other responsibilities, Miriam leads work on economic revitalisation and restoring the path towards the NDP’s Vision 2030 for employment, poverty eradication and equity. She is also leading work on SOE governance and on digital futures.  

In her private capacity, she advises governments and companies in their economic and commercial strategies and is involved in capital raising. She is an investor in and advisor to digital companies at points of growth inflection.

From 2013-2016, Miriam was Head of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs for the Telkom Group. She was recruited to craft and chart Telkom’s strategic repositioning and turnaround. The success of this programme is reflected in its share value rising by 6 times with significant, sustained improvements in company financials, regulatory matters, customer service and market repositioning.

Miriam was Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa from 2002 to 2013. The “Employment Scenarios” was her flagship at the HSRC. This drew leaders from government, the private sector, labour and academia together over a period of years to define a vision and practical strategies to address extremely high unemployment in South Africa.

Miriam has a BA in economics from McGill University, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in economics from the University of Manchester. She is an Adjunct Professor at Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, University of Cape Town, a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Emerging Markets at CEIBS in Shanghai, and a visiting lecturer at Tsinghua University’s Graduate School of Public Policy and Management and Fudan University’s Economics Department. Miriam has produced more than 100 publications. She was commissioning editor of approximately 400 policy papers and publications, and was guest editor of four special edition journals. These publications can be found at

Agenda Sessions