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Centre of African Studies: People


Johanna Holtan

Johanna Holtan
Johanna Holtan
Program Manager, MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Edinburgh University
Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
0131 651 1324

Johanna manages the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.  Over seven years, the Scholars Program will support at least 200 talented African students to complete study at the University of Edinburgh alongside extracurricular training in leadership, entrepreneurship and service to their communities and countries.

Johanna specialises in designing and developing programmes, communities of practice, and brands for social good across various sectors including higher education, active transport, sport & culture, and social enterprise. She has spent the past six years working in collaboration with staff and students at Edinburgh University to build initiatives focused on social innovation, experiential learning, and global citizenship. These include the University’s festival of creative learning, EUSA Global, Ed2020, the Gather Festival, and TEDx University of Edinburgh.

In addition to studying international development, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer and USAID programme consultant in Georgia to help build capacity within a network of women’s health organisations.

Johanna is also the Director of Go Jo, a creative event consultancy and Tribe Porty, a community workspace in Portobello. She is the co-founder of the award-winning CycleHack, TEDx Portobello, and Penny in Yo’ Pants.

She received the Principal’s Medal for her contributions at the University and the NUS Staff Member of the Year nod for her work at Edinburgh University’s Student Association.