Name: Dr Ruben Richards
Born: Cape Town South Africa (b.1960, 59 years old)
Profession: Blue collar tradesman with a PhD
Education: USA, Europe and South Africa
Career highlights: Executive Secretary of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Former Deputy Head of South Africa’s FBI.
Ruben is a South African, born in Cape Town – at a time when race classification was mandatory in South Africa. Consequently, Apartheid South Africa classified Ruben as a Cape Coloured, one of seven different types of Coloureds. Ruben’s work life started as a worker in a clothing factory. He has since developed into a multi-skilled South African – author, speaker and teacher – including being a blue-collar tradesman (fitter and turner) with a PhD awarded in 1995 in the social sciences from the University of Cape Town.
He specialised in Biblical Literature and Religious Studies. He also holds degrees from the USA (Michigan) and Switzerland (Zürich) as well as qualifications in mechanical engineering. Ruben is widely travelled across North America, Europe and Africa and has accumulated a wealth of experience and expertise in both the public and private sector where he has held executive levels positions. Ruben is the quintessential African Renaissance professional.
Ruben is better known to many for his role alongside Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission where he was responsible for the Human Rights Violation Committee in the capacity of Executive Secretary.
Ruben continues his local and international peace building and restorative initiatives through his Foundation, a South African registered non-profit organisation established in 2012. The Foundation works extensively with the Khoi and San community.
Ruben lives in Cape Town, South Africa, has been married to Carol for 34 years and they have two adult children, Mpilo (27 years old) and Nomsa (23 years old).