The DNA Project is a Non-profit, Public Benefit Organisation which is made up of seven Board Members, one of which is the Executive Director and three of which are Directors:
Vanessa Lynch (Founder & Executive Director)
Vanessa Lynch, a qualified commercial attorney, left her job in 2005, in order to run the DNA Project on a full-time basis. Vanessa decided to stand up and be counted after her father was murdered during a robbery in 2004. Realising the vital role that DNA evidence could play in investigating crime, she gave up her career as an attorney and began lobbying to expand the existing DNA database in South Africa. Vanessa’s legal background and her acquired skills in drafting and research, together with an innate determination and ability to ‘think on her feet’, are the ingredients required to fulfill the objectives of the DNA Project.
Carolyn Hancock (Director)
Carolyn Hancock has a Ph.D in Genetics and was a genetics lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal for fifteen years. After watching an episode of Carte Blanche in 2007 in which Vanessa spoke about the important work being undertaken by the DNA Project, Carolyn felt she could help in developing a postgraduate qualification in Forensic Biology. She contacted Vanessa immediately and subsequently became part of the DNA Project team. Her scientific knowledge, passion for teaching and desire to help make South Africa a safer place to live, have assisted the DNA Project in achieving it’s objectives in terms of developing skilled analysts for work at the forensic laboratory as well as educating people on the benefits of DNA evidence in crime detection and prevention.
Allan Thomson (Director)
Allan became involved in the DNA Project following his brother, Mike Thomson’s brutal murder in September 2007. Allan is a Trustee of the Change a Life Trust which supports the DNA Project, its main objective being to create a safe and peaceful future for all South African citizens.
Rob Matthews (Director)
Rob Matthews has held numerous leadership positions in the South African ICT industry. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a Masters degree from Wits University. Rob is the father of Leigh Matthews, whose life was brought to a tragic end at only 21 years of age. The community and the country gave the Matthews family overwhelming support that helped them cope and deal with this tragedy, and motivated them to set up the Leigh Matthews Trust, in memory of their daughter and all victims of violent crime.
Stan Lorge (Member)
Stan Lorge is the CEO of Computershare which he took up following a career in stockbroking. After doing his BCom at Wits, he completed articles at Coopers & Lybrand and then worked at Kaplan & Stewart for 15 years, where he became finance director and the second-largest shareholder. From 1998-2000 he was compliance officer and MD of O’Flaherty Sundelson. He joined Computershare in 2000 and became CEO in 2004.
Dr Stuart Geldenhuys (Member)
After Dr Geldenhuys completed his internship in 1991 he spent some time working in the UK as Senior House Officer, before returning to South Africa and taking up the post of Registrar in General Surgery (1995) and subsequently Plastic Surgery (1999) at the University of Cape Town. He was appointed as Senior Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town in 2003. He left this position in April 2006 to concentrate on his private practice but maintains an interest as a part-time consultant in registrar training of reconstructive techniques and cosmetic surgery. Following Dr Geldenhuys’ acceptance as a fellow of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of South Africa in 2003, he has been in private practice.