In Memory of Joel Joffe, Human Rights Lawyer, Advocate, Friend of Ashoka

Joel Joffee

The global Ashoka community lost a friend and champion, Joel Joffe, who died on June 18, 2017.

Originally from South Africa, Lord Joffe was a human rights lawyer who served as a defense attorney for the leadership of the African National Congress, and helped represent Nelson Mandela with whom he maintained a lifelong relationship. He last visited him in Johannesburg in 2010.

After he was forced to leave South Africa and relocated to the United Kingdom, Joel achieved significant success in business while actively pursuing a range of interests in the social sector including mental health and work with global organizations. He pioneered the idea that companies should give away one percent of their profits.

He also championed the field of social entrepreneurship long before it became well known, as well as individual social entrepreneurs. He agreed to join an informal Council of Friends and Advisors of Ashoka, known as the "UK Council," that was critical to the launch of Ashoka in the UK in 2004 and supported fellows in England and around the world. His advice, friendship and wisdom was hugely valued by Ashoka Founder Bill Drayton and members of the Ashoka team in the UK.

The Ashoka global community offers its deepest condolences to members of Joel’s family, his colleagues and friends.

This article was originally published on 14 July 2017

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