Founding member and the current director of PASSOP, Braam Hanekom's childhood in Zimbabwe strongly influenced his views on refugees. An activist in the fight for the rights of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees, Hanekom writes a weekly column for newspaper, The Zimbabwean. Between the end of 2007 and early 2008, he was arrested four times for different protest actions: in three of the four arrests, charges were withdrawn by the state. Although an active member of the ANC, he is also a strong critic of the government's shortcomings. Hanekom serves on the board with civil society representatives from COSATU, SWEAT and Workers World among others. He is a laureate of the 2008 Inyathelo award for youth in philanthropy, and in 2011 was chosen by the Mail and Guardian as one of it's 200 young South Africans.
Kevin Govender has been head of the global office of Astronomy for Development since 2011 as its first director. Kevin attained extensive experience using astronomy for development during his previous position as the manager of the SALT Collateral Benefits Programme at the South African Astronomical Observatory. He also chaired the Developing Astronomy Globally Cornerstone Project of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) and was involved in the development of the IAU Strategic Plan.