Vanessa Lynch is the Regional Director of DNAforAfrica, and a Senior Government Affairs Consultant, based in South Africa. She works with agencies throughout Africa under the banner of @DNAforAfrica where she focuses on market development and advocacy services. Vanessa has extensive experience leading nationwide policy initiatives and working with the highest levels of government to advance dynamic legislative and policy changes.
Vanessa served as the Founder and Executive Director of The DNA Project and The DNA Project Africa, both non-profit organizations dedicated to the use of advocacy outreach and forensic expertise to aid the development of DNA databases and casework programs throughout Africa. Vanessa is regarded as a key opinion leader in the field of Forensic DNA policy and has been lauded for her leadership in driving the adoption of legislation to administer South Africa’s National Forensic DNA Database, the first of its kind on the African continent. Serving as Deputy Chair of the National Forensic Oversight and Ethics Board (SA), she monitored the implementation of the provisions of the DNA Act in its first five years and now serves on the DNA Forensic DNA Policy Board for Africa as well as the Forensic Databasing Advisory Board (FDAB) for the International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG).
Vanessa was born in Kenya and raised in South Africa where she completed her Law degree at the University of Cape Town in 1992 and her Doctorate of Laws (LLD) at the University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town.