Komala Pillay is a Chemical Engineer by training with a master’s in technology design from the University of Twente, The Netherlands. She worked for a large multinational corporate for the first 18 years of her career, first as a research and development engineer, commercialising new technologies and thereafter on an accelerated general management track, working in areas ranging from marketing and strategy to business improvement planning and implementation. An accomplished leader, Komala attributes her success to the education opportunities that she had as a child. Her high value for education and her concern for the trajectory of our country led her to become involved in the public education sector in 2018 through the Partners for Possibility programme, and eventually to move out of corporate in 2020 to join Citizen Leader Lab where she holds the role of CEO.

Komala’s view is that social change requires the empowerment of communities, and in particular, the empowerment of local leaders who can drive context-driven solutions within their environments. This view is aligned with the work of Citizen Leader Lab which develops and supports school leaders to be more effective agents of change within their schools and their communities.

Komala would like to see a shift in the current ways of working between government, business, and social change entities to better enable rapid social change. An effective representative organisation can shift the current dynamic and create opportunities for deeper collaboration and partnership that would lead to improved returns on the efforts of all three sectors.


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