Dawn McCarthy is a Senior Associate at OneWorld. She holds a B.Sc. Town and Regional Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand. Before joining OneWorld, she was a Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Coordination in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer at Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality after a number of years as Senior Director of Land Planning and Management in the Human Settlements Directorate. Dawn has more than 30 years of experience in sustainable municipal development, including strategic projects, grant management, spatial planning, land use management, enforcement aspects, building control and social housing. She also has a thorough understanding of municipal land and land asset management. Dawn was the project lead for the Sustainable Communities Planning Methodology developed for Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. This methodology is widely acclaimed internationally and nationally, and she has presented it at several local and international fora. This methodology also won the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality a World Leadership Award in the field of Town Planning and is currently used as a best practice example by Sida in their training in Africa and India.

Dawn has worked closely on several economic, planning and development issues with agencies including Coega Development Corporation (CDC), Transnet, the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) and the Uitenhage/ Despatch Development Initiative (UDDI). She has an extensive managerial skillset, gained over her 30+ years of experience, and supplemented by short management courses. Dawn also has a certificate in Municipal Management Development from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School (2012), from which she graduated with distinction.

For 9 years Dawn was the National Treasury City Support Programme (CSP) Coordinator for Nelson Mandela Bay municipality and as such this led to an in-depth involvement in all the CSP initiatives in the city as well as the range of transversal, programmes, forums and initiatives run by the CSP across all metropolitan municipalities in the country. These have included focused interventions on Climate Resilience, Leadership and Governance, Economic Development, Public Transport, Fiscal and Planning Reforms, Infrastructure Development and Financing and Human Settlements.

At OneWorld, she is involved in a senior capacity in the project “Technical Assistance to the Cities Support Programme (CSP): Climate Resilience Projects Strengthening Intergovernmental Coordination” for the Government Technical Advisory (GTAC) of the South African National Treasury, as well as providing expert input to a Presidential Climate Commission report on the Built Environment.