Dr Andrew Tucker joins the African Centre for Cities(ACC) as Deputy Director, effective 1 July 2017.

The role will see him supporting Director Prof Edgar Pieterse in the overall management of the centre and ensuring that ACC maintains and advances its position at the forefront of urban research and engagement on the continent and in the Global South.

Tucker has extensive experience working to understand and address inequality in a variety of forms across Africa. His work has explored how social markers such as race, sexuality and gender relate to the urban environment.

“The ACC has an incredibly rich research environment, defined by interdisciplinarity and a need to apply research findings to the material needs of different populations,” says Tucker. “The ACC’s approach therefore speaks very much to my own desire to straddle disciplinary boundaries to find innovative ways to understand and address the diverse needs of communities.”

Tucker completed his PhD at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge in 2006, where he examined the way sexual minorities from across South Africa’s historical racial categories were able to strategically and pragmatically appropriate urban spaces in diverse ways, to become visible to wider heteronormative societies.

This led to the publication of his monograph Queer Visibilities: Space, Identity and Interaction in Cape Town, as part of the RGS-IBG book series, by Wiley-Blackwell in 2009.

Subsequently he was appointed as the Deputy Director of the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies and a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge.

In 2014 Tucker relocated to South Africa and took up a position at the Anova Health Institute to conduct research into the particular healthcare needs of Key Populations, such as Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). This work included the development of the first community-based HIV prevention programme for MSM in South Africa. More recently Tucker worked as the Project Manager for Anova Global Programmes, where he managed teams working to address the healthcare needs of Key Populations in countries such as Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho and Haiti.

“We are very excited about the expansive skills and insights that Dr Tucker will bring to the position. His experience in leading large-scale global research on urban health questions will greatly enrich the interdisciplinary scope of ACC,” says Prof Pieterse of the appointment.