Ms Pandor was appointed as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 30 June 2019. She was Minister of Higher Education and Training from 27 February 2018 to 25 May 2019. Ms Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor was the Minister of Science and Technology of the Republic of South Africa from 26 May 2014 until 26 February 2018.
She has been a Member of Parliament since 1994 and a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) since 2002.
Ms Pandor matriculated at Gaborone Secondary School in Botswana in 1972.
She holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of London obtained during the period 1978 and 1979. She also holds a Masters degree in General Linguistics obtained from the University of Stellenbosch in 1997; a Bachelor degree and Certificate for Continuing Education from the University of Botswana and Swaziland obtained between 1973 and 1977; a Diploma in Education from the University of London obtained between the period 1977 and 1978; a Diploma in Higher Education, Administration and Leadership from Bryn Mawr Summer Programme in 1992, and a Diploma in Leadership in Development from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University obtained in 1997.
Ms Pandor was a teacher at Ernest Bevin School in London in 1980. From 1981 to 1984, she taught in Gaborone, Botswana and from 1984 to 1986, she was a lecturer at the Taung College of Education in North West. Between 1986 and 1989, Ms Pandor was a senior lecturer in English at the University of Bophuthatswana and from 1989 to 1994, she was a senior lecturer in the Academic Support Programme of the University of Cape Town.
Ms Pandor served as chairperson of the Union of Democratic Staff Associations at the University of Bophuthatswana, Mafikeng from 1988 to 1990 and she was chairperson of the Western Cape National Executive Committee of the National Education Coordinating Committee from 1991 to 1993. During this time, she was also a member of the ANC?s Western Cape Education Committee.
Ms Pandor was also ANC chairperson for Athlone Central branch and executive Chairperson of the Desmond Tutu Education Trust and chairperson of the Western Cape School Building Trust. She served as deputy chairperson of the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa from 1992 to 1995; and later as chairperson of the fund. She also served as deputy chairperson of the Joint Education Trust Board of Trustees from 1993 to 2001.
As a member of Parliament, Ms Pandor served on the Portfolio Committee on Education and as convener of a sub-committee on higher education in 1994; she was ANC whip in the National Assembly between 1994 and 1995; and ANC deputy chief whip in the National Assembly from 1995 to 1998.
Ms Pandor has also served as deputy chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) from 1998 to 1999, and as chairperson of the NCOP from 1999 to 2004.
In 200, Ms Pandor was a member of the ANC National Executive Committee and a member of sub-committees on education, communications, archives and political education. She also served as Chancellor of Cape Technikon between 2002 and 2004; and she was a member of the Council of the University of Fort Hare during the same period.
From April 2004 to May 2009, Ms Pandor served as Minister of Education and from May 2009 to October 2012 as Minister of Science and Technology. She was appointed as the Minister of Home Affairs again from 4 October 2012 to 25 May 2014.