IPNLF appoints Rahim Hoosen as its new chair of the board

Published on
November 13, 2020

Rahim Hoosen will be taking the lead for the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) as its new chair of the board, effective as of 1 December.

Hoosen assumes the role from John Burton, who has served as chair since 2013 and will remain on the board as a trustee moving forward. IPNLF said Burton “has been instrumental in providing the organization with a solid foundation and an excellent reputation with its key beneficiaries, the coastal fishermen and the communities that depend on them.”

The organization kicked off the process of looking for a new chair in November 2018, when it underwent a recruitment process to expand the board, “with an eye on identifying the necessary leadership qualities to successfully navigate current and future challenges.”

Hoosen, who serves as the trading head for groceries, household, pets, and personal care at Woolworths, a South African retail chain, was invited to join the board in January 2019. During his time on the board so far, he has “had the opportunity to get better acquainted with the organization by seeing IPNLF’s mission in action,” IPNLF said.

Burton and Hoosen have shared co-chair responsibilities during most board meetings as the transition period has transpired.

“During this transition period, the IPNLF has launched its new five-year strategic plan and this represented an ideal opportunity for the chair succession to happen with an eye on helping oversee the governance of the organization and helping inform its strategic and future direction,” IPNLF said.

The organization plans to recruit two additional trustees as a means to further strengthen its board, it said.

With more than 10 years of leadership and strategy development experience, Hoosen is a “retail expert” responsible for driving ethical and responsible sourcing of products for Woolworths’ customers throughout South Africa in his current position there, IPNLF said.

“He has been instrumental in driving several sustainability and giving back initiatives aimed at reducing environmental and social impact. Driven by his passion for sustainability, he was part of the landmark project that saw Woolworths convert all of its canned tuna procurement to responsibly sourced pole-and-line products,” IPNLF said.

His retail insights, expertise in strategy development and implementation, organizational governance, and communication make Hoosen an ideal fit for IPNLF’s work program and network expansion, according to the organization.

“Our ocean resources face incredibly challenging times that require a brave few to stand tall and be resilient in order to drive the change needed in the industry. IPNLF is at the forefront, leading that change and making a difference for a more sustainable tomorrow while helping to improve the lives of coastal and small- scale fishing communities. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with our incredibly dedicated and talented team to help make a difference,” Hoosen said.

Burton said he believes Hoosen’s appointment will guide IPNLF into the future.

“It is with a tinge of sadness that I hand over the baton. I’ve hugely enjoyed my time at the helm as I sincerely believe in IPNLF’s mission and will remain committed to improving the livelihoods of our small-scale fishermen. One-by-one fisheries continue to face many challenges in maintaining its position at the forefront of sustainable tuna fishing and supplying a growing market, to the ultimate benefit of coastal communities. I have full faith in Rahim’s leadership and hope to continue to contribute to finding some of those solutions,” Burton said.

Hoosen has a bachelor's degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and recently completed a senior management development program at the University of Stellenbosch.

Photo courtesy of International Pole and Line Foundation

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