Dr. van Niekerk has extensive experience in leadership positions and managing organizational budgets, festivals and events. Before joining Rosen College, she held senior management positions at different institutions in both higher education and local government. She was head of the Tourism Section at the Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa for five years. She then joined the Mbombela Local Municipality as senior manager, responsible for local economic development, tourism and trade. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, she served as the cluster leader in Nelspruit, one of the host cities responsible for marketing, communications, events and tourism. Recognizing her leadership and contribution to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Nelspruit, South Africa, she received the Premier Protea Hotel Nelspruit/Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism – Tourism Personality of the year award. Her commitment and competence as an event organizer, visionary and leader are also evident in her success as an owner and director of a business enterprise in the private sector, for which she was named a national finalist for South Africa’s ABSA Business Woman of the Year award.