Dr Michael Cardo

Michael Cardo is an independent research consultant and writer, working at the intersection of public policy and political communications.

Between May 2014 and January 2024 Cardo was a member of Parliament in the National Assembly. He served as the Democratic Alliance’s spokesperson on the economic development portfolio in the fifth parliament. Re-elected in 2019, Cardo was appointed as the party’s shadow minister of employment and labour.

Cardo holds a BA (Hons) in history from the University of Kwazulu-Natal (formerly University of Natal) as well as an MPhil and PhD in history from the University of Cambridge, where he attended Trinity College.

Before becoming a public representative, Cardo worked as a researcher, speech writer and policy analyst. Between 2011 and 2014, he worked in the policy and strategy unit at the Department of the Premier in the Western Cape Government, specialising in social policy and serving as the director of Policy Research and Analysis.

Cardo is a published biographer. His most recent biography is of the diamond and gold magnate Harry Oppenheimer, who served as UCT’s Chancellor between 1967 and 1996. The book is called Harry Oppenheimer: Diamonds, Gold and Dynasty (Jonathan Ball: 2023). Cardo’s biography of the former South African Liberal Party leader, Peter Brown, titled Opening Men’s Eyes: Peter Brown and the Liberal Struggle for South Africa (Jonathan Ball: 2010), was written during the course of a visiting research fellowship at the Helen Suzman Foundation.