She was the Executive Head of the Africa Institute of South Africa in the Human Sciences Research Council from 2018 to 2021. In 2013 she was appointed as a Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Johannesburg and became Head of the Department in 2014. She remains a Visiting Professor in the Department as well as at the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs at the University of South Africa. Cheryl also worked for many years at the Institute for Security Studies in the Conflict Management and Peacebuilding Division.
Her work traverses the areas of conflict prevention, peace-making, peace-keeping and peacebuilding and more recently she is focusing on preventing violent extremisms and on transitional justice in Africa. She is widely published, continues to teach and to provide policy advice and implementation support on the aforementioned issues.