Since that time he has held various teaching positions at institutions including the University of Western Cape, University of Cape Town, and Cornell University. He has also been directly involved in development initiatives as the Director of the Centre for Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education Durban, South Africa as well as other partnership programmes in KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere in South Africa. He has served as Campus Vice-Principal at the then University of Natal, Durban, and later Pro-Vice Chancellor: Partnerships at the University of KwaZulu-Natal until 2004. During his time at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, he was responsible for partnership programmes with business, government, and the community and served as the Executive Director of the Development Foundation of the University.
He has also ben centrally involved in curriculum reform in post-apartheid South Africa and has been asked by all four Ministers of Education to play a leading role in the transformation of education in the new South Africa. He has served four years in the Umalusi Council and more recently the CEO of the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit.
He is currently serving as the Chairperson of MIET Africa and also previously Chairperson of the International Partnership Network. John continues to provide leadership on Boards of several other South African non-governmental development organizations involved in education, health and community upliftment. He is also involved in a Leadership Development Programme for members of Parliament and holds a position of Adjunct Professor at NorthWest University, Mafikeng Campus.