Dr. Kumi Naidoo

Human Rights and Climate Activist

Kumi Naidoo is a South African born human rights and climate activist. As a fifteen-year old, he organised school boycotts against the Apartheid educational system in South Africa. His work made him a target for the Security Police and he was forced into exile in the United Kingdom until 1990. Kumi returned to South Africa and was asked to lead the process to formally register the African National Congress (ANC) as a political party. Kumi then served as the official spokesperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the overseer of the country's first democratic elections in April 1994.

Kumi has led organisations including; the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Greenpeace International, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity and Amnesty International. He has served as Board Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAAP); President of the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA), Board member for 350.org, the Global Greengrants Fund, and as an ambassador to the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute.

Kumi is an advisor to Transparency International and the International Environmental Grantmakers Association. He is a founding ambassador to the Campaign for a Just Energy Future and is a patron of Future SA, both of which advocate for accountability and an end to corruption in South Africa.

Kumi is currently Professor of Practice at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, and is a Richard von Weizs├Ącker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy, Berlin. He lectures at Fossil Free University and has served as Special Advisor to the Green Economy Coalition. Kumi is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and is a Global Ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity.