Dr Kumi Naidoo 

Born in South Africa, Kumi Naidoo became involved in his country’s liberation struggle at the age of 15. In 1986, he was arrested and charged for violating the state of emergency regulations. He went underground for one year before fleeing into exile in England where he was a Rhodes scholar and earned a doctorate in political sociology.

After Nelson Mandela’s release, Kumi returned to South Africa to work on the legalisation of the African National Congress. During the democratic elections in 1994 he was the official spokesperson of the Independent Electoral Commission and directed the training of all electoral staff in the country. Moved by the fact that South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women, Kumi organised the National Men's March Against Violence on Women and Children in 1997.

From 1998 to 2008, Kumi was the Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, which is dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. He was also founding chair of the Global Campaign Against Poverty (GCAP), served as a board member of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development and in 2003 was appointed by the former Secretary General of the United Nations to the Eminent Persons Panel on UN Civil Society Relations.Kumi serves as Chair of the civil society alliance ‘Global Campaign for Climate Action’ (GCCA), of which Greenpeace was a founding member.

Kumi became Greenpeace International Executive Director on November 15, 2009. You can follow Kumi on Twitter.


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