Kumi Naidoo

Kumi Naidoo became Executive Director of Greenpeace International on November 16, 2009. Born in South Africa in 1965, Kumi Naidoo became involved in South Africa's liberation struggle at the age of 15 when he joined the Helping Hands Youth Organisation. He received his BA in Political Science from the University of Durban-Westville in 1985 and earned a doctorate in political sociology as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford while in exile. After Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990, Kumi returned to South Africa to work on the legalisation of the African National Congress. He was founding executive director of the South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO). He held leadership positions on the 1997 National Men’s March against Violence against Women and Children, the adult education NGO sector and as the official spokesperson for the 1994 Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). He remains a board member of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development. From 1998 to 2008, Kumi was the Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of Johannesburg-based Civicus: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. He has also been Global Council co-chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty since its inception in 2003.


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