Kumi Naidoo

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Dr. Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International

He "has been Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Civic Participation since 1998. CIVICUS is an alliance of over 500 civil society organizations, networks, and individuals in more than 100 countries, which is dedicated to strengthening citizen and civil society action throughout the world.


"Born in South Africa, Kumi Naidoo became involved in the South African liberation struggle at the age of 15. As a result of his anti-apartheid activities, he was expelled from high school. He was deeply involved in neighborhood organization, youth work in his community, the underground movement, and mass mobilizations against South Africa's apartheid regime. In 1986, Kumi was arrested and charged for violating the state of emergency regulations in South Africa. Upon his release from prison, Kumi was subject to persistent police harassment and went underground for one year before finally deciding to live in exile in England until 1989. During this time, Kumi was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and earned a doctorate in political sociology.

"After Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990, Kumi returned to South Africa to work (on a voluntary basis) on the legalization of the African National Congress (ANC) as a political party. During the democratic elections in 1994, Kumi was the official spokesperson of the Independent Electoral Commission and directed the training of all electoral staff in the country. He then went on to serve as Executive Director of the National Literacy Cooperation of South Africa, as well as a director of the Independent Electoral Commission and the South African Committee for Higher Education Trust. Kumi has a long history of involvement in the non-governmental sector and was previously the founding Executive Director of the South African NGO Coalition (SANGOCO), an umbrella agency for the South African NGO community.

"Kumi has initiated and led a wide range of education, development, and social justice initiatives within South Africa. Kumi is an active advocate for gender equity and against gender violence. Provoked by the fact that South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women, Kumi organized the National Men's March Against Violence on Women and Children in 1997. He also led the National Campaign on the Apartheid Debt.

"Given his deep knowledge and experience in civil society, Kumi was the first civil society leader to be invited to give the World Bank Presidential Fellows Lecture in 2003. Kumi was recently appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the eminent Persons Group on United Nations-Civil Society Relations chaired by former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso.

"Kumi is a Rhodes Scholar with a D.Phil in Politics from Magdalen College, Oxford. He also holds a B.A. in Politics and Law from the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa. He has published and spoken widely on issues relating to civil society, education and resistance to apartheid. Kumi has served as editor for the book "Civil Society at the Millennium" (Kumarian Press, 1999), and co-editor with Jane Foster of "Putting Young People at the Centre: Participation and Social Change" (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2001)." [1]

Sourcewatch resources

External resources



  1. Dr. Kumi Naidoo, University of Maryland, accessed July 7, 2007.
  2. Directors, Partnership for Transparency Fund, accessed October 28, 2008.
  3. Food and Trees for Africa About, organizational web page, accessed January 10, 2013.
  4. Directors, Global Reporting Initiative, accessed May 11, 2008.
  5. Advisory Committee, Kumarian Press, accessed December 19, 2007.
  6. Staff, Carnegie UK Trust, accessed April 22, 2009.
  7. Board & Advisory Council, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, accessed July 13, 2009.
  8. SumOfUs Who we are, organizational web page, accessed August 27, 2012.
  9. 350.org Board, organizational web page, accessed December 30, 2013.