Kumi Naidoo is a South African human rights and climate activist. As a fifteen-year-old, he organized 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 of formally registering 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.
He has served as International Executive Director of Greenpeace International (from 2009 to 2016) and Secretary General of Amnesty International (from 2018 to 2020). In addition, Kumi lectured at Fossil Free University and was a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy until early 2022.
Kumi is currently a Senior Advisor for the Community Arts Network (CAN) and a Special Advisor to the Green Economy Coalition. He is a Professor of Practice at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. He continues to serve as a Global Ambassador, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, and Dignity. Kumi is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and Honorary Fellow at Magdalen College. He is currently setting up the Riky Rick Foundation for the Promotion of Artvism in honor of his late son and rapper Riky Rick.