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Kumi Naidoo is an environmental activist, the launch director of Africans Rising, and the former executive director of Greenpeace International.

A native of South Africa, Naidoo became involved in the struggle against apartheid at the age of 15 when he joined the Helping Hands Youth Organisation (an affiliate of the South African Youth Congress). He was arrested numerous times and fled to the UK in 1987, where he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford.

After apartheid ended, Naidoo returned to South Africa where he served as founding executive director of the South African National NGO Coalition and held leadership positions in the 1997 National Men's March against Violence against Women and Children and in the adult education NGO sector. He also served as the official spokesperson for the 1994 Independent Electoral Commission.

From 1998 to 2008, Naidoo was secretary general and CEO of Johannesburg-based Civicus: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. He was then executive director of Greenpeace Internationa from 2009 to 2015.

Naidoo is the author of Boiling Point: Can Citizen Action Save the World?.

Last Updated: July 17, 2017