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Kandeh K. Yumkella
Chair of UN-Energy, and Director-General, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella was appointed Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in December 2005, and in December 2009 was reconfirmed for a second term in office. Prior to joining UNIDO he had served as Minister of Trade, Industry and State Enterprises of the Republic of Sierra Leone and as an Assistant Professor and Lecturer at Michigan State University.
As a leader in international development cooperation for over 20 years, Dr. Yumkella has actively promoted important initiatives and international partnerships for the cause of sustainable development. He is a strong believer that the most effective way to fight poverty is to strengthen the productive capacities of countries and people, enhance their adaptive capabilities to use modern technology, and to commercialize new knowledge.
Dr. Yumkella is a prominent public speaker, who addresses the critical development challenges facing the world today, including the Millennium Development Goals with their primary emphasis on sustainable poverty reduction, as well as climate change, universal energy access, green industry and renewable energy. His opinion pieces have appeared in major international newspapers, such as The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and The Guardian. He has appeared on a range of international broadcast networks, including on BBC, CNN, BBC, Sky News and CNBC.
Since 2007 Dr. Yumkella has served as Chairman of UN-Energy, the coordination body of United Nations agencies dealing with energy-related issues, and also chaired the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), 2008-2010. He was appointed by the UNSG in September 2011 as Co-Chair of the new High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.
Dr. Yumkella holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.