Dr. Kandeh Yumkella

Positions: Agricultural economist and politician; Former Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation; Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary General (Ban Ki Moon) for Sustainable Energy for All; Former Minister of Trade and Industry for Sierra Leone


Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is an Associate Professor of Public Law, a holder of an LL.D (Doctor of Laws) on the Law of the Sea from the University of Ghent, Belgium, Master of Laws degree and Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi. He is an Advocate of the High Courts of Kenya and Tanganyika and a Certified Mediator. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya FCPS (K) and a Fellow of the Kenya Institute of Management (MKIM). He was the Founding Dean, Kabarak University School of Law, a former lecturer at the University of Nairobi (UON), the United States International University (USIU Africa) and Widener University USA (Nairobi Summer School).

is a distinguished development economist and an expert in agricultural economics with over 25 years of international experience. He is the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Chair of UN-Energy, and founding CEO and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sustainable Energy for All. In these roles, he brought a renewed and vital focus to global energy issues and led the coordination of the United Nations response to energy issues. Dr. Yumkella previously served as Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for two four-year terms.

Prior to joining the UN, he was the Minister for Trade, Industry and State Enterprises for Sierra Leone and was assistant professor at Michigan State University. A member of pre-eminent global organizations and the recipient of numerous international awards, he holds a BSc in General Agriculture from Njala University College, Sierra Leone; MSc in Agricultural Economics, Cornell University and a PhD in Agricultural Economics, University of Illinois.