Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella is the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), a specialized agency of the United Nations mandated to foster sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition. At the same time, UNIDO helps to protect the environment by supporting clean and sustainable technology. He was elected to the post of Director-General in December 2005, and re-elected for a second term in December 2009.
Before assuming his current position, Dr. Yumkella had worked in various high-level policy positions in UNIDO, and was Special Adviser to two previous Directors-General. He also served as Director of the Africa and LDCs Regional Bureau and as Representative and Director of the first UNIDO Regional Office in Nigeria. Prior to joining UNIDO he had served as Minister of Trade, Industry and State Enterprises of the Republic of Sierra Leone; as an Assistant Professor and Lecturer at the Michigan State University and Assistant to the Dean in the College of Agriculture at the University of Illinois. Kandeh Yumkella earned a Bachelors degree in Agriculture, a Masters in Agricultural Economics and a Doctorate in Agricultural Economics. He has co-authored numerous publications and has received various awards and recognitions.
He is an active member of the UN system Chief Executives Board and is the current Chair of the UN-Energy Coordination Group and one of the conveners of the inter-agency dialogue on technology issues under the Secretary General’s Climate Change initiative. He also chairs the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC).