Dr. Kandeh Yumkella

Position(s): 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 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 the 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 an 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.