Dr John Kilani recently joined the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) as Director of the Sustainable Development Mechanisms (SDM) Programme. He joined the UNFCCC from Qatar Petroleum, bringing with him over 28 years of professional working experience. Dr Kilani holds a PhD degree in Industrial Wastewater Treatment from the University of Birmingham, UK.
Since 1980, Dr Kilani had gathered extensive experience lecturing in Universities in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa before venturing into the private sector in 1994 (South African Mining Industry from 1994 to 2005 and Qatar Petroleum from 2005 to 2008).
Dr Kilani’s professional highlights include:
- In 1993, he became the first black Professor of Civil Engineering and Dean of an Engineering Faculty in South Africa, at the University of Durban Westville, where he established a Master’s Degree Programme in Water and Wastewater management.
- 1994 to 2002 – Starting as Environmental Adviser and rising to the position of Senior Executive at the South African Chamber of Mines, he assisted the South African mining industry in developing policies and strategies in the areas of Safety, Health, Environment, HIV-AIDS, and Community Development.
- 2002 to 2005 – Joined Anglovaal Mining Company as Vice-President, Sustainable Development with the responsibility of leading the Department charged with implementing HSE and sustainable development programmes in all the mines owned by the Company in 4 different African Countries.
- 1998 to 2008 – Active involvement in climate change negotiations as part of the South African delegation and most recently as part of the delegation of Qatar.
- In 2001, Dr Kilani was elected, at Marrakech, to serve in the United Nations CDM Executive Board, after assisting in the climate change negotiations of the rules of the Kyoto Mechanisms. He served as a full member of the CDM Executive Board for 5 years until December 2006, and was the Chairman of the Board for one year during this period.
During his illustrious carrier Dr Kilani also held some high profile appointments, such as, non Executive Director in the Board of Johannesburg Water, the biggest Water Utility in Africa; member and chairman of the first Provincial Environmental Council in South Africa (the Mpumalanga Environmental Council); and member of the Gauteng Development Tribunal.