Robert Love

Brighton Kaoma

Position: Global Director | Board Member | Social Entrepreneur & Founder | Commencement speaker

New York, New York, United States


Talks about

#sdgs, #techforgood, #climatecrisis, and #corporatesustainability

Brighton Kaoma Bio

Brighton Kaoma is a visionary leader with a profound commitment to advancing sustainable development, environmental conservation, and youth empowerment on a global scale. With a distinguished educational background and a wealth of experience, Brighton's dedication to driving positive change has earned him recognition and accolades from esteemed leaders and institutions worldwide.

Brighton holds a Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) with a specialization in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University, complemented by a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sciences from the University of Zambia. His academic journey has laid the foundation for his impactful career in shaping a more sustainable future.

Brighton's journey in shaping a sustainable world began when he was appointed to the international advisory board of IUCN's "Reversing the Red Program" in the fall of 2022. This global initiative focuses on reversing the negative trends of biodiversity loss and promoting strategic cooperation for the survival of wild species and ecosystems.

He also serves as an advisory board member at the Children's Radio Foundation, a role he assumed in November 2022, with a mission to amplify youth voices across Africa.

Currently, Brighton serves as the Global Director at the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) in New York, where he spearheads the global strategy for large-scale convening and programs. His efforts engage over 4,000 exceptional young scientists, startup founders, and innovators across 127 countries in six continents. Managing a diverse global team of 185 professionals, he is instrumental in localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and realizing the Paris Accord. Additionally, Brighton oversees a global youth network strategy involving 1,700+ universities and plays a pivotal role in fundraising and cultivating high-level partnerships within the United Nations system and the private sector.

Brighton's extensive career includes work in over 22 countries with organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Malmo City Council in Sweden, and the Children's Radio Foundation of South Africa, where he served as Country Manager for four years. Throughout his diverse experiences, he has honed his skills in collaboration, co-creation, and strategic thinking.

Accolades and Recognitions: Brighton's commitment and achievements have earned him international recognition:

  • In 2015, he was awarded the Queen's Young Leaders Award by HRH Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his innovative solutions in youth empowerment across the Commonwealth countries.

  • In 2017, he was invited by President Barack Obama to an exclusive meeting in Washington DC to discuss inter-generational equity, climate justice, and STEM education for youth in Africa and the USA.

  • The WWF International President's Award was bestowed upon him in recognition of his contribution to scaling global youth empowerment engagement initiatives at the intersection of innovation and sustainable conservation.

  • The Emperor of Japan and Junior Chamber International awarded him the global Outstanding Young Persons Award (TOYP).


  • Advisory Board Member | Reverse the Red (IUCN Species Survival Commission): Brighton currently serves as a part-time advisory board member for Reverse the Red, a global movement committed to conserving wild species and ecosystems. His responsibilities include prioritizing and measuring impact, mobilizing national networks, catalyzing conservation policy partnerships, empowering communities, and mobilizing global support.

  • Global Director | UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth: Brighton is currently in his second year as a full-time Global Director, where he leads initiatives that engage exceptional young scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs worldwide to promote sustainable development.

  • Technical Research and Communications Consultant | World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Brighton's role as a full-time consultant involved providing technical support to the African CEO, producing impact communication products, and managing cross-functional teams.

  • Sustainability Impact Associate | The Earth Institute, Columbia University: In his internship role, Brighton co-led efforts to bridge communication gaps between science and society to mitigate climate risk and enhance social and environmental resilience.

  • External International Climate Expert | Malmo City Council Environmental Department: Brighton's work here involved co-leading the development of the Youth Council on Climate Change in Lusaka, Zambia, and Malmo, Sweden, and designing policy briefs on climate change and youth empowerment.

  • Country General Manager | The Children's Radio Foundation: Brighton managed and oversaw regional communication for development projects, mentored youth journalists, and established community radio projects across Zambia.

  • In-Country Coordinator (ICC) | UNICEF: Brighton co-led youth training programs, deployed technology in rural schools, and enhanced critical thinking and creativity within the context of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


  • Master of Public Administration - Environmental Science and Policy, Columbia University
  • Organizational Leadership, University of Cambridge
  • Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sciences, University of Zambia
  • Startup School Online (Activities and societies: Learnt how to build a top startup)

Volunteer Work

  • Global Youth Ambassador | The Children's Radio Foundation: Brighton has been actively involved in supporting the global brand and growth strategy of the Children's Radio Foundation, training youth reporters across Africa.

  • Climate Ambassador & Youth Facilitator | UNICEF: Designated as a UNICEF climate ambassador, Brighton co-led UNICEF Zambia's national climate change training program, Unite4Climate.

  • Ambassador | One Young World: Brighton had the honor of addressing 2,000 emerging business and policy leaders at the One Young World summit held in the Hague, Netherlands in 2018.

Brighton's expertise and endorsements encompass areas such as International Development, Research, Nonprofits, Capacity Building, International Relations, Strategic Communications, NGOs, Proposal Writing, Public Speaking, Youth Mentoring, and more.


  • Martin Kalungu-Banda: Martin, a Visiting Fellow at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, commends Brighton's leadership, systems thinking, and network-building capabilities.

  • Ruth Bone: Ruth, passionate about plants and environmental issues, highlights Brighton's role as a passionate driver for change, emphasizing his creativity, energy, and optimism.

  • Andrew Revkin: A leader in communication impact for climate progress and sustainable development, Andrew underscores Brighton's excellent communication skills and his extensive network of young communicators and scholars.

Honors & Awards

  • UNLEASH Gold Medalist: Brighton won the gold medal in the climate action category at UNLEASH, a global innovation lab that collaborates on solutions aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Mandela Washington Fellow: Issued by the United States Government, this fellowship recognizes Brighton's leadership role in spurring growth, prosperity, and democratic governance in Africa.

  • WWF International President's Award: This prestigious award acknowledges Brighton's contributions to nature conservation and improving the lives of local communities under the age of 30.

  • Queen's Young Leader 2015: Awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this honor recognizes Brighton's outstanding work in sustainability development, youth empowerment, and climate activism across Africa.

Brighton Kaoma's unwavering dedication to fostering positive change, coupled with his exceptional leadership and strategic vision, make him a dynamic force in the global pursuit of sustainable development and environmental conservation.

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