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Helena McLeod

Sector Lead, Climate, Renewable Energy and Resilience Sector

KPMG East Africa

Helena has over 21 years’ experience in management and governance of natural resource and trade programmes. Most of her career was spent with DFID (UK AID) in strategic and technical leadership as well as programme management roles. As a DFID lead for the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) she helped influence for the generic manufacture of essential medicines by developing countries, resulting in cascading prices. By the time she left DFID she was the strategic leader for a Renewable Energy and Climate Change portfolio of over £300 million.

Since visiting the Canary Islands and the tropical forests of Indonesia at a tender age of 15 years, Helena has always known that her calling is in environmental conservation. At KPMG, Helena turned her educational background in economics and Master’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics towards leadership of the resilience, renewable energy and adaptation to climate change portfolio at IDAS. Here she lives out her passion for technical design, implementation and delivery of climate resilience, adaptation and off-grid renewable energy programmes in Africa. Helena is notably known in the department for her challenge, ‘Ask yourself, if you were to do your job forever, what would it be?’ For Helena, the answer would be doing what she currently does, conserving the environment for current and future generations.


Helena Mcleod

Education and qualifications

  • MSc Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (with distinction), University College London

  • BSc Economics, London School of Economics

Professional background and Experience

  • Current: Director KPMG, Renewable Energy and Climate Change Portfolio

  • Advisor to the CEO of Development Bank International (DBI), Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA)

  • Acting Head of Climate Change for DFID Africa Regional and Head of Climate Change for DFID Southern Africa

  • Head of the Resilient Livelihoods Theme, DFID Southern Africa

  • Regional Trade and Integration Adviser, DFID Southern Africa

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