Amb. Lemarron Kaanto has over twenty years working experience in non-profit organisations, private sector, international organisations and public sector.
Amb. Kaanto has over ten years experience in the private sector and specifically the extractives industry; covering various areas including Corporate Responsibility; multistakeholder engagment; industry standards and frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI); ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility; Global Compact; Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business; Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights amongts others. He is also a Human Resources practitioner and a registered environmental auditor.
He has also been part of the team that has been promoting the uptake of the new ISO 26000 standard on Social Responsibility in the East African Region.
At the international level, Amb. Kaanto served as a Stakeholder Council Member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an international industry standards organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He has also been a member of CSR for Extractives in Developing Areas (CEIDA) research group based in ESADE University, Spain.
For over 12 years, Amb. Kaanto served as the Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility Manager for Tata Chemicals Magadi (formerly Magadi Soda Company), a soda ash extractive company in Kenya. He was instrumental setting up the Company’s social responsibility programme, and in charge of social responsibility and stakeholder management and corporate communications. In 2010 he was seconded to the company’s headquarters (Tata Chemicals India) in Mumbai, India for three months as part of management training.
After leaving Tata Chemicals Magadi, Amb. Kaanto joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nairobi as an Extractives Expert from 1st August 2014. He was tasked to set up an an exctratives coordination centre supported by UNDP, DFID and African Development Bank (AfDB).
Amb. Kaanto holds a Masters in Sociology from Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA); an Executive Master of Business Administration in Leadership & International Business Development (Copenhagen Business School) and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Sociology from the University of Nairobi. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Food Security & Nutrition (Wageningen University, the Netherlands), a Diploma in Human Rights and Gender (SIPU/Uppsala University, Sweden), and a Certificate in Environmetnal Impact Assessment and Environmental Audit (African Nazarene University).
He is currently undertaking his PhD in Social Transformation from the North-West University in South Africa since March 2019.
In January 2015 he was posted to Kenya’s Embassy in Algeria as Deputy Head of Mission before joining the Kenya High Commisison in Pretoria in the same capacity on 1st September 2015 until April 2019.