Valli Moosa was born in Johannesburg in 1957. He completed a B.Sc. degree in 1979 with majors in Mathematics and Physics.
Valli was an active participant in the South African freedom struggle. He was detained without trial on numerous occasions for his opposition to Apartheid. He served a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress. He served on President Mandela’s team which negotiated the peaceful transition from Apartheid to democracy in 1994. Valli played a central role in drafting the new South African Constitution.
He served the first democratically elected government as Minister for Constitutional Development in President Mandela’s cabinet from 1994 to 1999, and, as Minister for the Environment from 1999 to 2004. He hosted the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and served as Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in 2003.
In 2004 Valli retired from government to join the private sector. He is a principal of the Lereko Metier Capital Growth Fund Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital. He serves on the boards of Lereko Investments, Sun International, Anglo Platinum, Sanlam and Imperial Holdings. He previously served as Chairman of Eskom.
Valli served as the President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from 2004 to 2008. He served as a member of the Global Leadership for Climate Action under the Chairmanship of President Ricardo Lagos of Chile until 2009. He is a member of the CCICED (China Council of International Cooperation on Environment and Development) and is Chairman of WWF (South Africa). He is also Chairman of the High Level Panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue.