Prior to her role at the African Climate Foundation, Kelly was a Programme Director in the events and exhibition industry where she was responsible for conference production and developing high-level agendas within the finance and energy sectors. Her career began, however, in the non-profit sector where she spent six years. Her journalism-related role eventually took her to the Galapagos Islands as well as Peru to report on conservation efforts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Science from the University of South Africa and a Diploma in Journalism.