A Conscientious Leader
Kofi Annan served as United Nations Secretary General from 1997-2006. During his tenure, he made his mark as an advocate for human rights, the rule of law, and the revitalization of the United Nations.
He has been a key player in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and a leader of the multilateral response to the global terrorist threat. When elected to the Secretary Generalship in 1997, Mr. Annan became the first Secretary General to come directly from the United Nations staff, and the first from a black African nation to hold the position. Born in Ghana in 1938, Annan studied in Kumasi, St. Paul (Minnesota), and Geneva before receiving a Master of Science in management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A Lifelong Diplomat
In 1962, Annan took his first United Nations job with the World Health Organization in Geneva. Over his long career at the UN, Annan held a wide array of leadership posts, working in the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, and serving as the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping from 1992-1996, among other positions. Annan also worked on special assignments abroad, visiting global hotspots such as Yugoslavia and Iraq on behalf of the UN.
As Secretary General, Annan, worked to bolster the United Nation's relationship with businesses and civil society groups, sponsoring a Global Compact initiative to promote corporate social responsibility. He was instrumental in laying out the Millenium Development Goals, a strategy to meet the needs of the world's poorest by 2015.
In 2005, Mr. Annan succeeded in persuading the United Nations to establish the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council, new intergovernmental bodies dedicated to global peace and welfare. Annan was also a chief proponent of the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Nobel Peace Laureate and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan receives glowing ovations from events around the world:
"Kofi Annan performed excellently to The Liverpool Summit. He portrayed that rare combination of intellectual gravitas and humility that was extremely well received by the audience." (Benchmark Management Ltd);
"You truly enriched our evening. Your message touched our minds as well as our hearts and enhanced our commitment to progress." (BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH);
"Kofi Annan contributed hugely to the success of the evening's event. His speech was masterful. The response of the 10,000 [in attendance] was overwhelming." (AWD Holding AG).