Kofi Annan

Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Laureate

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. He is widely credited with bringing new life to the UN and showing effective moral leadership on international issues. Mr Annan, born in Ghana, was the first UN Secretary-General to come from within the organisation’s ranks and the first from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Annan was chief architect of the Millennium Development Goals and a leading proponent of the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He also worked to bolster the UN’s relationship with business and civil society, sponsoring the Global Compact to promote corporate social responsibility.

In 2005, Mr Annan persuaded the UN to establish the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council, dedicated to global peace and welfare. He has been noted for his advocacy on human rights and the rule of law, and his leadership of a multilateral response to the global terrorist threat.

Mr Annan took up his first UN position with the World Health Organisation in Geneva in 1962. His career has included positions with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Department for Peacekeeping Operations. Since leaving the UN, Mr Annan has continued to press for more effective policies to serve the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly in Africa.

In addition to his work with the Africa Progress Panel, Mr Annan is also Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation and Chair of the Elders. He is a board member, patron, honorary member, or Chair Emeritus of many organisations, including the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the UN Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Club of Madrid, and the World Organisation Against Torture.

Mr Annan currently serves as Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Global Fellow at Columbia University in the United States, and Li Ka Shing Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

Mr Annan is married to Nane and between them they have three children.

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