Kofi A. Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving two terms (from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 2006) and was the first to emerge from the ranks of United Nations staff.
In 2001 Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace with the citation praising his leadership for “bringing new life to the organization”.
Since leaving the United Nations, Kofi Annan has continued to press for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly in Africa. He has also continued to use his experience to mediate and resolve conflict. In Kenya in early 2008, Mr. Annan led the African Union’s Panel of Eminent African Personalities to help find a peaceful resolution to the post-election violence.
In addition to his work with the Kofi Annan Foundation, Mr. Annan serves as the Chairman of the Africa
Progress Panel (APP), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and as an active member of the Elders. He is also a Board member, Patron or Honorary member of a number of organizations. Mr. Annan currently serves as the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, a 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.
One of Kofi Annan’s main priorities as Secretary-General was a comprehensive program of reform aimed at revitalizing the United Nations and making the international system more effective. He was a constant advocate for human rights, the rule of law, the Millennium Development Goals and Africa and sought to bring the organization closer to the global public by forging ties with civil society, the private sector and other partners.