Kofi Annan

Country: Ghana

Tenure: 1997-2006

Biography: http://www.un.org/News/ossg/sg/pages/sg_biography.html

Current Positions:

  • Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-present)

Past Positions:

  • Served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to the former Yugoslavia (1995-1996)
  • UN Under-Secretary-General (March 1993-December 1996)
  • Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (March 1992-February 1993)
  • Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Budget and Finance, and Controller (1990-1992)
  • Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management and Security Coordinator for the UN System, UN Headquarters in New York, (1987-1990)
  • Administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland (1962)
  • Also served with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa; the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF II) in Ismailia; and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva


  • BA in economics, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota (1961)
  • Graduate studies in economics, Graduate Institute of International Studies (Institut universitaire des hautes études internationals), Geneva, Switzerland (1961-1962)
  • Received a Master of Science degree in management as a 1971-1972 Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Studied at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana

General Information:

  • Shared a Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations for his efforts in revitalizing the United Nations (December 10, 2001)
  • Issued a “Call to Action” proposing the establishment of a Global AIDS and Health Fund (2001)
  • Helped launch the Global Compact which calls on companies to adopt nine universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, and environmental practices
  • Released “We the People: the Role of the UN in the 21st Century,” a report focused on improving the lives of the poor in the new millennium (2000)
  • Announced his first reform program aimed at streamlining the UN in 1997
  • Fluent in English, French and several African languages
  • Facilitated the repatriation of more than 900 international staff and citizens of Western countries from Iraq and led the first United Nations team negotiating with Iraq on the sale of oil to fund purchases of humanitarian aid (1990)