Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis

  • Former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa
  • Senior Fellow of the Enough Project
  • Author of "Race Against Time"

Stephen Lewis is one of Canada's most influential commentators on social affairs, international development, and human rights. He researches his talks with obsessive care, enlivens them with personal anecdotes, and is both passionate and political.

Mr. Lewis is the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation; is a Professor of Practice in Global Governance at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University; is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University; is the co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States; and is the former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa.

Mr. Lewis is a Senior Fellow of the Enough Project. He is an immediate past member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Emeritus Board Member of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He served as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.

Mr. Lewis's work with the United Nations spanned more than two decades. He was the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from June 2001 until the end of 2006. From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Lewis was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization's global headquarters in New York. From 1984 through 1988, he was Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations.

From 1970-1978, Lewis was leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, during which time he became leader of the Official Opposition.

Mr. Lewis is the author of the bestselling book, Race Against Time. He holds 37 honorary degrees from Canadian universities, as well as honorary degrees from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University.

In 2003, Stephen Lewis was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honour for lifetime achievement. In 2007, King Letsie III, monarch of the Kingdom of Lesotho (a small mountainous country in Southern Africa) invested Mr. Lewis as Knight Commander of the Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe. The order is named for the founder of Lesotho; the knighthood is the country's highest honour. And in 2012, Mr. Lewis was an inaugural recipient of Canada's Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Stephen Lewis is an experienced politician, a respected diplomat, and a passionate humanitarian. In June of 2001, Mr. Lewis was appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. His mandate is to ensure follow-up to the April 2001 Africa Summit on HIV/AIDS and to the July 2001 United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS. Stephen will open the eyes of your delegates and enlighten them at a global level about the part they should play to create a better world.

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