Since his appointment as Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2009, Michel Sidibé’s vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths has echoed around the world.
Under his leadership UNAIDS works to ensure that no one is left behind in the response to HIV and that everyone in need has access to life-saving HIV services. He initiated the global call to eliminate HIV infections among children and his global advocacy has firmly secured HIV at the top of political agendas. His idea of shared responsibility and global solidarity has been embraced by the international community and has encouraged increased ownership of their epidemics by countries most affected.
Mr Sidibé has spent more than 30 years in public service. His passion for advancing global health began in his native Mali, where he worked to improve the health and welfare of the nomadic Tuareg people. He later became Country Director for Terre des Hommes. In 1987, Mr Sidibé joined UNICEF in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and went on to serve with UNICEF for a further 14 years, overseeing programmes across 10 francophone African countries and serving as country representative in a number of countries.
Mr Sidibé has been awarded honorary doctorates from Tuskegee University, Clark University and the University of British Columbia, as well as an honorary professorship at Stellenbosch University. In 2012 he was named one of the 50 most influential Africans by the Africa Report and one of 50 personalities of the year by the French newspaper Le Monde in 2009. He received the Emerging Leader Award from the UN Foundation and the United Nations Association of the USA, is a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France, an Officer of the National Order of Mali, an Officer of the National Order of Benin, a Chancellor of the National Order of Chad and was awarded an Order of Saint-Charles by Monaco. He also serves on the Global Board of Directors of Grassroot Soccer.
He holds two Post-Master’s Diplomas––Social Planning and Demography––and Development and Political Economy––from the University of Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France. He also holds a Master’s degree in economics.
Mr Sidibé is fluent in English and French and speaks several African languages. He is married and has four children.