Lewis is the former UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, as well as the former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization’s global headquarters in New York. He has also served as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. During his remarks, Lewis mentioned the case of Rosemary, a Ugandan nurse sentenced to prison because of her HIV status; a summary of the outcome of her case is available on AIDS-Free World’s website.
This event was co-sponsored by the USC Institute for Global Health and Program on Global Health & Human Rights.
Co-Founder & Co-Director
Stephen Lewis is the co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organization that works to promote more urgent and more effective global responses to HIV/AIDS.
His 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, 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.
In addition to his work with AIDS-Free World, Lewis is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. He served as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on HIV and the Law; the Commission’s Report was launched by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in July 2012.
He serves as the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Canada and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Emeritus Board Member of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
Stephen Lewis is a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honor for lifetime achievement. In 2005, Mr. Lewis was named by TIME magazine as one of the ‘One hundred most influential people in the world’ (he was cited in the category which included The Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Nelson Mandela). 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 honor.
He is the author of the best-selling book, Race Against Time. He holds 35 honorary degrees from Canadian universities as well as honorary degrees from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University in the United States.