Peter Piot

Executive Director,
UNAIDS

Dr. Peter Piot is the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations. Dr. Piot comes from a distinguished academic and scientific career focusing on AIDS and women’s health in the developing world. Using his skills as a scientist, manager and activist, Dr. Piot has challenged world leaders to vision AIDS within the realms of social and economic development as well as security. Under his leadership, UNAIDS has become the chief advocate for worldwide action against AIDS. It has brought together ten organizations of the United Nations system around a common agenda on AIDS, spearheading UN reform. Dr. Piot earned a medical degree from the University of Ghent, and a doctorate in Microbiology from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He was a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976. In the 1980s Dr. Piot launched and expanded a series of collaborative projects in Africa. Project SIDA in Kinshasa, Zaire, was the first international project on AIDS in Africa and is widely acknowledged as having provided the foundations of our understanding of HIV infection in Africa. He was a professor of microbiology, and of public health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, in Antwerp, and the Universities of Nairobi, Brussels and Lausanne. In 1992, Dr. Piot joined the Global Programme on AIDS of the World Health Organization, in Geneva, as Associate Director. Born in Belgium, Dr. Piot is fluent in three languages and is the author of many books and scientific articles. He has received numerous awards for scientific and societal achievement, and was knighted as a Baron by King Albert II of Belgium in 1995. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States and the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, UK.