Executive Director

 

BIOGRAPHY

On 1 January 2011, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, a physician and public health expert, became only the fourth Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Before this appointment, Dr. Osotimehin was Nigeria’s Minister of Health. Prior to that, he was Director-General of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS, which coordinates HIV and AIDS work in a country of more than 160 million people.

Dr. Osotimehin qualified as a doctor from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1972, and went to the University of Birmingham, England, where he got a doctorate in medicine in 1979. He was appointed Professor at the University of Ibadan in 1980 and headed the Department of Clinical Pathology before being elected Provost of the College of Medicine in 1990. Years later, he served in several organizations, including as Chair of the National Action Committee on AIDS, from 2002 to 2007. Dr. Osotimehin received the Nigerian national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in December 2005.

At UNFPA, he has introduced major reforms to make the Fund more focused and results-oriented as well as intensified efforts to promote the rights and ability of young people to build a better world in the context of sexual and reproductive health.

He is married and has five children.

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EDUCATION 

  • Dr. Osotimehin is a physician who graduated from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, with an MBBS in 1972
  • Received a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, in 1979

PREVIOUS POSITIONS

  • African Spokesperson, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Minister of Health, Nigeria, December 2008–March 2010
  • Director-General, Nigerian National Agency for the Control of AIDS, March 2007–December 2008
  • Chairman, National Action Committee on AIDS, Nigeria, July 2002–March 2007
  • Project Manager, HIV/AIDS Programme Development Project (World Bank-Assisted), 2002-2008
  • Chairman, Project Governing Board, Joint Regional HIV/AIDS Project in the Abidjan–Lagos Transport Corridor, 2003-2008
  • Vice-President, 14th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), 2005
  • Chairman, Committee of Presidential Advisers of AIDS Watch Africa
  • Member, Policy and Strategy Committee, Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Member, Global Steering Committee on Universal Access
  • Coordinator, the Social Sciences and Reproductive Health Research Network, Ibadan, Nigeria (an interdisciplinary network comprising sociologists, economists, doctors, lawyers, psychologists and human nutritionists dedicated to applying innovative research techniques to reproductive health and human development)
  • Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, 1990–1994
  • Professor of Clinical Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, 1980.

MEMBERSHIPS/AFFILIATIONS

  • Member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK)
  • Fellow in Endocrinology, Cornell University Graduate School of Medicine, New York, United States, 1979-1980
  • Distinguished Visitor, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, United States, 1996
  • Visiting Fellow, Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 1996-1997
  • Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences since 2006.
  • Population Association of America
  • International Advisory Group, Population and Reproductive Health, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago
  • Regional Advisory Panel (Africa and the Middle East), Special Programme on Research and Research Training in the Human Reproduction Programme of the World Health Organization
  • Chairman of the Committee to draft a Policy on Basic Health Sciences Research and Health Technology Delivery for the Nigerian Government
  • Nigerian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • The Nigerian Medical Association
  • The Nigerian Institute of Management

MAJOR CONFERENCES AND FORUMS ATTENDED

  • The International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994
  • The United Nations Women’s Conference, Beijing, 1995
  • Confintea - UNESCO 5th International Conference on Adult Education, Hamburg, Germany, 1997
  • The 2nd International Interdisciplinary Conference on Women and Health, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999
  • World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization, 2006–2009
  • United Nations General Assembly, New York, 2006-2010
  • Virtually every major international forum on HIV and AIDS, such as:

- African Development Forum on AIDS: The Greatest Leadership Challenge, Addis Ababa, December, 2000
- Organization of African Unity Special Meeting on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria, April 2001
- United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions/Meetings on HIV and AIDS, New York, 2003 and 2006
- International Conferences on AIDS and STIs in Africa, Nairobi (2003) and Abuja (2005)
- General Assembly of the African Union, Addis Ababa (2004) and Khartoum (2006)
- International AIDS Conferences in Barcelona (2002); Bangkok (2004); Toronto (2006) and Mexico City (2005)

HONOUR

  • Awarded the Nigerian national honour, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), December 2005.

RELATED INFO

Official Photo 1 (hi res)

Official Photo 2 (hi res)

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Opinion Pieces

Swearing-in Ceremony - VIDEO

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23 July 2014

For a Better World for All

  It is now 100 long days since the abduction of 276 girls from their school in Chibok in northern Nigeria shocked and outraged the world. While a few of the girls have managed to escape their captors, the majority remain separated from their shattered families.   more
11 July 2014

On World Population Day, UNFPA calls for investment in youth

UNITED NATIONS, New York – On 11 July, as communities everywhere observe World Population Day, UNFPA calls for investments in support of the largest-ever generation of youth. Young people – those aged 10 to 24 – comprise roughly one quarter of the world’s population, and their aspirations and achievements will shape the future. more
09 July 2014

Message for World Population Day

Today’s 1.8 billion young people are a powerful force, individually and collectively. They are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values and building the foundation of the world’s future. more
25 June 2014

Statement by the Executive Director to the Executive Board

UNITED NATIONS, Geneva – We remain committed to results and improving our accountability to our Member States, and most importantly, to those we serve. As you know, this is a crucial year. Member States, supported by UNFPA, are concluding the ICPD@20 review process, which will culminate with the Special Session of the UN General Assembly in September. They are also working together to define future Sustainable Development Goals, which we hope will reflect many of the lessons learned and recommendations from the global ICPD beyond 2014 review. more
25 June 2014

Violence against women and girls: enough is enough, says UNFPA Head

UNITED NATIONS, New York – UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, in his remarks to government and United Nations officials today, underlined the need for urgent and intensified efforts to end gender-based violence and discrimination. "Is there a tipping point? When will we finally say ‘enough’ to violence and discrimination against women and girls?” Dr. Osotimehin said at the 2014 annual session of the Executive Board, taking place this week in Geneva. more
12 June 2014

Father Aldo Marchesini and Jhpiego recognized with UN Population Award

UNITED NATIONS, New York – On 12 June, UNFPA celebrated the winners of the 2014 United Nations Population Award: Father Aldo Marchesini, a doctor and Catholic priest who treats obstetric fistula sufferers in Mozambique, and the maternal and child health organization Jhpiego. Both award winners have dedicated more than four decades to saving the lives and preserving the health of women around the world. more
22 May 2014

Statement on the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

UNITED NATIONS, New York – The theme of this year’s International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, “Tracking Fistula – Transforming Lives,” reflects an important step forward in eradicating this preventable condition, which affects an estimated two million women and girls in developing countries. more
19 May 2014

Providing Support for the Chibok Girls and their Families

UNITED NATIONS, New York – UNFPA will be leading a coalition of partners to provide health and psychosocial services to the young girls who were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Nigeria, as soon as they are returned to their families. more
15 May 2014

Statement on the International Day of Families

Twenty years ago, at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, the world community recognized that families, in their various forms, should be strengthened and enjoy comprehensive protection and support. As we prepare a roadmap for development beyond 2015, it is particularly fitting that the theme of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family is “Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals”. more