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)

Photo Gallery

Opinion Pieces

Swearing-in Ceremony - VIDEO

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18 November 2014

Huge potential for economic growth requires fulfilling the promise of youth, flagship report says

UNITED NATIONS, New York – “Never before have there been so many young people – never again is there likely to be such potential for economic and social progress,” Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA’s Executive Director, said today at the launch of the agency’s flagship report, The State of World Population 2014. The vast majority of the world’s 1.8 billion young people – those between ages 10 and 24 – live in developing countries. With proper investment in their education, health, human rights and welfare, these countries could see their economies soar, the report says. more
12 November 2014

Joint Statement on the tragic deaths and injuries sustained by women undergoing surgical contraception in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 12 November 2014—Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and Tewodros Melesse, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), today issued a joint statement about the tragic deaths and injuries sustained by women undergoing surgical contraception in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. more
06 November 2014

UNFPA partners with the Guardian in the fight against FGM

NAIROBI, Kenya – A new campaign highlighting the critical role of media in helping to end female genital mutilation (FGM) was launched in Kenya, Nairobi, last week. The campaign will engage global media outlets, particularly in Africa, on how to improve their coverage of the consequences of this practice on women and girls, their families and their communities. It will also encourage reporting on the communities’ efforts to abandon FGM and protect women’s and girls’ rights. The aim is to help end this practice within a generation. more
19 October 2014

UNFPA welcomes news of agreement on Chibok girls’ release

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, welcomes news of a ceasefire agreement that is expected to lead to the release of the more than 200 girls who were kidnapped from the north-eastern Nigerian town of Chibok—the Chibok Girls. These girls have languished in captivity long enough, and it is high time they are returned to their families, communities and schools. more
10 October 2014

UNFPA statement on the Nobel Peace Prize announcement

UNFPA warmly welcomes the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai, which acknowledges Malala’s struggle to promote the rights of young girls, particularly to education. more
09 October 2014

Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence

Today on the International Day of the Girl Child, I join every person around the world who believes that adolescent girls should live free of violence and discrimination. We are guided by the international human rights to which every human being is rightfully entitled. Every girl, no matter where she is born, should have a chance to reach her potential. more
01 October 2014

Executive Director's Statement on the Occasion of the International Day of Older Persons

On this 24th International Day of Older Persons, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, joins the worldwide celebration of longevity and acknowledges the contributions that older persons make to their families, communities and societies. We celebrate the fact that more people are living longer and healthier lives. This is due to improvements in nutrition, sanitation, medical science, health care, education and economic well-being. more
29 September 2014

In one girl's stand against child marriage, a path forward for development

UNITED NATIONS, New York – “When I was age 16, my father wanted me to marry a 25-year-old man named Alhamza,” Nana told a room full of dignitaries and leaders at a high-level panel discussion on child marriage at the United Nations last week. Child marriage is a human rights violation, yet it is all too common. more
25 September 2014

Youth Envoy shines spotlight on young people’s development priorities

UNITED NATIONS, New York – The future of global development is high on the agenda as world leaders convene at the United Nations in New York for the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. Young people – their needs and their priorities – must be included in these plans, UNFPA’s Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, said at a high-level event this morning. more