Stephen Lewis

It is almost inconceivable that the extravagant promises of Gleneagles are revealed as so fatuous that the Global Fund is now compromised. No one is asking for any more than that which was promised. But the Pavlovian betrayal of the South has already begun. Everything in the battle against AIDS is put at risk by the behaviour of the G8.

Stephen Lewis is Co-Founder and Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, an international AIDS advocacy organization, based in the United States.  He is Chair of the board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Canada and he is a Professor in Global Health in the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University.   Mr. Lewis also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).

Stephen Lewis’ 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, Mr. Lewis was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization’s global headquarters in New York.   In 1997, in addition to his work at UNICEF, Mr. Lewis was appointed by the Organization of African Unity to a Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the Genocide in Rwanda.

From 1984 through 1988, Stephen Lewis was Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations. In this capacity, he chaired the Committee that drafted the Five-Year UN Programme on African Economic Recovery.  He also chaired the first International Conference on Climate Change, in1988, which drew up the first comprehensive policy on global warming. 

From 1970-1978, Mr. Lewis was leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, during which time he became leader of the Official Opposition.

Mr. Lewis holds 28 honorary degrees from Canadian universities.  He is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is a Senior Fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto.

Mr. Lewis was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, in 2003.   The same year, Maclean’s magazine honoured Mr. Lewis as their inaugural “Canadian of the Year.”   In April 2005, TIME magazine listed Stephen Lewis as one of the ‘100 most influential people in the world’.  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 honour.

Stephen Lewis’ best-selling book, Race Against Time was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Award and the Trillium Book Award. It won the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Libris Award for non-fiction book of the year, and Mr. Lewis was named the CBA’s Author of the Year for 2005.