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Stephen Lewis Biography


Stephen Lewis is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.  He is the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (, which is dedicated to turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa, and he is co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States.
Mr. Lewis is a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.  He also serves as a Commissioner on the newly formed Global Commission on HIV and the Law, created by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of the Joint United Nations Programme of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

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. 
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 is the author of the best-selling book, Race Against Time.  He holds 32 honorary degrees from Canadian universities and in June 2010 he received an honorary degree from Dartmouth College in the United States.  Mr. Lewis was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, in 2003.  
He was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal in 2004 by the United Nations Association in Canada; the award celebrates outstanding achievement in the field of international service and understanding.  I n 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. 

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