Stephen Lewis walks with children (Photo by Gillian Mathurin)

Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis is the co-founder and the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. He is a Professor of Distinction at Ryerson University in Toronto and a Professor of Practice in Global Governance at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University. He is co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States.   

Mr. Lewis is a Senior Fellow of the Enough Project. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Emeritus Board Member of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He served as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and in 2015 was appointed to the Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health. 

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 1984 through 1988, he was Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations. 

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

In 2003 Stephen Lewis was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement. 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. And in 2012, Mr. Lewis was an inaugural recipient of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. 

Mr. Lewis is the author of the best-selling book, Race Against Time. He holds 40 honorary doctorates: 38 from Canadian universities, as well as degrees from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University in the United States. 

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