Born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938, Kofi Annan studied economics until he graduated from the MIT. He joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization in Geneva. He then held senior positions in a diverse range of areas, including Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping. He is appointed Secretary-General in 1997 and immediatly gave priority to revitalizing the UN through a comprehensive programme of reform. He has been known for his efforts in trying to end the Isareli-Palestinian conflict, his commitment in the defense of equality for women, and his programs against HIV/AIDS. His second mandate ends in 2006.
(Biography written with the help of the UN website).