Mr Michel Sidibé has been the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations since 1 January 2009.
His vision is zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths which he has made the end goal of UNAIDS. He is committed to transforming UNAIDS into a results-oriented organization and to supporting countries to achieve the bold new targets outlined in the 2011 UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.
An outspoken advocate with a people-centred approach, he has called for the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015.
Mr Sidibé’s passion for advancing global health began in his native Mali, where he took up the cause of the nomadic Tuareg people. His tireless efforts to improve their health and welfare evolved into a role as a country director for the international development federation Terre des Hommes. Since those early days, Mr Sidibé has spent more than 25 years in public service.
In 1987, Mr Sidibé joined UNICEF in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). In his 14 years at UNICEF he oversaw programmes across 10 francophone countries in Africa. He also served as a UNICEF country representative in several African countries, including Burundi, Swaziland and Uganda.
Mr Sidibé became the Director of the Country and Regional Support Department of UNAIDS in 2001. In 2007, he was appointed as UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Programmes and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. With this new mandate, he led UNAIDS’ contributions to regional and country responses as well as its efforts in global policies, evidence, and monitoring and evaluation.
In 2011 Mr Sidibé was appointed to the Global Board of Directors of Grassroot Soccer, a non-profit organization committed to preventing new HIV infections in Africa. In 2010 Mr Sidibé received the Emerging Leader Award from the UN Foundation and the United Nations Association of the USA in recognition of his leadership in advancing UN causes. He was named one of the 50 personalities of the year in 2009 by the newspaper Le Monde, and in 2007 he was awarded an honorary professorship at Stellenbosch University of South Africa. He is a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France, an Officer of the National Order of Mali and was awarded an Order of Saint-Charles by Monaco. He earned two Post-Master’s Diplomas in Social Planning and Demography as well as in Development and Political Economy from the University of Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand. He holds a Master’s degree in economics.
Born in 1952, Mr Sidibé is a citizen of Mali. He is fluent in English and French. He also speaks several African languages, including Bambara, Mandingo and Dioula. He is married and has four children.