Stephen Lewis is the co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organization. He is also a Professor of Distinction at Ryerson University and board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Mr. Lewis 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 & the Law and on the Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy.
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.
Mr. Lewis is the author of the best-selling book, Race Against Time. He holds 42 honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities.
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.