On 1 January 2011, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin became the fourth Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before this appointment, Dr. Osotimehin had served as the Minister of Health of Nigeria. Prior to that position, he was the Director-General of the Nigerian National Agency for the Control of AIDS, which coordinates all HIV and AIDS work in a country of about 160 million people.
Dr. Osotimehin qualified as a medical doctor from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1972, and then went to the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, where he got a doctorate in medicine in 1979. He is a member of the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Physicians and was, between 1996 and 1997, a visiting fellow at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies. In 2006, he was inducted as a fellow of the prestigious Nigerian Academy of Sciences.
The new UNFPA Executive Director was appointed as a Professor at the University of Ibadan in 1980 and headed the Department of Clinical Pathology before being elected as Provost of the College of Medicine of the same university in 1990. He held the position until 1994.
Dr. Osotimehin’s interests include youth and gender, within the context of reproductive health and rights. In recognition of his contributions, especially as a leader of Nigeria’s response to HIV and AIDS, he was awarded the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in December 2005.