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Kofi Annan

Kofi AnnanAKA Kofi Atta Annan

Born: 8-Apr-1938
Birthplace: Kumasi, Ghana

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government

Nationality: Ghana
Executive summary: Secretary General of the UN, 1997-2006

Kofi Annan and his twin sister were born into a family of gold merchants in what would later become Ghana. His uncle and both his grandfathers had been tribal chiefs, and his father was Regional Minister (governor) of Ghana's Ashanti province. As a boy he was sent to elite private boarding schools, and as a young man he studied economics and management at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales in Geneva, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A lifelong U.N. bureaucrat, Annan started working for the U.N. while studying in Geneva in 1962. Early on, he famously wrote that he'd be running this organization one day. For the next few decades, Annan took on a variety of U.N. assignments involving budget and finance and such, in Ethiopia, Egypt, Switzerland and the U.S. In the wake of the Iraq-Kuwait-USA war, he was sent to negotiate the release of hostages, the quick exit of half a million stranded Asian workers, and the sale of humanitarian supplies to Iraq. He was Under-Secretary General under Boutros Boutros-Ghali when he got the big gig in 1997, becoming the first black U.N. Secretary General.

Father: Henry Reginald Annan (Regional Minister of Ashanti, b. 1904, d. 1995)
Mother: Victoria Esi Annan (b. 1908)
Sister: Efua (twin, d. 1991)
Sister: Esi Quainoo
Wife: Nane Lagergren (Swedish artist and lawyer, one son, two daughters)
Son: Kojo

    High School: Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, Ghana
    University: University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
    University: BA, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN (1961)
    University: Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales, Geneva, Switzerland
    University: MS Management, MIT (1972)

    UN Secretary General (1997-2006)
    UN Envoy to the former Yugoslavia (1995-96)
    UN Official Under Secretary, Peacekeeping Operations (1992-96)
    UN Official Asst. Secretary-General, Budget & Finance (1990-92)
    Ghana Official Director of Tourism (1974-76)
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Trustee
    World Health Organization 1962
    World Economic Forum Foundation Board
    Hunger Strike
    Nobel Peace Prize 2001 (with the United Nations)
    Four Freedoms Medal 2004
    Wedding: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones (2000)
    Funeral: Ronald Reagan (2004)
    Funeral: Nelson Mandela (2013)

Author of books:
Interventions: A Life in War and Peace (2012, memoir)


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