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Speaker: Stephen Lewis

Stephen LewisStephen Lewis is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. He is the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (, which is dedicated to turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa, and he is co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States.

Mr. Lewis is a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.  He also serves as a Commissioner on the newly formed Global Commission on HIV and the Law, created by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). 

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 34 honorary degrees from Canadian universities and in June 2010 he received an honorary degree from Dartmouth College in the United States.  Mr. Lewis was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, in 2003.    

He was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal in 2004 by the United Nations Association in Canada; the award celebrates outstanding achievement in the field of international service and understanding.  I n 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.   


Topics: Teamwork and Leadership; Education and Family; Human Rights; Health and Wellness; Ethical, Moral and Spiritual Issues; Environment

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Top Speaking Topics

Education: The World's Greatest Force For Good
Mr. Lewis, using the themes of the conference, will explore the way in which education, throughout the world, transforms the lives children lead, and is perhaps the greatest, unacknowledged instrument we have for dramatic social change".

Healthcare: Scientists as Activists
What is desperately needed in the response to AIDS is unrelenting and informed voices of advocacy.  Mr. Lewis will call upon the scientific community to use both their science and their voices to respond to the AIDS pandemic.

World Affairs: Where in the World is the World Headed?
Mr. Lewis will make a panoramic sweep of international affairs, concentrating, especially, on globalization, conflict, poverty, disease and the place of corporate social responsibility in all of it.

Gender Equality: The Single Most Important Struggle on the Planet
The absence of equality is compromising, sabotaging, prejudicing, and damaging the lives of women around the world. We cannot continue to marginalize 52% of the world's population and expect ever to embrace social justice and equality.