Annan, Kofi (1938- ), secretary general of the United Nations (UN), born in
Annan was born in
After ten years of service with the UN, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a master’s degree in management in 1972.
Annan joined the UN in 1962 as a budget officer with the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO). He later managed budgetary and personnel operations for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office of Financial Services. Between 1987 and 1992, Annan served as an assistant secretary general in a variety of posts, including the Office of Human Resources Management and Security Coordination and the Office of Program Planning, Budget, and Finance. From 1992 until his election as UN secretary general, Annan served as assistant secretary general and under secretary general for UN peacekeeping operations.
Annan assumed responsibility for UN peacekeeping operations in a period when localized conflicts, fueled by nationalism and tension between ethnic groups, had flared up in many parts of the world. During the early and mid-1990s, the UN organized an increasing number of peacekeeping operations in nations such as
Between 1990 and 1996, the
As secretary general, Annan reorganized the management of the UN in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs, and he improved the organization’s relationship with the