Peter Piot is a former Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and is a Handa Professor of Global Health. He is visiting professor at the National University of Singapore, and is Special Advisor on Covid-19 of the President of the European Commission.
He has a medical degree from the University of Ghent (1974), and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Antwerp (1980). In 1976 he co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire while working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and led research on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and women's health, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. He had academic affiliations at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, the University of Nairobi, the University of Washington, Imperial College London, and the College de France Paris, and was Senior Fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
He was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008, and was an Associate Director of the Global Programme on AIDS of WHO. Under his leadership UNAIDS became the chief advocate for worldwide action against AIDS, also spearheading UN reform by bringing together 10 UN system organizations.
Professor Piot was Chair of the King Baudouin Foundation Brussels and New York, and was Vice Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI). He is Vice-Chair of the Global Health Innovation Technology Fund (GHIT), Tokyo, and member of the Board of the Novartis Foundation, Basel, and of Biocon Biologics, Bengaluru. He was President of the International AIDS Society.
Peter Piot is a member of the US National Academy of Medicine, The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the French Académie Nationale de Médecine, The U.K. Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Royal Academy of Medicine of his native Belgium.
He has received numerous scientific and civic awards such as the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Japan, the Robert Koch Gold medal, The Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health, the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, and the Prix International INSERM, Paris, He was a 2014 TIME Person of the Year (The Ebola Fighters). Peter Piot was ennobled as a Baron in 1995 in Belgium, and knighted (KCMG) in the U.K., and received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan.
He has published over 600 scientific articles and 17 books, including his memoir 'No Time to Lose' in 2012 (WW Norton), translated into French, Dutch, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. He is married to Heidi Larson.