Special Advisor on COVID-19 to the President of the European Commission,
Professor of Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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 was a professor of microbiology, and of public health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, the Free University of Brussels, and the University of Nairobi, was a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington, a Scholar in Residence at the Ford Foundation, and a Senior Fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was the Director of the Institute for Global Health at Imperial College, London, and held the chair 2009/2010 “Knowledge against poverty” at the College de France.

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 is the first Chair of Her Majesty’s Government’s Strategic Coherence of ODA-funded Research (SCOR) Board and is Chair of of the King Baudouin Foundation (KBF) USA and of the African Health Research Institute (AHRI), Durban, South Africa. He is Vice-Chair of the Global Health Innovation Technology Fund (GHIT), Tokyo, and member of the Board of the Novartis Foundation, Basel; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), and Sentebale. He is also a Special Advisor to the President of the European Commission on research and innovation for COVID-19.