Special Advisor to UN Secretary General
Nafis Sadik was born in Jaunpur India to parents, Iffat Ara and Mohammad Shoaib. She was the first woman to head one of the United Nations major voluntarily-funded programmes and has made significant contributions to improving the health of women and children. Fom 1987 to 2000, Sadik served as Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with the rank of Under-Secretary-General from 1987 through 2000. Sadik received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Dow Medical College in Karachi and has been the recipient of several honorary degrees from universities such as Brown, Duke, and Johns Hopkins. Her work as a doctor in Pakistani military hospitals shaped the rest of her professional career. She then went on to work in the health section of the Pakistani government’s Planning Commission where she held a major role in the development of the country’s first population policy. In 1971, she joined UNFPA in several different capacities. In 1994, the Secretary General appointed Dr. Sadik as Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). In addition to her work with UNFPA, she is a member of the Board of Governors of the Foundation for Human Development and a member of the South Asian Commission on the Asian Challenge. Dr. Sadik was the President of the Society for International Development (SID) for the period 1994-1997. Sadik has written several articles and edited many books, including Population: The UNFPA Experience (1984), Population Policies and Programmes: Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Experience (1991) and Making a Difference: Twenty-five years of UNFPA Experience (1994).