An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Kofi Annan and Global Leadership at the United Nations

Kofi Annan and Global Leadership at the United Nations Dr. Abiodun Williams


with Dr. Abiodun Williams and Moderator Peter Cunningham 

A fascinating account of Kofi Annan’s global leadership as UN Secretary-General including invaluable insights into the importance of leadership for the performance of a global institution, particularly in times of crisis.

Cost: Free to ILA Members; $9.95 for non-members.

Dr. Abiodun Williams’ book Kofi Annan and Global Leadership at the United Nations (August 2024, Oxford) is a study of how Annan conceived his role as Secretary-General and exercised global leadership at a turbulent period in world affairs. It discusses the challenges he faced during his tenure from 1997 to 2006 and how he dealt with them. It examines such issues as Conflict Prevention, Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding, the Responsibility to Protect, Human Rights, Climate Change, and Migration. It provides insight into how Annan led the UN during several International crises, including 9/11 and the Iraq War. It illustrates how he built partnerships with non-state actors in order to advance the UN’s mission. And the volume charts Annan’s ambitious efforts to reform and adapt the UN to the needs of the 21st century.

By attending this webinar, participants will: 

  • Get a fascinating account of Kofi Annan’s global leadership as UN Secretary-General.
  • Understand the importance of leadership for the performance of a global institution.
  • Obtain invaluable insights into global crises and challenges.
  • Appreciate the lessons of Kofi Annan’s leadership for the world today.
Dr. Abiodun Williams

Dr. Abiodun Williams is Professor of the Practice of International Politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and The Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. He also served as Director of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University from 2017 to 2022.

Previously, Williams was President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice from 2013 to 2016. The Hague Institute was shortlisted for the 2014 Prospect European Think Tank of the Year Award. From 2011 to 2012, he served as Senior Vice President of the Center for Conflict Management at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. He led USIP’s work in major conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Williams was Vice President of USIP’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention from 2008 to 2011, and directed programs and operations on conflict prevention, Iran, and Northeast Asia.

From 2001 to 2007, Williams was Director of Strategic Planning for UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon. Previously, he gained valuable field operational experience, serving with the UN from 1994 to 2000 in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Haiti, in senior political and humanitarian roles. Williams has served as Associate Dean of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and held faculty appointments at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the University of Rochester.

Peter Cunningham 2024

Moderator Peter Cunningham is Head of Leadership at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and Co-Founder of the Geneva Leadership Alliance, a network of associates and partner organizations working together to advance the understanding and practice of leadership for the benefit of peace and security worldwide.

Peter has over 20 years of experience in leadership development, adult education, and executive coaching across private, public, and non-profit sectors. He is constantly seeking new, diverse, and innovative ways to bridge the study of leadership with the practice of leading, especially at international level and across cultural, geo-graphical, political and organizational divides. 

Leveraging his diverse experience and background, he creates safe spaces for learning and encourages brave spaces for application, enabling people to learn leadership mindsets and practices in transformative ways and adapt them to their own work and life.

Peter was born in England, grew up in The Netherlands, honed his early professional skills in Australia and Asia Pacific, and is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland. He works in English, French, and Dutch.

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