Peter Piot is the Director of the School and a Professor of Global Health. He is the Chair of the MRC Global Health Group and a member of the MRC Strategy Board. He is a member of the Board of the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund in Tokyo. Previously he was President of the International AIDS Society and Chair of the King Baudouin Foundation and Chair if the European Forum for Forward Looking Activities.
In 2009-2010 he was the Director of the Institute for Global Health at Imperial College, London. 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 spear heading UN reform by bringing together 10 UN system organizations.
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 held the chair 2009/2010 "Knowledge against poverty" at the College de France in Paris, and was a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was elected a foreign member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, and is also an elected member of the Académie Nationale de Médicine of France, and of the Royal Academy of Medicine of his native Belgium, and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
He has received numerous scientific and civic awards including an honorary doctorate from 7 universities, the Thomas Parran Award from ASTDA, the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights in 2001, and the Frank A Calderon Prize in Public Health in 2003. He was knighted as a baron in 1995 in his native Belgium, and awarded a CMG in 2009. In 2013 he was the laureate of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research in 2014 he received the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health, and won the 2015 Canada Gairdner Global Health Award.
He has published over 550 scientific articles and 16 books, including his memoir 'No Time to Lose' in 2012.
Prof. Piot has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Novartis Foundation since June 2015.