Among the most respected and well-known statesmen of his generation, Ban Ki-moon has traveled the world engaging in the highest levels of international dialogue and decision-making. 

With nearly four decades of experience in foreign affairs, Ban served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 through 2016, developing relationships with heads of state and top decision-makers worldwide. With unparalleled insights into the inner workings of global developments, and extensive experience engaging in negotiations on a wide range of policy issues, Ban is known for using his keen diplomatic skills to push through needed reforms. His legacy as Secretary-General is marked by putting global warming, women's rights and maternal health, and peacekeeping missions on the top of the agenda. 

"...[T]hank you, Mr. Secretary General, for your outstanding leadership of this institution and the example of your life. You've traveled a remarkable journey. Born in a village in South Korea, rising to the highest levels of global leadership. And it is a testimony to your courage and your optimism, your imagination, and your will. We see your legacy in the new Sustainable Development Goals, your courageous defense of human rights, a reinvigorated peacekeeping structure, and the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change... The world is better for [you]."
When Ban became Secretary-General in 2007, the world was facing myriad crises including the genocide in Darfur, violence in the middle east, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the threat of environmental disasters. With an unwavering commitment to human rights, Ban pushed for support on key issues. As Ban said in his address to the UN General Assembly, "Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth – these are one and the same fight."

Ban successfully convinced Sudan to allow UN peacekeepers to enter the Darfur region, a move heralded as a breakthrough in addressing the conflict. Ban has described himself as an old-school diplomat, telling The Washington Post, "I am about quietly working on the phone, being blunt behind closed doors, to force us out of the status quo." Ban's tactics were tremendously successful in galvanizing wide support for the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, which was signed by 175 countries including the United States and China, the world's two largest emitters. While it took the 1997 Kyoto Protocol eight years to be signed, with Ban's swift 
and determined campaigning he pushed for the Paris Agreement to be ratified in less than one, and crucially just four days before the 2016 U.S. election. 

"Ban has shown himself to be a cunning choice. Careful by nature...goal-oriented to the specific and achievable..."

"Even in a constrained position like the Secretary-General, Ban has been a force for progress at the UN and around the world."
- Mark Goldberg, Huffington Post
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Among Ban Ki-moon's numerous awards and recognitions:
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Respected for his commitment to the world's most pressing issues and invaluable experience as a career diplomat, Ban Ki-moon is uniquely qualified to discuss global leadership, the global economy, climate change, and the geopolitical outlook.