Dr. Nafis Sadik, currently Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General with additional responsibilities as Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia, and former head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
A national of Pakistan, Dr. Sadik was born in Jaunpur, India and is daughter of Iffat Ara and Muhammad Shoaib, former Finance Minister of Pakistan. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Dow Medical Collegein Karachi.
Before joining the United Nations, Dr. Sadik was Director-General of the Pakistan Central Family Planning Council, the Government agency charged with carrying out the national family planning programme. She had joined the Council in 1966, as Director of Planning and Training. She was appointed Deputy Director-General in 1968 and Director-General in 1970. Prior to that, in 1964, Dr. Sadik was appointed head of the Health Section of the Government’s Planning Commission. From 1954 to 1963, Dr. Sadik served as civilian medical officer in various Pakistani armed forces hospitals.
Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General and his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, served as Executive Director of UNFPA, with the rank of Under-Secretary-General, from 1987 through 2000.
On her appointment in 1987, she became the first woman to head one of the United Nations' major voluntarily-funded programmes.
Dr. Sadik has consistently called attention to the importance of addressing the needs of women, and of involving women directly in making and carrying out development policy. This is particularly important for population policies and programmes.
In June 1990, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed Dr. Sadik Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 1994.
Dr. Sadik's contribution to improving the health of women and children of the global community has brought her many international awards and honours.
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.
Dr. Sadik has written numerous articles for leading publications in the family planning, health, and population and development fields, and edited several books, among them: Population: The UNFPA Experience (New York University Press, 1984), Population Policies and Programmes: Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Experience, (New York University Press, 1991), and Making a Difference: Twenty-five Years of UNFPA Experience, (Banson, London, United Kingdom, 1994).
She currently sits on the Advisor Board for the German Foundation for World Population.
- 1995 Prince Mahidol Award from the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation Branch Public Health
- 2000 Margaret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America
- World Citizenship Award from the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 2002
- Population: The UNFPA Experience (New York University Press, 1984)
- Population Policies and Programmes: Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Experience, (New York University Press, 1991)
- Making a Difference: Twenty-five Years of UNFPA Experience, (Banson, London, United Kingdom, 1994)
Nafis Sadik is an Emeritus Member of Population Action International.
- Muhammad Shoaib
- Champion of Choice: The Life and Legacy of Women's Advocate Nafis Sadik by Cathleen Miller