- Tedros was born in 3 March 1965 Asmara, which at that time was in Ethiopia—but is now the capital of Eritrea—to Adhanom Gebreyesus and Melashu Weldegabir.
- In 1986, Tedros received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Asmara. In 1992, Tedros received a Master of Science degree in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine at the University of London.
- In 2000, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy in community health from the University of Nottingham for research investigating the effects of dams on the transmission of malaria in the Tigray region of Ethiopia
- In 1986, after his first degree, Tedros joined the Ministry of Health of the Derg as a junior public health expert. In 2001, Tedros was appointed head of the Tigray Regional Health Bureau.
- In late 2003, Tedros was appointed a State Minister (deputy minister) for Health, and served for just over a year.
- In October 2005, Tedros was appointed Minister of Health of Ethiopia by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Tedros designed the health workforce “flooding” reform strategy that has resulted in the training and deployment of thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technologists and health officers.
- As Minister of Health, Tedros was able to form a close relationship with prominent figures including former American president Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- In 2010 the US State Department named Ethiopia as one of the US Global Health Initiative Plus countries, providing the country with greater access to resources for public health projects.
- He was Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (2007–2009), Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS (2009–2010) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria(2009–2011) and Co-Chair of
- He served as vice-president of the 60th World Health Assembly that was held on 14–23 May 2007. Deaths from malaria fell by more than 50% from 2005 to 2007. The Health Ministry conducted the distribution of 20.5 million insecticide-treated bed nets to protect over 10 million families.
- Under Tedros, the Ministry of Health was able to turn around Ethiopia’s record of the highest number of new HIV infections in Africa, bringing the number down dramatically.
- According to the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) said the rate of HIV infection in Ethiopia has declined by 90% between 2002 and 2012, while the rate AIDS-related death has dropped by 53%.
- In November 2012, Tedros became Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. He held this position from November 2012 until 2016
- Tedros was instrumental in the successful outcome of the Third International Conference for Financing for Development, which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 13–16 July 2015 demonstrating his negotiation and consensus building skills.
- Tedros was responsible for the organization of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) document in which the attending countries committed to financing for the Sustainable Development Goals.
- He emphasized the need for Africa to focus on issues of economic emancipation, peace and stability, the acceleration of rapid economic growth, governance and democratization.
- During his tenure, the AU adopted its First Ten Year Implementation Plan for Agenda 2063 – a roadmap for achieving a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable growth, which has placed health as its centerpiece.
- As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tedros played a pivotal leadership role in the Africa Union’s response to the 2013–2016 Western African Ebola virus epidemic.
- On 24 May 2016, on the margins of the 69th World Health Assembly, Tedros officially announced his candidacy for the post of the Director-General of the World Health Organization as the sole African candidate.
- Tedros was elected as Director-General of the World Health Organization by the World Health Assembly on 23 May 2017,becoming the first director-general who is not a medical doctor, with an overwhelming 133 votes out of 185.
- Tedros has identified universal health coverage as his top priority at WHO.
- In early 2020, Tedros oversaw the world’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic.In January 2020, Tedros met with Chinese leaders including Foreign Minister Wang Yi and paramount leader Xi Jinping about COVID-19.
- On January 23, 2019, the WHO stated the novel coronavirus did not yet rise to the level of an international emergency, but that the organization was closely tracking the virus’ evolution.
- On 31 January 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
- On 11 March 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Tedros praised China for its containment measures, describing them as a “new standard for outbreak control.“
- During the COVID-19 pandemic some government officials and public-health experts accused Tedros of failing to declare a pandemic soon enough, and of having a too close relationship with the government of China.
- On 8 April 2020, in response to President Donald Trump’s threat to cut U.S. funding to the WHO, Tedros responded by asking for the virus not to be politicized and calling for unity in fighting the “common enemy.