Timothy E. Wirth is the President of the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund. These organizations were founded in 1998 through a major financial commitment from R.E. Turner to support and strengthen the work of the United Nations.
Wirth began his political career as a White House Fellow under President Lyndon Johnson and was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education in the Nixon Administration. In 1975, Wirth returned to his home state and successfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District from 1975-1987. In the House, he concentrated his efforts in the areas of communications technology and budget policy. In 1987, Wirth was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he focused on environmental issues—especially global climate change and population stabilization. After a successful term, Wirth chose not to run for re-election.
Following those two decades of elected politics, Wirth served in the U.S. Department of State as the first Undersecretary for Global Affairs from 1993 to 1997. In this position, he coordinated U.S. foreign policy in the areas of refugees, population, environment, science, human rights and narcotics. As President of the UN Foundation since its inception in 1998, Wirth has organized and led the formulation of the Foundation’s mission and program priorities, which include the environment, women and population, children’s health and peace, security and human rights. The Foundation also engages in extensive public advocacy, resource mobilization, and institutional strengthening efforts on behalf of the UN.
Prior to entering politics, Wirth was in private business in Colorado. He is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University. The recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, he also served as a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers. Wirth is married to Wren Wirth, the President of the Winslow Foundation; they have two grown children.