, 1939-, French physician, diplomat, and politician. A gastroenterologist by training, he earned his medical degree in France in the late 1960s. He practiced first at Cochin Hospital, Paris, and then as a volunteer doctor with the International Red Cross during the Biafra
crisis. An advocate of "humanitarian intervention," Kouchner was (1971) a founder of Doctors Without Borders
and served as its president until 1979. That year he founded a similar humanitarian group, Doctors of the World, was its president (1980-88), and organized medical operations in such nations as Malaysia, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Somalia. A socialist, he also has been active in French politics. He served as a state minister with responsibilities for humanitarian affairs (1988-93) and health (1992-93), and was also (1994-96) a member of the European Parliament. Between appointments as France's health minister (1997-99, 2001-2002), Kouchner served (1999-2001) as chief of the UN administration in Kosovo. In 2007 he was appointed foreign minister by French president Nicolas Sarkozy
. Kouchner has written several books.
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