Mr. Yohei Sasakawa was born in Tokyo, Japan. He became a trustee of the Nippon Foundation in 1981, served as its President from 1989 to 2005, and assumed chairmanship in July of 2005.
In 2001, Mr. Sasakawa was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Elimination of Leprosy by the World Health Organization. Foundations Sasakawa helped establish include the United States-Japan Foundation, the Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Foundation Franco-Japonaise Sasakawa and the Tokyo Foundation. In 2006, he initiated a new foundation in India, known as the Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation. He also inaugurated Sasakawa-Global 2000, an effort to enable Africans to become self-sufficient in crop production.
Mr. Sasakawa holds numerous honors and awards from many countries including, among others, the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service from Peru, the Order of Friendship from the Russian Federation, the Medal for Merits from Ukraine, the Frantsiska Scarina Medal from Belarus, the China Health Medal, the Health-for-All Gold Medal from the World Health Organization, the Millennium Gandhi Award from the International Leprosy Union, the National Construction Medal from Cambodia, the Yomiuri International Cooperation Prize from Japan and the International Gandhi Award of 2006. In 2010, he was presented the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion.