How do we explain Kofi Annan’s enduring moral prestige? The puzzle is that it has survived failures, both his own and those of the institution he served for fifty years. Personal charisma is only part of the story. In addition to his charm, of which there is plenty, there is the authority that comes from experience. Few people have spent so much time around negotiating tables with thugs, warlords, and dictators. He has made himself the world’s emissary to the dark side.