Former Minister of Finance - Nigeria
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. Since its creation in 2000, Gavi has immunised 580 million children globally and saved eight million lives. She is also Senior Adviser at Lazard, one the world’s premier financial advisory and asset management firms.
Previously, Dr Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006, 2011-2015, and briefly Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of Managing Director, responsible for an $81 billion operational portfolio including Europe and Central Asia, South Asia, and Africa (2007-2011).
Dr Okonjo-Iweala has been listed as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (Fortune, 2015), the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World (TIME, 2014), the Top 100 Global Thinkers (Foreign Policy, 2011 and 2012), the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World (Forbes, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), the Top 3 Most Powerful Women in Africa (Forbes, 2012), the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Africa (Forbes, 2011), the Top 100 Women in the World (The UK Guardian, 2011), the Top 150 Women in the World (Newsweek, 2011), and the Top 100 most inspiring people in the World Delivering for Girls and Women (Women Deliver, 2011). She has also been listed among 73 “brilliant” business influencers in the world by the Condé Nast International.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala is currently also Chair of the Board of the African Union’s African Risk Capacity (ARC), an innovative weather-based insurance mechanism for African countries; and co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate with Lord Nicolas Stern and Paul Polman. She has served for a decade on the Rockefeller Foundation Board, the One Campaign, and the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders. She is a member of the Standard Chartered Bank PLC and Twitter Boards among other corporate boards. She presently serves on the following advisory boards or groups – the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Harvard University International Advisory Board, the Oxford University Martin School Advisory Council, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking, the International Commission on Financing Global Education (Chaired by Gordon Brown), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Tax Inspectors Without Borders of the OECD among others.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala is a recipient of the Madeleine K. Albright Global Development Award (2017), the Devex Power with Purpose Award (2016), the Global Fairness Award (2016), the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2014), the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award (2011), and the Columbia University Global Leadership Award (2011), to name a few. She has received over twelve honorary degrees, including from Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, and Trinity College, Dublin.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University, and earned a Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines (MIT Press, 2018), Reforming the UnReformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press, 2012), and The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy (Africa World Press, 2003).