Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. She is a senior adviser at Lazard and chair-elect of Gavi. She was previously the minister of finance in Nigeria and coordinating minister for the economy (August 2011 to May 2015). Prior to this, she was managing director of the World Bank (2007 to 2011).
Okonjo-Iweala also held the positions of finance minister and foreign affairs minister of Nigeria between 2003 and 2006. She is notable for being the first woman to hold either of these positions. As finance minister she was lauded for ridding Nigeria of $30 billion dollars of external debt with the Paris Club. Okonjo-Iweala is the recipient of numerous awards including honorary doctorates from some of the world’s most prestigious universities such as Yale, UPenn, Brown, and Colby.
In 2015, she was named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune. In 2014, TIME magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world and Forbes has named her one of the 100 most powerful women in the world for 5 years consecutively since 2011 and one of the three most powerful women in Africa. She is chair and member of several boards and high-level global development initiatives including the UN’s Post 2015 MDGs High Level Panel, the Post-Busan Global Partnership for Development Effectiveness, the Rockefeller Foundation, the ONE Foundation, and the AU’s African Risk Capacity to name a few. She is also the author of several books and articles including Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria, recently released from MIT Press. She was educated at Harvard University and holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.