Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Education: 

 PhD in regional economics and development, MIT; AB in economics, Harvard University

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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 8 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 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).

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 Commission on the New Climate Economy with Lord Nicolas Stern and Paul Polman. In addition, she is a member of numerous boards and advisory groups, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Harvard University, the Oxford University Martin School Advisory Council, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking, the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Foundation, the International Commission on Financing Global Education (Chaired by Gordon Brown), among others.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala is a recipient of Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award (2011), the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2014), the Devex Power with Purpose Award (2016), the Global Fairness Award (2016), and the Columbia University Global Leadership Award (2011), to name a few. She has received over ten honorary degrees, including from Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, and Trinity College, Dublin.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University, and 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 Reforming the UnReformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press, 2012), and The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy (Africa World Press, 2003).

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