Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Economist and former Minister of Finance, Nigeria

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the former Minister of Finance of Nigeria and Coordinating Minister for the Economy (2011 to 2015). Prior to this, she was Managing Director of the World Bank (2007 to 2011). She also held the positions of Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nigeria (2003 to 2006), notably as 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. In 2015, she joined the Center for Global Development as a distinguished visiting fellow. Ms. 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, Colby etc. 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 the MIT Press. She was educated at Harvard University and holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.