A princess born into a family of well educated Nigerian Royals on 13th day of June 1954, she hails from Delta State of Nigeria, and spent the early years of her life living with her grandparents while her parents studied abroad. Upon the return of her parents she moved with them to Ibadan, South west of Nigeria where her parents worked with the then University College of Ibadan now University of Ibadan. She later attended the girl’s school in Enugu and adds a long break due to the civil war in Nigeria. She completed her secondary education at St Annes College in Ibadan.

Though the civil war disrupted her education it did not slow her down, she passed her a levels in with good grades and got admitted into Harvard University to study Economics. Leaving the shores of the country Ngozi Okonjo Iweala performed exceptionally well in school and Graduated with good grades. She has a PHD from MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



Special Assistant to the Senior Vice-President, Operations, World Bank, 1989-91; Director of Institutional Change and Strategy, World Bank, 1995-97; Country Director, Malaysia, Mongolia, Laos and Cambodia, World Bank, 1997-2000; Deputy Vice-President, Middle East Region, World Bank, 2000-03; Minister of Finance and Economy, 2003-06; Minister of Foreign Affairs, June-August 2006; Managing Director, World Bank, 2007 to date.
Commentary: Born in 1954, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala studied economics at Harvard University, and then earned a PhD in regional economics and development from MIT in 1981. She joined the World Bank, where she spent 21 years as a development economist. She became intimately familiar with the economies of East Asia, putting in two tours in the region, and acting as country director for Malaysia, Mongolia, Laos and Cambodia.


BA : Harvard University

PhD :Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Honorary Doctorate :Yale University

Honorary Doctorate 2006:Brown University

Honorary Doctorate 2007:Colby College

Honorary Doctorate :Northern Caribbean University

Honorary Doctorate :The University of Pennsylvania

Honorary Doctorate :Amherst College


Harvard University

The World Bank Group

Yale University

African Development Bank

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The University of Pennsylvania

Brown University

Amherst College

Colby College

International Monetary Fund

World Resource Institute

Islamic Development Bank

Northern Caribbean University

Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority


As a Minister of Finance she heads a team which is responsible for the economic reforms policy in Nigeria.

She initiated the practice of publishing allocations from to the Federal government to each state in the country.

She was instrumental to boosting Nigeria’s credit rating from Fitch and Standard and Poor’s to BB minus.

She headed a team that renegotiated the cancellation of US $18 billion about 60 percent of Nigeria’s external debt with the Paris Club which includes a juicy buyback to wipes the countries debt and reduces it indebtness to $5 Billion.

After her resignation as Minister of Finance she founded NOI Consulting and also co founded Makeda Funds with SEAF. The Fund was designed to help and support small business in emerging markets. She left NOI consulting to serve as Managing Director of the World Bank. After a while she was called to serve again has the Finance Minister of Nigeria by President Goodluck Jonathan .

International awards

TIMES Europe –Hero 2004

Euromoney Magazine –  Global Finance Minister of the year 2005

Financial Times/The Banker African Finance Minister 2005



The Board of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance created in 2000, unanimously agreed on September 18 to appoint Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Managing Director of the World Bank and former Minister of Finance of Nigeria, as chair, effective January 1, 2016.


The former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was on Monday appointed into two key international positions, her Media Adviser, Paul Nwabuikwu, said in a statement in Abuja.

Apart from being named Chair of the 28-member Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, (GAVI), Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala also joined the 167-year-old global sovereign advisory investment firm, Lazard, as Senior Advisor.

GAVI is a $12 billion multilateral international public-private partnership committed to saving the lives of children and protecting people’s health by improving access to immunization in developing countries, including Nigeria.

GAVI, which disburses grants of upwards of $1.8 billion annually to developing countries for immunization programmes, brings together developing countries and donor governments, including the World Health Organization, WHO; United Nations International Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, and the World Bank.

Other partners to the global agency include the vaccine industry in both industrialized and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.

GAVI was funded by governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the State of Qatar.

Others include the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States as well as the European Commission, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID and other institutional and corporate partners.

Between 2000 and 2015, GAVI disbursed about $425million, an average of about $30million per annum in grants to Nigeria, for vaccination and immunization of children, including polio vaccines.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala would be succeeding a former Norwegian Minister of Health and current Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Dagfinn Høybråten, as Chair of GAVI.

Previous Chairs of the group include former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and respected education activist and former First Lady of South Africa, Graca Machel.

At Lazard, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala would work with the former Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating; former Special adviser to President Bill Clinton, Vernon Jordan; former Spanish Economy Minister and current Senior Managing Director at Lazard, Rodrigo de Rato; former chair of NASDAQ, Frank Zarb; former Finance Minister of Chile, Andres Velasco, and former British Minister of Parliament/Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell.

Global Head of M&A and Sovereign Advisory of Lazard, Matthieu Pigasse, expressed happiness for Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment.

“We are proud to welcome Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as a Senior Advisor to our world-leading sovereign advisory group. She will bring a unique international expertise and experience that will benefit both our sovereign and corporate clients,” he said.

In her reaction to the two appointments, the former Minister, who would be based in Paris, Geneva and London said: “I am excited to be embarking on this fresh journey. The two appointments will enable me to continue doing what I know best – rendering public service and using my financial and economist skills. I thank the international community for the recognition and continued support. I am also grateful for the prayers and support of many Nigerians”.


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