Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: A Unifying Name
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Early life and education
Okonjo-Iweala was born in Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State, Nigeria, where her father Professor Chukwuka Okonjo was the Obi (King) from the Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Ukwu.
Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Queen’s School, Enugu, St. Anne’s School, Molete, Ibadan, and the International School Ibadan. She arrived in the US in 1973 as a teenager to study at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an AB in Economics in 1976. In 1981, she earned her PhD in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a thesis titled Credit policy, rural financial markets, and Nigeria’s agricultural development. She received an international fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), that supported her doctoral studies.
She is married to Ikemba Iweala, a neurosurgeon from Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria. They have four children, including author Uzodinma Iweala.
Economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria’s first female finance minister (and its longest serving) and spent 25 years working for the World Bank. She sits on the boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and the African Risk Capacity (ARC), and is poised to become the first female head of the World Trade Organization. It is for these reasons, and more, that Forbes Africa named her its African Person of the Year 2020 and that we’re calling her a woman to watch closely in 2021. Full Bio of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Congratulations to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on becoming the first female, first African Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.