Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Chair of the Board of Gavi, The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations

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 of 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, 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, overseeing an $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala has been ranked by Fortune as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders in 2015, by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World consecutively for four years, by Time as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014, and by the UK Guardian as one of the Top 100 Women in the World in 2011.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala holds a Bachelors in Economics from Harvard University and a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has received honorary degrees from over a dozen universities, including Yale, Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, and Trinity College, Dublin. She is the author of numerous articles on finance and development, and several books including Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria, published by the MIT Press.

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