Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala


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Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Board Chair

Gavi – The Vaccine Alliance

A development economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been the Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, since January 1, 2016.


Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings more than 30 years of development and financial expertise to the Gavi Board. She has twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, most recently between 2011 and 2015 – a role that encompassed the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy. In 2006, she served as Foreign Affairs Minister. She has also held several key positions at the World Bank, including as Managing Director, and serves on the boards of Twitter and Standard Chartered Bank PLC.


In April 2020, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala she was appointed an African Union Special Envoy to mobilize international financial support for the fight against COVID-19, and a WHO Special Envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.


Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. In 2013, she was elected Chairperson of the Governing Board of African Risk Capacity, a specialized agency of the AU established to help African governments improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.


Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was named as one of Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women (Forbes Africa, 2020) and previously was listed among the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders (Fortune, 2015); the World’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (Forbes, 2011-2015), and the 100 Most Influential People (TIME, 2014).


She is the author of several books, including Fighting Corruption is Dangerous (MIT Press, 2018) and Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press, 2012).


Dr. Okonjo-Iweala graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard University, and holds a Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has received more than ten honorary degrees, including from Yale University, Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Trinity College, Dublin.

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