Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is currently the Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to this appointment, she was the Managing Director of the World Bank, a position which includes special oversight for the Bank’s operations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, South Asia and Africa. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was at the forefront of the Bank’s efforts to help countries hard hit by the food, fuel and financial crisis.
From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala served as Finance Minister of Nigeria and later Foreign Affairs Minister. As Minister of Finance, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors in 2005 that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s external debt, including outright cancellation of US$18 billion. After leaving the government, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala joined Brookings Institution as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow from 2006 to 2007.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has received numerous awards, including Time Magazine’s European Hero of the Year Award in 2004 and Euromoney Magazine Global Finance Minister of the year in 2005. In 2006, she was named by Forbes as one of 100 most powerful women in the world. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Harvard University and has a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.