A development economist and former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala assumed the role of Gavi Board Chair on 1 January 2016. She brings to the Gavi Board more than 30 years of experience in development and finance, valuable assets as Gavi strives to ensure that its immunisation programmes are financially sustainable. Her commitment to finding private sector solutions to development challenges also aligns with the Gavi mission.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala has twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, most recently between 2011 and 2015, and prior to that she was the Minister for Foreign Affairs. She has held several key positions at the World Bank, including that of Managing Director. Dr Okonjo-Iweala also serves on the boards of The Rockefeller Foundation and the Center for Global Development. In addition, she is the chair of African Risk Capacity, a specialised agency of the African Union which exists to help Member States prepare for and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.
In 2015, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was named by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 greatest world leaders. She has also been recognised as one of the world’s 100 most influential people (Time magazine, 2014) and as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world (Forbes, five consecutive years).
Dr Okonjo-Iweala graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard University (USA), and holds a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). She has received awards and honorary doctorates, from Yale University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.