Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Director General of the World Trade Organisation
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The first woman and first African to hold the position in the 75-year history of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) and World Trade Organisation.
She is an economist and international development expert with over 40 years of experience. She was Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (2016 – 2020), the African Risk Capacity (2014 – 2020) and Co-Chair of The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Previously, she served as Senior Advisor at Lazard Ltd. and sat on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. Dr Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as an African Union COVID-19 Special Envoy, as well as WHO COVID-19 Special Envoy in 2020. She was one of the founders of the COVAX Facility designed to get affordable vaccines to Low and Low Middle-Income Countries
Dr Okonjo-Iweala served as Nigeria’s first female and longest serving Finance Minister (7 years). She was also the first female Foreign Minister. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank rising to the No.2 position of Managing Director, Operations.
In 2020 Dr Okonjo-Iweala was named Forbes African of the Year. She has been ranked by Fortune as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (2015) and by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World consecutively for four years. She is the recipient of 15 Honorary Doctorate Degrees including from some of the world's most prestigious universities such Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University and Trinity College Dublin.
She holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from Harvard University and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.