Harvard Names Okonjo-Iweala Global Public Leaders Fellow

Nigeria ex-Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been named the next Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow by the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Dean, Harvard Kennedy School, Douglas Elmendorf, during which he said that the ex-minister ‘will bring to the Kennedy School a wealth of practical experience and insights into the development challenges and achievements in Africa and across the developing world”.

The Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Program was established with support from Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, President of the Athens 2004 Olympics and former ambassador of Greece, with the aim to provides opportunities for high-profile public leaders who are transitioning from office or other leadership roles to spend time in residence at Harvard Kennedy School reflecting, teaching, learning, and conducting research.

Iweala is the fifth recipients of the award since its inception in 2011.

According to Elmendorf: “As the longest-serving finance minister in Nigeria and a leader at the World Bank for more than two decades, she engineered successful new approaches to fostering sustained and inclusive growth in developing countries.


“She will enrich our campus conversation on the public policy choices needed for effective governance that serves societies.”

Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria’s finance minister for 12 years from 2003-2015 under ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and was redeployed as minister of foreign affairs in 2006.

Iweala, a former managing director of the World Bank, spent 25 years at the Bank where she played vital role in the negotiation of the $30 billion reduction in the country’s foreign debt, and also oversaw the Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia during her stay.

Meanwhile, during her time at the Kennedy School, Okonjo-Iweala will meet with students and scholars as well as lecture, write and participate in public discussions and forums.

Past recipients of the award are: Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia; Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations; Felipe Calderon, former president of Mexico and Tarja Halonen, former Finland president.


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