Member, Africa Prize Jury
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s primary professional goal has been the economic transparency and self-sufficiency of her home country, Nigeria. She holds a degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in regional economics and development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Between 2003 and 2006, Okonjo-Iweala served as both Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Nigeria and is noted for being the first woman to hold either position. She has held her current position as Managing Director at the World Bank since 2007.
During her ministerial positions within the Nigerian government, Okonjo-Iweala led a team in negotiating a deal with a group of creditors to pay off a significant portion of Nigeria's external debt, totaling approximately US $12 billion at the time. Her efforts were instrumental in helping Nigeria minimize its national debt and allowing the country to obtain its first ever sovereign credit rating, allowing for a new economic independence.
In addition to serving on The Hunger Project’s Africa Prize Jury, Okonjo-Iweala’s non-profit work has included the development of her own non-governmental organization, Global Consulting, which partnered with the Gallup Organization to introduce a widely used public opinion poll into the Nigerian legislation.