Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria‘s former Minister of Finance, has announced that she will be joining US-based investment bank Lazard as a Senior Advisor, as part of the firm’s sovereign advisory group.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, a Harvard and MIT-educated global leader in economic development and international finance, was most recently the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance of Nigeria.
Prior to serving as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala was Managing Director at the World Bank.
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has built a remarkable international reputation over more than three decades in leadership positions in government and at the World Bank,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. “She will be a strong addition as a Senior Advisor to our firm.”
“We are proud to welcome Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as a Senior Advisor to our world-leading sovereign advisory group,” said Matthieu Pigasse, Global Head of M&A and Sovereign Advisory of Lazard. “She will bring a unique international expertise and experience that will benefit both our sovereign and corporate clients.”
Okonjo-Iweala has also been appointed the Chair-Elect of the Board of Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala twice served as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance. Her first tenure as Finance Minister was from July 2003 to June 2006 as part of President Olusegun Obasanjo‘s administration, during which she led Nigeria’s successful debt relief negotiations. She again served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister from July 2011 to May 2015 during President Goodluck Jonathan‘s administration.
In addition to twice running the finances of what is now Africa’s largest economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala worked for 25 years at the World Bank. Prior to her first stint as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Okonjo-Iweala was Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank up to July 2003, when she joined the Obasanjo administration. She rejoined the World Bank in December 2007 as Managing Director, a role in which she served until she joined the Jonathan administration as Finance Minister in July 2011. She started her career at the World Bank in 1982.
Okonjo-Iweala received her Bachelor of Arts (A.B., magna cum laude) from Harvard University in 1977. She earned her PhD in Regional Economic Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1981.