Biography of Ngozi Okonji-Iweala; Age, Family, Awards, and Facts

This article contains the life history and the biography of Ngozi Okonji-Iweala; a great Nigerian female economist who is duly recognized both locally and internationally for her intelligence and great achievements. Ngozi Okonji-Iweala who is blessed with 4 children is currently the seventh Director-General of the WTO.

Continue reading the biography of Ngozi Okonji-Iweala to learn more about her great achievements, awards, family background, and other interesting facts about her.

Early Life and Family Background

Dr. Ngozi Okonji Iweala; Nigerian Economist and International Development Expert

Starting the life history and biography of Ngozi Okonji-Iweala is on the 13th of June in 1954, when she was born to a Royal Family in Ogwashi Ukwu in Delta State, Nigeria. 67 years ago, Ngozi was given birth to by the King of Obahai; Prof Chuckwuka Okonjo, and his wife; Kamene Okonjo. His parents were both Lecturers professors at the University of Ibadan.

Ngozi Okonji-Iweala later attended Queen school in Enugu. She later moved to Ibadan to attend both the St. Anne’s School, Molete, and the International School of Ibadan at different times for her secondary school education.

After passing out of these schools, she traveled to the US as a teenager, where she enrolled at Harvard University in 1973. She graduated with an AB in economics from the school. She later bagged Ph.D. in economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following her Ph.D., she also got her International fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Family and Relationship

Dr. Ngozi Okonji-Iweala is a mother to 4 grown-up children; a daughter, Oyinye Iweala, and 3 sons named Uzodinma Iweala, Okechuckwu Iweala, and Ucheechi Iweala. The father of her children and her husband who she is married to is a retired Physician and Neurosurgeon; Dr. Ikemba Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Husband; Ikemba Iweala at an event

Career and Appointment

A significant part of the biography of Ngozi Okonji-Iweala is her career and numerous appointments which serve as a great source of inspiration for many young women.

Ngozi Okonji-Iweala being an economist and international development expert started her career at the World Bank for a good 25 years of service. She raised and climb the ladder to the top 2nd position of the Managing Director of Operator of the World Bank from 2007 to 2011.

Before and After then, she has been appointed to many top positions during the different presidential era. She served as minister of finance twice under the Olusegun Obasanjo era from 15th, July 2003 to 21st June 2006. And also under Goodluck Jonathan’s era from 17th August 2011 to 29th of May, 2015. She served as the minister of economy under Goodluck Jonathan’s era for almost the same period as the minister of finance. She is also a former minister of foreign affairs.

Apart from her numerous appointment, Ngozi Okonji-Iweala is also a committee board member of many international organizations including Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, African Risk Capacity, and Global Alliance for Vaccines, Immunization(GAVI) and so many others.

The President of Nigeria; Muhammadu Buhari also nominated Okonjo-Iweala as the country’s candidate to be the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in June 2020. She later made it to the final stage after many rounds of selection of candidates.

On the 1st of  March, 2021, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the seventh Director-General of the WTO after her competitor, Yoo Myung-hee who is the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister withdraw from the race. She is the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General. 

Meanwhile, Ngozi Okonji-Iweala is also a citizen of the United States. She got the country citizenship after studying and working in the US for so many years. She also authored 5 books including Chinua Achebe: Teacher of Light, Transparency, and Accountability in the Management of Public Funds, Reforming the Unreformable, Economic Reforms: Progress and Challenges, and Fighting Corruption is Dangerous.

She’s also a philanthropist who cares about the youth. She has empowered many women and girls through her project; Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria Programme(GWIN) and also entrepreneurs through the famous Youth Enterprise with Innovation program (YouWIN). She owns an indigenous opinion research organization known as Noi-Poll.

Awards and Achievement

Being a bold and intelligent woman, Ngozi Okonji-Iweala has been recognized with many honors and awards by local and international organizations alike. Check out her list of awards below; 

In 2004,

  • European Heroes Award by TIME’s

In 2010;

  • Global Leadership Award from Columbia University
  • Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award

In 2011;

  • Global Leadership Award from the Chicago Council on global affairs

In 2014;

  • Leadership Award for David Rockefeller Bridging.

In 2016;

  • Power with Purpose Award from Devex Development Communications Network
  • Global Fairness Award by the Global Fairness Initiative

In 2017;

  • Vanguard Award, Howard University
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment Award from WEConnect
  • Madeleine Albright Global Development Award by the Aspen Institute

She also has more than 30 honors ranging from Forbes to other international magazines and organizations that ranked her with others.

Ngozi Okonji-Iweala Net Worth

Without mentioning her net worth, the biography of Ngozi Okonji-Iweala won’t be completed. Ngozi has achieved many feats and raised the bar for what a female can achieve.

Read Also: The Richest Women in Nigeria and their Net Worth

Even though Ngozi Okonji-Iweala’s net worth is currently unknown, she’s not an average woman and she is living more than modestly.

What other information do you think we missed in the biography of Ngozi Okonji-Iweala? Share with us in the Comments section.