Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili stands as one of Nigeria’s most distinguished economists, policy experts, and advocates for good governance, with a career spanning across various sectors. Born on April 28, 1963, in Lagos, Nigeria, Ezekwesili has dedicated her life to fostering transparency, accountability, and human capital development both within her country and on a global scale.

Ezekwesili’s educational journey commenced at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree. She furthered her studies with a master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos and pursued a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Her training with Deloitte and Touche equipped her with invaluable skills as a chartered accountant.

Early in her career, Ezekwesili collaborated with Professor Jeffrey Sachs at Harvard’s Center for International Development, where she directed the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Project. This experience laid the groundwork for her subsequent roles in government and international organizations.

Ezekwesili’s tenure in the Nigerian government includes serving as the Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and later as the Federal Minister of Education. Notably, she played a pivotal role in reforming public procurement processes and legislation during her tenure, earning her the moniker “Madam Due Process.”

On the international stage, Ezekwesili served as the Vice President for the Africa region at the World Bank, overseeing operations in 48 Sub-Saharan African countries and managing a substantial lending portfolio. Additionally, she co-founded Transparency International and served as a director, contributing to global anti-corruption efforts.

Ezekwesili’s advocacy extends beyond traditional governance roles. She co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls movement, drawing global attention to the abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Her activism underscores her unwavering commitment to human rights and social justice.

In addition to her governmental and advocacy work, Ezekwesili is actively involved in various initiatives aimed at promoting effective governance, economic development, and education in Africa. Notable among these initiatives are the #FixPolitics Initiative, the School of Politics Policy and Governance (SPPG), and Human Capital Africa.

Ezekwesili’s impact also extends to the corporate sector, where she serves on the boards of prominent organizations such as Women Political Leaders, World Wildlife Fund, and Bharti Airtel. Her expertise in economics and governance has made her a highly sought-after advisor for African leaders and international organizations.

Throughout her illustrious career, Ezekwesili has received many accolades and honors for her outstanding contributions to public service and advocacy. Her relentless pursuit of transparency, accountability, and human capital development continues to inspire positive change in Nigeria and beyond, solidifying her legacy as a visionary leader and champion of social progress.