Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili

Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili is the former Vice President World Bank. She joined the World Bank Group from her most recent position as Minister of Education for  the Nigerian Government since June 2006, where she led a comprehensive reform program within the education sector including, Restructuring and refocusing the ministry for the attainment of ‘Education for All’ (EFA) targets and Millennium Development Goals (MDG), introduced public-private partnership models for education service delivery, revamping  of the Federal Inspectorate Service as an improved quality assurance mechanism and the introducing of transparency and accountability mechanisms for better governance of the budget.

She also led the establishment of the Innovation and Vocational Enterprise Institutions initiatives focusing on the development of skills for economic competitiveness, and in conjunction with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, launched the “Adopt-A-School” programme, an initiative that fosters philanthropy by corporations, community groups and individuals.

Mrs. Ezekwesili began her career with Deloitte & Touche where she worked as an Auditor, management and financial services consultant. She then served as a founding Director of Transparency International (TI) and as TI’s Director for Africa from 1994 to 1999. From 2000 to 2002, she worked with Professor Jeffrey Sachs as Director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy program, during which time she was also appointed as an aide to President Obasanjo.

In 2003, she was designated Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence. As Minister of Solid Minerals from 2005 to 2006, Mrs. Ezekwesili oversaw the passage of the Minerals and Mining Act, the establishment of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office and the opening of the sector to private participation.

In 2006, she was given the national award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR). She has been a Non-Executive Independent Director at Bharti Airtel Limited since September 26, 2012. She is also on the boards of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the School of Public Policy of central European University, The Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy, New Africa Magazine and the Center for Global Leadership @ Tufts University.

In May 2012, Ezekwesili was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degree by the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Nigeria.

Dr. Ezekwesili is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters in International Law & Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, a Masters in Public Policy & Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nigeria.

After her retirement from the World Bank in May 2012, Oby returned to Nigeria where she joined the Open Society Foundation as the senior economic advisor. She is spearheading the Foundation’s new Africa Economic Policy Development Initiative.

She is married to Pastor Chinedu Ezekwesili and has three sons.


The New Nigeria I See

Event Details

The Harbour Point, Wilmot Point Close, Victoria Island, Lagos

October 1, 2013

9:30 am