Topics: International Relations
Development Policy
Peace and Human Rights
Social Change
Regional focus: Global
Middle East and North Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Origin: Nigeria
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

Obiageli “Oby” Katryn Ezekwesili, who was candidate for the office of the President of Nigeria in the 2019 election, is an economic policy expert and senior economic advisor at the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI) and co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement as well as the #RedCardMovement in Nigeria.

Ezekwesili was Vice President of the World Bank's Africa division and is former Nigerian Minister of Education, Minister of Solid Minerals, head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit as well as former chairperson of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI). She is also founding director of Transparency International.

For her work and her social commitment, Ezekwesili was decorated with the national award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) of Nigeria. In 2016, the University of Essex Business School awarded her an honorary doctorate degree in business in recognition of her role in promoting economic and social justice in African countries. In 2015, she was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the Time-100 Most Influential People and by New York Times as one of the 25 Women of Impact. In 2018, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

She holds an MA in International Law and Diplomacy, an MA in Public Policy and Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Last updated: 2019