Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili is a leading chartered accountant who was co-founder of global anticorruption group, Transparency International. She is also one of the co-conveners of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign to find the 300 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
She has held several keys positions within the Nigerian government including senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence, Minister of Minerals Resources and Minister for Education. During her time as Education Minister, she led an extensive and comprehensive reform program of and her blueprint for overhauling bathe sector is reference document from which other countries in Africa have borrowed ideas.
Ezekwesili’s career is defined by a pursuit of transparency, accountability and policy reforms in Africa, encompassing, governance, economics, education and natural resources endowment for Africa. A former Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa Region, Ms Ezekwesili was recently, a Senior Advisor on Africa Economic Development Policy at the Open Society Foundations, New York assisting the Mano River governments with economic policy reforms.
She now runs the fully incubated and independent policy advisory initiative as the Senior Economic Adviser to a number of presidents on the continent of Africa while also developing a graduate school of public policy in Abuja, Nigeria. Holding a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, she began her career as a trainee accountant with Deloitte and Touché and upon qualifying as a chartered accountant, moved into middle and top managerial positions in the financial services sector, served as Director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Program in Boston and Abuja. EZEKWESILI serves on a number of global boards including two schools of public policy in Tel Aviv University and Central European University School of Public Policy, Budapest and a center for global leadership at Tufts University, in the US.
Most recently, EZEKWESILI served alongside a distinguished group of leaders from around the world, as a commissioner of the Global Ocean Commission. As a recognition of her dedicated role in bringing about Economic and Social justice to people in African countries, Mrs Ezekwesili was conferred with the Honorary Doctorate Degree (Accounting & Finance) by the University of Essex Business School, Colchester campus, Essex, UK on July 12, 2016.