Former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, announced on Monday that she will be joining US investment bank Lazard’s sovereign advice division.
She has also been appointed chair-elect of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates.
She said: “The two appointments I’m going to undertake embody a continuation of what I’ve tried to do in my career.
“My work at Gavi will help me continue my work in strengthening institutions and building systems” to improve the health of children through immunisation, she said. At Lazard, she said, she would advise countries on structuring their finances and dealing with debt issues.
Ms Okonjo-Iweala has spent the past three decades working on fiscal management and governance systems in Africa through 25 years at the World Bank, most recently as a managing director, and twice as Minister of Finance minister in what is now Africa’s biggest economy.
A press release by Lazard reads:
Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) announced today that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has joined the Firm as a Senior Advisor, with a focus on sovereign advisory. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, a global leader in economic development and international finance, was until May 2015 the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance of Nigeria.
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has built a remarkable international reputation over more than three decades in leadership positions in government and at the World Bank,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. “She will be a strong addition as a Senior Advisor to our firm.”
“We are proud to welcome Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as a Senior Advisor to our world-leading sovereign advisory group,” said Matthieu Pigasse, Global Head of M&A and Sovereign Advisory of Lazard. “She will bring a unique international expertise and experience that will benefit both our sovereign and corporate clients.”
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2011 until May 2015. Prior to that, she served as a Managing Director at the World Bank Group for four years. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala held several ministerial positions, notably as Minister of Finance for Nigeria from 2003 to 2006, during which she led the country’s successful debt relief negotiations. She started her career at the World Bank in 1982.