WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala Picks US Citizenship

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

A two-time minister of finance in Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has taken American citizenship — more than 30 years after she studied in the United States.

Bloomberg reports that Okonjo-Iweala, who is running for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), took US citizenship in 2019.

Most of the candidates running for the office of the DG at WTO boast of dual citizenship, which experts say may boost their chances at getting the much-coveted job.

Jesús Seade Kuri is Mexican and Lebanese; Amina Mohamed serves as a minister in Kenya, but she is also Somali; Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh is both Swiss and Egyptian.

Some of the candidates flaunt their dual nationality in the uploaded biography, while some others are quiet about it.

Okonjo-Iweala arrived in the US 47 years ago and worked there for more than 25 years without taking up the country’s citizenship.

She ran for the president of the World Bank in 2012 without the backing of the United States and lost the sit to Korean-American Jim Yong Kim.

The GAVI chair holds a Bachelor’s in economics from Harvard University and Ph.D. in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

She has honourary degrees from over a dozen universities worldwide.


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