Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s nominee for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, has made history as she becomes the first woman to hold the position after emerging winner of the highly competitive race.
Okonjo-Iweala was chosen as the final candidate for the much-coveted role. She polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat how South Korea’s trade minister at the final stage of the race.
The official announcement is expected to be made by the WTO at 3pm Nigerian time.
The other finalists for the position of director general was Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was born in 1954 in southern Nigeria; her father was an Igbo traditional ruler and an academic. She graduated from Harvard and earned a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her husband, also of Nigerian origin, is a medical doctor practicing in Washington, DC. For many years she was an economist at the World Bank, rising to become managing director (the number two position in the bank’s hierarchy). In 2011, she ran unsuccessfully for the top World Bank position.