Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is an economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience.

Ms Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.


As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Gillard delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australian education at every level from early childhood to university education, creating an emissions trading scheme to combat climate change, improving health care, commencing the nation’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities, addressing the gender pay gap for social and community sector workers and delivering an apology to all those who had suffered through the practice of forced adoptions.


In October 2012, Ms Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life. She currently serves as the inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College in London, which through research, practice and advocacy, is addressing women’s under-representation in leadership.


Ms Gillard is the Chair of Beyond Blue, one of Australia’s leading mental health awareness bodies; is Chair of global funding body for education in developing countries, the Global Partnership for Education; and is Patron of the Campaign for Female Education.



Dr Okonjo-Iweala is Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and of the African Risk Capacity (ARC). She is Co-Chair of The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. She also sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. She was recently appointed as AU Special Envoy to mobilise International support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.


Previously, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was a Senior Advisor at Lazard from September 2015 – October 2019. She served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006, 2011-2015, and briefly as Foreign Minister, the first woman to hold both positions. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the No.2 position of Managing Director, overseeing an $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia.


Dr Okonjo-Iweala was named Minister of the Decade, People’s Choice Award (2020) by Nigeria’s This Day newspaper. In 2019, she was named one of Transparency International’s 8 Female Anti-Corruption Fighters Who Inspire. She has been ranked by Fortune as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders in 2015, by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World consecutively for four years, by Time as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014, and by the UK Guardian as one of the Top 100 Women in the World in 2011.


Dr Okonjo-Iweala holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from Harvard University and a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is an Angelopoulos Global Public Leader at Harvard University Kennedy School, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received over fifteen honorary degrees, including from Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Tel Aviv University and Trinity College, Dublin.

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Book Club 27:00

Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Women and Leadership