Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, has been appointed as a Director on the board of Twitter Inc.
She will be replacing Marjorie Scardino, the former Chief Executive of Pearson.
According to Omod Kordestani, the Executive Chairman of Twitter, Okonjo-Iweala was appointed alongside Robert Zeollick, the eleventh President of the world bank, as independent directors on Twitter’s board.
Kordestani said: “Ngozi and Bob are distinguished leaders with unparallelled global perspective and policy expertise.
“We are confident they will be incredible assets to Twitter as we continue to focus on driving transparency and making Twitter a safer, healthier place for everyone who uses our service.”
Similarly, Chief Executive Director of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, tweeted: “We’re adding Ngozi (@NOIweala) and Bob (@authorzoellick) to the Twitter board. Welcome! Sadly we’re also saying farewell to our friend Marjorie (@marjscar). She’s been an amazing advocate for journalists everywhere, and pushed us constantly to better inform people. Thank you M.”
Acknowledging the appointment, Okonjo-Iweala, a four-term minister of Finance in Nigeria, said she looks forward to working with the other directors.
“Twitter is a powerful platform that continues to be used as a strong connector for the global community, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team,” she said.
“As we strive to build a better world for tomorrow, Twitter can amplify messages and drive critical conversations around today’s most important issues. I look forward to partnering with Twitter’s talented directors and leadership team as we work to leverage the power of Twitter for good.”
Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment by Twitter is a breath of fresh air from the barrage of accusations and counter-accusations buzzing around her for her activities as FInance Minister at a period the country enjoyed oil boom.
She recently released a memoir of events during her tenure, titled 'Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind The Headlines’, followed by various media reviews of her performances as Finance Minister under three past presidents: Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan has since congratulated his former minister on the new appointment, saying: “I am not surprised that Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been appointed into the board of Twitter.”
"If anyone merits such an appointment, it is definitely a woman who helped her nation manage its finances most prudently and was instrumental to pulling many millions out of poverty. Ngozi, I am proud of you. You served Nigeria most meritoriously and I am more than certain that you would do the same at Twitter. Congratulations. GEJ.”
Twitter has been criticized for having a white-dominated board. Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment means there are now two black women directors on the board.
The social media company is on the move to improve its diversity culture by increasing the percentage of female employees to 43% by 2019 from the 38% that it was at the end of 2017. It also wants to improve the percentage of black and Latino employees to 5% from the 3.4% that it was in 2017.