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Okonjo-Iweala tops Financial Times’ 25 most influential women of 2021 [FULL LIST]

Nigerian-born Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named among Financial Times’ 25 most influential women of 2021.

Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, was listed as number one although FT said the list is unranked.

It added that “We put the list together in collaboration with FT journalists from dozens of international bureaus, former women of the year and readers like you.

“Across continents, industries and issues, all of these remarkable women have shaped this tumultuous year. Each of them is sure to help shape the better ones to come.”

Christen Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, described Okonjo-Iweala as fierce and talented a competitor.

“I have known Ngozi since 2005 and have seen her work tirelessly as a seasoned negotiator and crisis manager. Her 25 years at the World Bank demonstrated her resolve, including her handling of the food and financial crisis of 2008-09 and her determination to recover stolen assets.

“She has shattered glass ceilings with her complete competence, absolute integrity and good humour, becoming the first female finance minister and foreign minister in Nigeria, where she implemented tough reforms to enhance the transparency of the country’s public finances, and is the first woman and first African to lead the WTO.

“Ngozi is a force to be reckoned with.”

Full list: Okonjo-Iweala tops Financial Times’ 25 most influential women of 2021

1 – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Director-General, World Trade Organization

2 – Lina Khan

Chair, Federal Trade Commission

3 – Mary Barra

Chair and CEO, General Motors

4 – Gita Gopinath

Chief Economist, IMF

5 – Luiza Trajano

Businessperson and philanthropist

6 – Nancy Pelosi

Speaker, United States House of Representatives

7 – Mariam Al-Mahdi

Politician, Sudan

8 – Kate Bingham

Former Chair, UK Vaccine Taskforce

9 – Cathie Wood

Founder and CEO, Ark Investment Management

10- Rosalind Brewer

CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance

11- Tsai Ing-Wen

President, Taiwan


12 – Frances Haugen

Data scientist and whistleblower

13 – Naomi Osaka


14 – Elisa Loncón Antileo

President, Chile’s Constitutional Convention

15 – Agnes Chow

Democracy activist

16 – Liz Cheney

Congresswoman, United States House of Representatives

17 – Vanessa Nakate

Justice advocate

18 – Sotooda Forotan

Student and activist

19 – Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Leader, Co-ordination Council of Belarus

20 – Chloé Zhao


21 – Sally Rooney


22 – Shonda Rhimes

Television producer, screenwriter and author

23 – Scarlett Johansson


24 – Paula Rego


25 -Gabriela Hearst

Creative Director, Chloé; Founder and Creative Director, Gabriela Hearst




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