Nigeria’s Arunma Oteh has been named the new vice president (VP) and treasurer for the World Bank.
According to a statement from the World Bank, Oteh was selected to this position through an international competitive search process and will assume the role on the 28th September. Oteh who was the director general for Nigeria’s Stock Exchange will now be the first African woman to head up the treasurer position.
Oteh however, is not the first African woman to be appointed to a powerful position at the World Bank. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was one of its managing directors (October 2007–July 2011), as well as vice-president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group, Frannie Léautier, held various positions at the World Bank including: director, infrastructure; vice-president and head, World Bank Institute; and Obiageli Ezekwesili, was the World Bank's vice president Africa Region (May 2007-May 2012).
The international financial institution says as VP and treasurer, Oteh will manage and lead a large and diverse team responsible for managing more than $150 billion in assets.
"Her top priorities will be to: (i) maintain the World Bank’s global reputation as a prudent and innovative borrower, investor and risk manager; (ii) manage an extensive client advisory, transaction and asset management business for the Bank; (iii) engage, in her capacity as one of the World Bank’s key representatives, with outside stakeholders including global private sector financial institutions, the financial media and the sovereign debt and reserve managers in client countries, as well as ratings agencies; and (iv) collaborate extensively with the Finance Partners throughout the WBG, including with IFC and MIGA, expanding shared approaches, in particular around innovative financing for development and for key new projects," the World Bank says.
Oteh had this to say about her new job
Oteh's career has been pioneered by many firsts, including being the first Nigerian woman to be accepted into the Harvard Business School MBA project.
She has served on the board of a number of organisations including National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
Her career soared to enviable heights when she became the vice president of the African Development Bank and restored its ratings to ‘AAA’ by Standard and Poor.
She has been defined as the “Iron Lady” in respect of her tough decision-making. Oteh responds to that saying, “If leading change, being passionate, resilient and decisive about a great course is what makes me an iron lady, then I proudly raise my hand high to that tag.”
*Correction: Since this story was originally posted we have corrected the headline from “World Bank gets its first African woman vice president” to “Nigeria’s Arunma Oteh named World Bank's vice president & treasurer”.