Twitter Inc. today announced the appointments of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to Twitter’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) as new independent directors, effective immediately. This was contained in a tweet by one of the co-founder Jack Dorsey on Twitter. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University-trained economist who served as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy of Nigeria for many years was appointed to the board alongside Robert Zoellick while Marjorie Scardino who joined the Board in 2013 and has been a strong voice on the board as Twitter’s Lead Independent Director will be stepping down from the Board for personal reasons at the end of the year.
The Executive Chairman of the American online news and social networking service, Omid Kordestani in a press release said Okonjo-Iweala and Zoellick are distinguished leaders with unparalleled global perspective and policy expertise and the management is confident that they will be incredible assets to Twitter as the management continues to focus on driving transparency and making Twitter a safer, healthier place for everyone who uses our service.
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.
— jack (@jack) July 19, 2018
“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,” said Dr Okonjo-Iweala. “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.”
Excited to work with @Jack and an incredible team on the Board of Twitter, a global platform that is such a strong connector of people and ideas.
— Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) July 19, 2018
Typical of the Twitter community whose members are known for debates, activism and criticism, the appointments were criticised:
Seriously, @jack? I’m sure they’re good people offline but why take on Board members who don’t use Twitter? It’s not about how many people follow you, Twitter is about what you learn from the people you follow
— Sue Greenwood (@SueGreenwood) July 19, 2018
The criticism was well responded to:
(We get critiques about how active board members look on Twitter. Lots of ways to use the service effectively. Some folks use it only to see what’s happening!? On us to make it valuable to join the conversation. But we also benefit from folks new to Twitter: fresh perspectives.)
— jack (@jack) July 19, 2018
About Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
- Dr Okonjo-Iweala has served as a Senior Advisor to Lazard, Ltd., a global financial advisory and asset management firm, since September 2015.
- she served as the Minister of Finance of Nigeria from July 2003 until June 2006 and as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy of Nigeria from August 2011 until May 2015.
- From 1982 until 2003 and then from December 2007 until August 2011, she held several positions at the World Bank, most recently as Managing Director from December 2007 until August 2011.
- She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Standard Chartered Plc, a multinational banking and financial services company, since November 2017.
- Dr Okonjo-Iweala has served as the Board Chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) since January 2016.
- Dr Okonjo-Iweala holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an A.B. from Harvard University.