SpotLight on Our Own Professor Joy Ogwu(Nee Maduemezia)

H.E. U. Joy Ogwu, OFR, serves as the first female Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations. She is the immediate past Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria (August 2006- May 2007). 

In January 2001, Joy Ogwu was appointed to lead Nigeria‘s foremost Foreign policy Think Tank (NIIA) as the first woman Director General, a position she held until 2006.

She received her academic training in the leading institutions in both Nigeria and the United States. Her chosen area of specialization in International Relations is deeply rooted in her background in Political Science and Diplomatic History, in which areas she earned major academic awards and distinctions.

A Dean’s list of honor student, she was in 1974 inducted into IOTA KAPPA CHAPTER-Rutgers University Honor Society in history, and Phi Alpha Theta-International Honor Society in History.
Since 1988, Ambassador Ogwu has served variously as Presidential Delegate and Special Adviser on numerous Nigerian delegations to the United Nations General Assembly; and on the Multinational United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) that supervised the country’s transition to majority rule in 1994.  

She is a Member of the Board of Regents, Covenant University, Otta, Nigeria.  She also serves on the Board of the Transformation, Integration and Globalization Economic Research (TIGER) Institute, Warsaw, Poland. 

She has served variously as External Examiner/Assessor for the Departments of Political Science at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Ibadan and University of Abuja.

In January 2002, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan invited Professor Ogwu to serve as a member of United Nations Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.  

In January 2006, she was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Advisory Board for 2006, placing her as the first African woman to serve in that capacity in the annals of the United Nations.

A Professor of Political Science and International Relations, she has given lectures at the Command and Staff College, Jaji, the then National War College, Abuja and the Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS).  

In her academic studies, she focused on Latin America and the dynamics of an intensified South-South relationship between Africa and Latin America.  

In her public service as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on International Relations from 2000 – 2006, she made valid contributions to the development of Nigeria’s foreign policy.

Her first book, Nigeria Foreign Policy: Alternative Futures published in 1986 by Macmillan Press, became a classic text for the study of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy.

Among her other numerous works are Nigeria’s International Economic Relations: Dimensions of Dependence and Change (co-edited); the Nigerian Navy and the South Atlantic (monograph); the Economic Diplomacy of the Nigerian State, (co-edited and revised in 2002); New Horizons for Nigeria in World Affairs (Ed) (2005).  

She has published extensively in scholarly journals and books and lectured world-wide on South-South relations.

Among her numerous honors, Professor Ogwu holds the National Meritorious Service Award of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of . Nigeria (OFR). She is the current Nigerian permanent reptresentative to the United Nations

 Joy is married to Aloysius Ogwu, M.D., and blessed with children and grand children.

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