Okonjo-Iweala was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters at Yale’s 2015 Commencement Ceremony in New Haven, Connecticut, US on Monday.
She is the second Nigerian in the university’s history to receive its highest honour after Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka who received an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1980.
Presenting the award, the President of the University, Peter Salovey described Okonjo-Iweala as “a brilliant reformer and dedicated public servant.”
He said that Okonjo-Iweala “has spearheaded efforts to stabilize and grow Nigeria’s economy, battling widespread government corruption and creating greater fiscal transparency and discipline.”
Yale’s honorary doctorate degree is seen globally as a very important honour.
Okonjo-Iweala was honored alongside the Chair of the Board of Governors of US Federal Reserve System, Janet Yellen; world renowned Beninoise Singer and songwriter, Angelique Kidjo; University Professor and founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, Gayatari Chakravorty Spivak; Professor and Director of the Starr Center for Human Genetics at Rockefeller University, Jeffrey Michael Friedman; Inventors and Entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Dean Kamen, among others.
Yale had in the past honored a few other Africans such as Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Credit: Tell Nigeria Newspaper