Ibrahim Gambari

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Ibrahim Gambari

Ibrahim Gambari, UNDP-USA-159HR-09 crop.jpg
Chief of Staff to the President
Assumed office
13 May 2020
President Muhammadu Buhari
Preceded by Abba Kyari
Under Secretary-General of the United Nations for Political Affairs
In office
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Ban Ki-Moon
Under Secretary-General of the United Nations
(Special Adviser on Africa)
In office
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Preceded byPosition established
President of UNICEF
In office
Preceded by Michael Powles
Succeeded by Anwarul Karim Chowdhury
Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida
Ernest Shonekan
Sani Abacha
Abdulsalami Abubakar
Olusegun Obasanjo
Preceded by Joseph Nanven Garba
Succeeded byArthur Mbanefo
Minister of External Affairs
In office
President Muhammadu Buhari
Preceded by Emeka Anyaoku
Succeeded by Bolaji Akinyemi
Personal details
Born (1944-11-24) 24 November 1944 (age 76)
Ilorin, Northern Region, British Nigeria
(now Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria)
Education Kings College Lagos
Alma mater London School of Economics
Columbia University

Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR (born November 24, 1944), is a Nigerian academic and diplomat currently serving as the Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. [1] [2]


Early life

Ibrahim Agboola Gambari was born on 24 November 1944 in Ilorin, Kwara State to a Fulani ruling class family. His nephew Ibrahim Sulu Gambari is the Emir of Illorin. [3]


Gambari attended King's College, Lagos. He subsequently attended the London School of Economics where he obtained his B. Sc. (Economics) degree (1968) with specialisation in International Relations. He later obtained his M.A. (1970) and Ph. D. (1974) degrees from Columbia University, New York, USA in Political Science /International Relations. [4]

Academic career

Gambari began his teaching career in 1969 at City University of New York before working at University of Albany. Later, he taught at Ahmadu Bello University, in Zaria, Kaduna State. [5] From 1986 to 1989, he was Visiting Professor at three universities in Washington, D.C.: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Georgetown University and Howard University. He has also been a research fellow at the Brookings Institution also in Washington D.C. and a Resident Scholar at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, the Rockefeller Foundation-run center in Italy. He has written so many books and published in reputable journals in foreign policy and international relations, such as 'Theory and Reality in Foreign Policy: Nigeria after second Republic',

Diplomatic career


Gambari served as the Minister for External Affairs between 1984 and 1985 under General Muhammadu Buhari's military regime, after he was the director general of The Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA). From 1990 to 1999, he holds the record of being the longest serving Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations, serving under five Heads of State and Presidents.

United Nations

Gambari has held several positions in the United Nations. In 1999, he was the President of UNICEF and later became UN Under Secretary-General and the first Special Adviser on Africa to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan from 1999 to 2005. He was the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2007 under Secretary-General's Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon. His last appointment in the UN was from January 2010 to July 2012, when he was appointed by Ban Ki-moon and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission as the Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur. [6]

Honours and memberships


  1. "It's official… Ibrahim Gambari is new chief of staff". The Cable. 13 May 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  2. Perishable. "Buhari Appoints Gambari as Chief of Staff". TELL. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  3. Onasanya, Angelicus (2010). Ibrahim Agboola Gambari : the man for all challenges. S.l.: Xilibris Corp. ISBN   9781453532126.
  4. "Profile: Prof Ibrahim Gambari, New Chief Of Staff To Nigeria's President Buhari". Nigerian Bulletin - Top Nigeria News Links. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  5. "Nigeria has a new chief of staff, here are few things to know about him". Businessday NG. 2020-05-13. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  6. "About Us - First Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari | Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, OSAA". www.un.org. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
Political offices
Preceded by
Emeka Anyaoku
Foreign Minister of Nigeria
1984 1985
Succeeded by
Bolaji Akinyemi
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Joseph Nanven Garba
Permanent Representative of Nigeria
to the United Nations

1990 1999
Succeeded by
Chief Arthur Mbanefo
Preceded by
Joseph Nanven Garba
Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee
on Peacekeeping Operations

1990 1999
Succeeded by
Chief Arthur Mbanefo
Preceded by
President of the Executive Board of UNICEF
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Special Adviser on Africa

2000 2005
Succeeded by
Legwaila Joseph Legwaila
Preceded by
Sir Kieran Prendergast (UK)
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
for Department of Political Affairs

2005 2007
Succeeded by
B. Lynn Pascoe

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