Biography of Ibrahim Gambari.
Ibrahim Agboola Gambari was born November 24, 1944 in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. He is a Nigerian scholar and diplomat. He was Minister for External Affairs between 1984 and 1985. Gambari has been appointed by the secretary-general of United Nations Ban Ki-moon and the chairperson of the African Union Commission as Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur effective from 1 January 2010. He is currently the Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues for the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Previously, he served as the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (USG) for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA). He was appointed on June 10, 2005, and assumed the post on July 1 of that year.
Before joining the United Nations Secretariat in 1999, Mr. Gambari was the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations. He also chaired the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, which successfully saw the demise of apartheid and the establishment of democratic rule in South Africa. Prior to his tenure as Permanent Representative, Mr. Gambari was the Minister for External Affairs of Nigeria. He has also served as Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
Mr. Gambari attended Kings College, Lagos, as well as the London School of Economics, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science, with a specialty in international relations. He received his Master of Arts in 1970 and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1974 in political science/international relations from Columbia University in New York.
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, the second largest university in Africa. 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 was accorded, honoris causa, the title of Doctor of Humane Letters (D.Hum.Litt.) from the University of Bridgeport. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins University’s Society of Scholars. He was decorated with the title of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) by the Government of Nigeria.
On March 4, 2013, Ibrahim Gambari was named by the Kwara State Governor, AbdulFatah Ahmad, as the pioneer chancellor of the Kwara State University, making him the ceremonial head of the university who presides over convocations to award degrees and diplomas and also supports the vision and mission of the university in all respects, including fundraising, social, economic and academic goals. As a university that continues to gain credence as a community development university with world class standards, the selection of Gambari is expected to give the institution additional international boost and recognition. Gambari is also co-chair of the Albright-Gambari Commission.
Mr. Gambari is married with three children.