Professor Kingsley Bosah Chiedu Ayodele Moghalu was born in Lagos on May 7, 1963, the first of his parents’ five children. His father, Isaac Chukwudum Moghalu (now deceased) was a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer, one of a small group of promising young Nigerians inducted into the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs after Nigeria’s independence in 1960. His mother, Lady Vidah Chinelo Moghalu, was a schoolteacher at the Breadfruit School on Lagos Island who later became a professional dietician. Shortly after his birth, his father was posted to Geneva, Switzerland.
The Moghalu family spent a year in Switzerland and then moved to Washington, DC in 1964 when Isaac Moghalu was posted to the Nigerian Embassy there. In 1967, the family returned to Nigeria and Isaac Moghalu transferred to the Eastern Region Civil Service as the Nigerian political crisis gathered strength and later snowballed into a full-scale war. Isaac Moghalu joined the Cabinet Office of the Eastern Region, and later the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Biafra. The family remained in Eastern Nigeria after the civil war ended in 1970 and Prof. Moghalu’s father later rose to become a Permanent Secretary with a strong reputation for probity. This background influenced Kingsley Moghalu’s strong value system — a sense of family honor and a family tradition of public service.
Education & Early Career
After his secondary education at Eziama High School, Aba, Government College, Umuahia, and Federal Government College, Enugu, Kingsley obtained a degree in law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. National service under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as a Legal Officer at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Ltd in Lagos followed. So did a subsequent three-year stint that combined law and journalism as General Counsel of Newswatch, the leading newsmagazine in Nigeria at the time, a prolific contributor to the opinion pages of The Guardian newspaper, and a special correspondent in Nigeria for several US and European newspapers including Africa News Service (forerunner of AllAfrica Global Media), South, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Kingsley left Nigeria again in 1991 for his post-graduate education at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, turning down an offer from a friend to remain in Nigeria and become the company secretary of a new generation bank that was being set up in Lagos. His sights were set squarely on a loftier dream, one that called for delayed gratification. That goal was a career in the United Nations. Moghalu was awarded the Joan Gillespie Fellowship at The Fletcher School. He obtained a master’s degree in international relations from there in 1992.
Prof. Kingsley Moghalu and the late former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
His expertise in risk management, and what turned out to be a fortuitous move into the private sector, eventually led to an invitation and his appointment as a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the President of Nigeria, Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009. Risk management skill and knowledge was much in demand after the global financial crisis of 2008. For five years at the Central Bank of Nigeria from November 2009 to October 2014, Kingsley Moghalu managed the systemic risks to Nigeria’s financial system, made sure the system remained stable, and led the team that executed the controversial banking sector reforms initiated by then CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
It was a demanding and stressful time. The nation’s financial system was negatively impacted by the global financial crisis of 2008. Nigeria’s banks were hit by their lending exposures to oil and gas companies after oil prices crashed. The oil revenues, which government deposited in banks, dropped to a trickle, and the stock market, to which banks were also exposed through margin lending, nearly collapsed in 2008. The reforms that Moghalu’s team at the CBN implemented saved the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians by ensuring that no bank failed, and that no depositor lost money, unlike the experience in several other jurisdictions in economically advanced countries. As Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability (FSS), he was also a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and the Bank’s board of directors.
Prof. Kingsley Moghalu and Former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Central Bank of Nigeria
Armed with interdisciplinary knowledge in international economics, international law and diplomacy, and a global network of contacts, Kingsley was ready to play on the world stage. He was appointed into the UN Secretariat in 1992 by then Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali on the basis of individual merit. In the UN, Moghalu worked hard and rose through the ranks from entry level Associate Officer to the highest career rank of Director. Along the way, he handled international peace and security operations, legal affairs, and executive management assignments at UN Headquarters in New York (as Political Desk Officer for the conflicts in Angola, Rwanda and Somalia) and in Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania, and Switzerland.
In 2006, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Moghalu as one of five members of the high-level Redesign Panel on the UN Internal Justice System that overhauled the regulatory compliance, accountability, and dispute resolution framework that governs the global workforce of the UN. This was a core aspect of UN management reform. This six-month special assignment was at the nominal level of Under-Secretary-General, the highest political rank in the UN below the Secretary-General.
Prof. Kingsley Moghalu at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts where he was appointed Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy.
Professor of Practice
Chiedu completed his five-year tenure at the CBN meritoriously in November 2014. A versatile intellectual, he was subsequently appointed Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at the prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a premier US university in Boston, Massachusetts in 2015. Premier American universities only confer the title of “professor of practice” on selected, highly accomplished individuals who combine intellectual achievements with high-level real world experience beyond the ivory tower.
Prof. Moghalu taught the course “Emerging Africa in the World Economy” in the Economics and International Business Program of The Fletcher School from 2015 to 2017, after which he returned to Nigeria to contest the country’s presidential election in 2019, and remains a Non-Resident Senior Senior Fellow at the institution’s Council on Emerging Market Enterprises. The Emerging Africa course was based on Moghalu’s widely acclaimed development economics book Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter, published worldwide by Penguin Books in London in 2014. Prof. Moghalu is also the author and co-author of several other books including Bretton Woods: The Next 70 Years, Global Justice, and Rwanda’s Genocide.
Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum
The former CBN Deputy Governor was also appointed to the global Advisory Board of the London based Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) immediately after his tenure at the CBN. OMFIF is an influential think tank and network of global institutional private investors, central banks, and sovereign wealth funds. Prof. Moghalu was subsequently appointed a member of Advisory Council of OMFIF, an elite group that serves as the Forum’s highest level of advisors.
Public Speaking & Media
Prof. Moghalu also is a much sought after speaker at global forums, and is a frequent commentator on global media such as Cable News Network (CNN), BBC World TV, Bloomberg, and the London Financial Times. As world attention focused on Nigeria’s presidential elections in 2015, CNN turned to the ex-central banker for commentary and analysis on the country’s economy and politics in several interviews with the CNN global business and economy anchor Richard Quest.
Institute for Governance & Economic Transformation
A man with a vision to influence the future, Prof. Moghalu founded the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET). IGET is a public policy think tank
focused on contributing evidence-based solutions to help Nigeria and other African countries achieve inclusive growth and prosperity. Kingsley Moghalu was inspired to meet a need created by the absence of credible think tanks to nudge his native Nigeria towards becoming a policy-oriented society.
Professor Moghalu is the recipient of several honors, including the National Honor of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) conferred by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the traditional title of Ifekaego of Nnewi Kingdom conferred by His Royal Highness Dr. K.O.N. Orizu, Igwe of Nnewi, and the Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) Honoris Causa. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB) of Nigeria, and is a recipient of the Rotary International Distinguished Service Award. He is also a member of the American Economic Association, American Bar Association, Academy of International Business, Global Association of Risk Professionals, and the Nigerian Bar Association.
Prof. Kingsley Moghalu and Family
Professor Moghalu is married to Mrs. Maryanne Moghalu, a lawyer and social entrepreneur, who is the Executive Director of the Isaac Moghalu Foundation that the Moghalu family established in 2005 in memory of the family patriarch Isaac Moghalu. IMOF supports educational institutions and disadvantaged children and youth with educational infrastructure such as libraries as well as scholarships. Kingsley and Maryanne Moghalu have four children.