Joy Uche Angela Ogwu (born August 22, 1946) is a former Foreign Minister of Nigeria and has been the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York since 2008. She is the first woman to hold the post of Permanent Representative to the United Nations in the history of Nigeria. Prior to her ministerial career, Ogwu, who is from Delta State, served as Director–General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).
Ogwu has advised the United Nations on disarmament issues and has published books promoting more African ties to Latin America. She is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
She was appointed Foreign Minister by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on August 30, 2006.
In 2008, Ogwu became the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN in New York. Ogwu was the President of the UN Security Council in July 2010 and in October 2011. She was the former President of the Executive Board of the UN Women Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
Ogwu obtained her BA and MA in Political Science from Rutgers University. She later received her Ph.D. from the University of Lagos in Nigeria. While obtaining her Ph.D. in 1977, she joined the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Lagos.
Ogwu started her career as an assistant lecturer at the Nigerian National War College and the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). She subsequently joined the NIIA as a lecturer, obtaining a research fellowship during which she authored her first book, Nigerian Foreign Policy: Alternative Futures (Macmillan, 1986). She eventually headed the research department in International Politics, leading on to her role as the first female Director General. Professor Ogwu’s career has been distinct in its additional focus on the developing countries of Latin America enabling an investigation into the possibilities of a proficient South-South relationship between Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. In this capacity she held a visiting fellowship at the University of London’s Institute of Latin American Studies and has been published extensively in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Croatian. As an expert on security issues, she serves on the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.
As a woman in a foremost position in her distinguished career specialization, Ogwu has become a voice for women’s development and human rights. In this subject, her perspective spans Asia Pacific, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa with prolific publications on regional aspects of the subject. Her participation in the government under the auspices of NIIA and the Presidential Advisory Council on International Relations enabled positive contribution to practical government policy such as the construct of the Nigeria-South America relationship on a macro level and the United Nations Educational Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) funded program for teaching human rights in Nigerian Schools on a micro level. Furthermore, her continual role on the Nigerian National Delegation to UN General Assembly exhibits her contribution as an influential figure in the formation of Nigeria’s relationship with the rest of the world.
- Nigerian Foreign Policy: Alternative Futures, published by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in co-operation with Macmillan Nigeria Publishers, 1986
- Africa and Latin America: Perspectives and Challenges
- New Horizons for Nigeria in World Affairs, 2005