Kingsley Moghalu is Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the 2023 Presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADC). He is a political economist, lawyer, and former UN official. He is the founder of Sogato Strategies LLC, a risk, strategy, and macroeconomic advising firm focused on emerging markets, as well as a Senior Adviser to the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF). He also contributes to the Central Banking Journal as a Contributory Editor. Moghalu created the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET) in 2016, a think tank focused on developing countries’ inclusive economic growth and effective public policy.
Moghalu was born in Lagos in 1963 to Mrs. Vidah Moghalu and Isaac Moghalu, a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His father, Isaac Moghalu, was dispatched to Geneva, Switzerland as a Nigerian diplomat shortly after his birth, and then served in Washington, D.C. In the 1960s, Moghalu spent his early years in Geneva and Washington, where his family lived.
In 1986, he earned an LL.B. (Honours) in law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a B.L. (Barrister-at-Law) from the Nigerian Law School in Lagos. After working in Lagos as a business and media attorney and as a Special Correspondent for a number of foreign publications and magazines, including The Christian Science Monitor, South, and Africa, News Service, he traveled out of Nigeria in 1991 for graduate studies in the United States.
In 1992, Moghalu earned an M.A. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he was a Joan Gillespie Fellow and Research Assistant in the International Political Economy (IPE) Program. He went on to get a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an International Certificate in Risk Management from the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) in London. He also attended advanced executive education programs at the International Monetary Fund Institute, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in macroeconomics and financial sector management, corporate governance, and global strategic leadership.
Central Bank Career
From 2009 to 2014, Moghalu was the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He led the implementation of far-reaching changes in Nigeria’s banking system as Deputy Governor for Financial Stability after a combination of the global financial crisis, corporate governance violations, and poor risk management put one-third of the country’s banks on the verge of collapse. He was also the Operations Deputy Governor. Moghalu served on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Board of Directors, Monetary Policy Committee, and Committee of Governors, as well as being a member of Nigeria’s Economic Management Team.
As a member or chair of the boards of directors of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILMC), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, he also led corporate governance in a number of international and Nigerian financial institutions (AMCON).
Moghalu’s time as Nigeria’s central bank governor was not without controversy. In a tumultuous political and social environment, he was tasked with carrying out frequently contentious banking sector reforms supported by CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and was viewed by some as the heir apparent to succeed Sanusi as governor.
Moghalu defended and articulated the central bank’s banking reforms in public, including the contentious introduction of Islamic banking as part of a menu of choices to diversify access to finance.
Responding to foreign criticism of Nigeria at the Africa CEO Forum meeting in Geneva in early 2014, Moghalu distanced himself from the now-suspended Bank of Nigeria’s methodology in charging a $20 billion fraud at the country’s publicly owned oil business. Moghalu voiced his disappointment that his former colleague had overstepped his duty as the head of a central bank and engaged in “political activism,” but he stressed his and other colleagues’ support for Sanusi’s monetary policy leadership.
Moghalu, an interdisciplinary scholar and public cerebral, is the author of several books: “Bretton Woods: The Next 70 Years (co-author)(New York: Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee, 2015); Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last’ Frontier Can Prosper and Matter (London: Penguin Books, 2014), Global Justice (Stanford University Press, 2008), Rwanda’s Genocide (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), and numerous articles on law, banking regulation, economic development, political economy and public policy. His publications have appeared in journals and newspapers such as the Financial Times, Central Banking Journal, Journal of Banking and Finance, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the International Herald Tribune.
Moghalu is a sought-after speaker at international gatherings. He was a keynote speaker and panelist at the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, the South African Reserve Bank, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., the Institute of International Finance (IIF), the National Asset-Liability Management Conference Europe, the Africa CEO Forum, Commerzbank, and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He has been on CNN, BBC World News’ HARDtalk, the Financial Times, The New York Times, and other international news outlets.
In 1992, Moghalu became a member of the United Nations. His first post was with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia as a UN human rights and elections officer (UNTAC). He was promoted to political affairs officer in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York a year later. He worked as a political counselor to the UN Secretary-special General’s representative in Croatia from 1996 to 1997 in the former Yugoslavia. In 1997, he was deployed as a legal adviser to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, and eventually advanced to the position of spokesman for the international tribunal. He was in charge of policy development, strategic planning, and external relations as special counsel and spokesman. With a team of 1000 men and women from 90 nations, Moghalu was one of the most well-known members of the two international war crimes courts established by the United Nations Security Council. The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) handed down the first-ever judgment on genocide by an international court.
Moghalu was appointed as Head of Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilization at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM), a public-private international development finance organization and social investment fund with $20 billion in assets and investments in 140 developing and middle-income countries, at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2002.
He was a member of the Global Fund’s Senior Management Group, which determined company strategy, and the Risk Management Committee, and he was appointed to Director in 2006.
Moghalu was named to the high-level Redesign Panel on the United Nations Internal Justice System by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006, following a request from the United Nations General Assembly. Mary Gaudron, a former Australian supreme court judge, Louis Otis, a Canadian appeals court judge, Ahmed El-Kosheri, an Egyptian law professor and former Judge Ad hoc of the International Court of Justice, Diego Garcia Sayan, a former Peruvian Foreign Minister, and Moghalu made up the five-member Redesign Panel.
The Redesign Panel spent six months in the first half of 2006 at the UN Headquarters in New York, reviewing and completely overhauling the accountability, transparency, and dispute resolution framework that governs the UN’s global workforce as part of the organization’s wide-ranging management reforms. The notional position for this extraordinary post was Under-Secretary-General.
Post United Nations
In December 2008, Moghalu resigned from the United Nations System. In Geneva, he established Sogato Strategies S.A. (Societe Anonyme), a global strategy and risk firm. Following his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate, Umaru Yar’Adua, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007–2010), named Moghalu as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in November 2009.
Moghalu has also served on the board of directors of Opportunities Industrialization Centers International (OICI), a non-profit worldwide entrepreneurial development organization created by Reverend Leon Sullivan, the late U.S. civil rights pioneer.
He has won a number of awards, including the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB), and the Rotary International Distinguished Service Award.
They have four children and were married in 1994 to Maryanne Onyinyechi Moghalu.