Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chairman LNID. Ibrahim A. Gambari, a scholar-diplomat, was appointed by the United Nations Secretmy-General Ban Ki-moon and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, as Joint Special Representative of the Africa Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), effective 1 January 2010. It is the largest international peace-keeping operation. In July 2011, Ambassador Gambari was designated Joint Chief Mediator, ad interim, in charge of the ongoing negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the Darfur opposition movements. He completed his tenure in July 2012.
Ambassador Gambari has held several leadership positions at the national, regional and international levels and has built extensive contacts with Governments as well as public and private institutions, especially in Africa. He was the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (1990-1994) during which he worked closely with African Governments to coordinate UN policy to eradicate apartheid, thereby, building trust and confidence with Governments and policy makers in member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADEC). Ambassador Gambari was Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005). In that capacity he worked closely With Heads of Government, key policy makers as well as institutions in the continent to develop the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).During this period, he was concurrently the Resident Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Angola (2002-2003). He has been a delegate to the Assembly of the African Union in the capacity as a national delegate (1984-85) and as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s delegation (200-2012).
At the global level, Ambassador Gambari was Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (2005-2007). In that period, he also operated as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar.On 22 May 2007, the Secretary-General entrusted him with the Good Offices Mandate on Myanmar. He was also appointed in 2007 by the Secretary-General as Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Iraq Compact and Other Issues, positions which held until 2009.
Before joining the United Nations, he served his country as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (1990-1999).He was also Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Nigeria (1984-1985) and worked closely with regional leaders, institutions and governments, particularly within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the economic and political development of the sub-region. Prior to this, he was the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
As a scholar, Ambassador Gambari is the author of several books and scholarly articles. He began his teaching career as a Lecturer at the Queen’s College, City University of New York, NY (1969-1974), followed by an Assistant Professorship at the State University ofNew York, NY (1974-1977). Upon return to his country, Nigeria, he was appointed Senior Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, (1977-1980), and rose to become an Associate Professor (Reader), (1980-1983) and subsequently full Professor at the same University (1983 -present-(currently on leave of absence). AmbassadorGambari was a visiting Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University and Howard University in Washington, DC from 1986 to 1989. Ambassador Gambari was also a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, as well as a Resident Scholar with the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, Italy. He was Distinguished Visiting Fellow, School of Advanced International Studies, Nanyang Technological University Singapore (Jan-July, 2013) and Scholar-in Residence, Lynn University, Florida (Fall, 2013).
A recipient of the third highest national honour, Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR), Ambassador Gambari has also been awarded, Doctor of Humane Letters degrees (honoris causa) from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut (2002) and Far1eigh Dickinson University, New Jersey (2006).Others include, Honorary Doctorate of Public Service, Chatham University (May 2008) and Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt), University of Ibadan, Nigeria (November 2011). He has also received the Special Recognition for International Development and Diplomacy Award conferred by the Africa-America Institute (September 2007), the Distinguished (Foreign) Service Award by the Federal Government of Nigeria (April2008), the International House Harry Edmonds Award for Lifetime Achievement, New York (May 2009) and the Campaign Against Genocide Medal by the Republic of Rwanda (July 2010). Ambassador Gambari was elected to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2002 and has since 2005 served as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University, Zimbabwe.
Professor Gambari was appointed as Pioneer Chancellor, State University, Kwara, Nigeria, from June, 2013.
Professor Gambari is the founder of Savannah Centre in Ahuja, Nigeria. This is a centre of excellence for research and public policy studies on the challenges of conflict prevention and resolution; democratization and development facing Africa. The Centre will have a consultancy business development department to serve the needs of the founder.