Professor Agboola Ibrahim Gambari has been appointed as the new chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Prof. Gambari, a Nigerian scholar, diplomat and a prince of the Sulu-Gambari Ruling Dynasty of Ilorin, Kwara State replaces the late Abba Kyari who died on April 17, 2020.
Prof. Gambari was born in Ilorin on November 24, 1944. Gambari attended King’s College, Lagos. He subsequently attended the London School of Economics where he obtained his B. Sc. (Economics) degree (1968) with specialisation in International Relations. He later obtained his M.A. (1970) and Ph. D. (1974) degrees from Columbia University, New York, USA in Political Science /International Relations.
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.
He was Minister for External Affairs between 1984 and 1985. Gambari was 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 was Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations 1990 – 1999, Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (1990 – 1999) President of the Executive Board of UNICEF (1999), Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Special Adviser on Africa (2000 – 2005), Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Department of Political Affairs (2005 – 2007)
On March 4, 2013, Ibrahim Gambari was named by immediate past Kwara State Governor, AbdulFatah Ahmad, as the pioneer chancellor of the Kwara State University.