Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the newly elected United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President has had an outstanding career as a scholar and diplomat.
He received a B.Sc (Political Science) from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria (1979); MA (Political Science), Boston University, USA (1981); and Ph.D (Political Science), University of Toronto, Canada (1987).
He started his career at Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria, rising from Graduate Assistant in 1980 to full Professor in 1998, and ultimately to Vice-Chancellor, in 2004, a position he held for five years.
As Vice Chancellor, with about twenty thousand (20,000) full-time students
spread across various faculties, the University came first in the accreditation of academic programmes in Nigerian universities (2007).
Between 2000 and 2004, he served as the Director-General of Le Centre Africain de
Formation et de Recherche Administratives pour le Dèveloppement (CAFRAD), in Tangier, Morocco. Established by African Governments in 1964, CAFRAD is the continent’s premier intergovernmental Centre for governance reform.
During his stewardship, the Organization
improved on much needed training for senior African public servants, conducted specialized researches on African governance issues and worked with a variety of partners, particularly
the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
From 2010 to 2016, Professor Muhammad-Bande held the position of Director-General of Nigeria’s National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, the country’s most reputable policy institution for training leaders from the public and private sectors, including high echelon officials of Nigeria’s Armed Forces.
In that capacity, he inspired a marked improvement in the quality of the Institute’s programming and activities, and one of his signature initiatives in that regard was the establishment of the Political Parties Policy and Leadership Development Centre, the first of its kind in Africa.
As Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, he worked with colleagues from all regions of the world to achieve common objectives. He served as the Vice-President of the General Assembly during the 71st session and remains active in several fora, including as Chair of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34), Member,
Advisory Board of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and Chair of the ECOWAS Group (2018-2019).
Professor Muhammad-Bande has also been an assessor for the National Merit Award (Nigeria) and for professorial positions in universities.
He has won merit awards and honours
from institutions and Governments, including the United States and China. Most notably, he is a recipient of Nigeria’s Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), one of Nigeria’s highest national honours.
He is married with four children and his hobbies include swimming, soccer, field hockey, farming and music.