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Dambisa Moyo
Dambisa Moyo3.jpg
Born (1969-02-02) 2 February 1969 (age 54)
Lusaka, Zambia
Alma mater American University (BS, MBA)
Harvard University (MPA)
St Antony's College, Oxford (DPhil)
Occupation Economist, author
Known for Economic theories on
macroeconomics, international development, global affairs
Notable work
Dead Aid (2009)
How the West Was Lost (2011)
Winner Take All (2012)
Edge of Chaos (2018)

Dambisa Felicia Moyo (born (1969-02-02)2 February 1969) is a Zambian economist and author who analyzes the macroeconomy and global affairs. She currently serves on the boards of Chevron Corporation and the 3M Company. She worked for two years at the World Bank and eight years at Goldman Sachs before becoming an author and international public speaker. She has written four New York Times bestselling books: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa (2009), How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead (2011), Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (2012), and the most recent Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth – and How to Fix It (2018). She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA from American University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a DPhil in economics from the University of Oxford.

Early life and education

Dambisa Moyo was born in 1969 in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. She spent some of her childhood in the United States, while her father was pursuing his post graduate education, then returned to Zambia. Moyo studied chemistry at the University of Zambia but left in 1991 for her university studies. She finished her degree in the U.S. via a scholarship to American University in Washington, D.C. Moyo received a BS in chemistry from American University in 1991, then an MBA in finance from the university in 1993.

She acquired a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997. In 2002 she received a DPhil in economics from St Antony's College, Oxford University. Her Oxford studies were in macroeconomics, and her doctoral dissertation was on savings rates in developing countries.


World Bank and Goldman Sachs

Following her MBA from American University, Moyo worked at the World Bank from May 1993 to September 1995. She was a consultant in the bank's Europe and Central Asia department and the Africa department, and co-authored the World Bank's annual World Development Report.

After pursuing her MPA and PhD degrees at Harvard and Oxford, Moyo joined Goldman Sachs as a research economist and strategist in 2001. She was at the company until November 2008, working mainly in debt capital markets, hedge funds coverage, and global macroeconomics. Part of her tenure at Goldman Sachs was spent advising developing countries on the issuing of bonds on the international market. She was also Head of Economic Research and Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Board memberships

After leaving Goldman Sachs, Moyo joined the board of directors of the international brewer SABMiller in 2009. She was chairman of the company's Corporate Accountability and Risk Assurance Committee (CARAC), which oversees the entire company's responsibilities in relation to corporate accountability, including sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, corporate social investment, and ethical commercial behavior. In 2010 Moyo joined the board of directors of Barclays Bank. She served on three of the board's committees: the Audit Committee; the Conduct, Operational and Reputational Risk Committee; and the Financial Risk Committee. In 2011 she joined the board of directors of the international mining company Barrick Gold. She served on the board's Audit Committee; Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee; and Corporate Responsibility Committee. In 2015 Moyo joined the board of directors of data storage company Seagate Technology. She served on the board's Audit and Finance Committees.

On October 11, 2016, she joined the board of Chevron Corporation. She sits on the board's Audit committee.

Moyo is a former board member of the charity Lundin for Africa, and a former patron of Absolute Return for Kids (ARK). She is also a former board member of Room to Read. In August 2018 she was elected to the board of 3M Company. She sits on the board’s Audit committee and the Finance committee.

Writing and public speaking

Moyo's first book, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa, was published in early 2009 and was a New York Times bestseller. Dead Aid catapulted Moyo into the public eye and made her a sought-after speaker, pundit, and author. In 2009 she was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, one of TIME's 100, and one of Oprah Winfrey's "20 remarkable visionaries".

The book consolidated her career of traveling worldwide investigating and analyzing economic conditions and writing about her conclusions. By 2015 she had travelled to more than 65 countries, examining the political, economic, and financial workings of emerging economies. She became a regular columnist and contributor to many financial networks and multinational business publications, as well as a speaker at conferences and other venues worldwide. She has written and lectured on topics ranging from global markets, the impact of geopolitics on the economy, the future of the job market, the outlook for growth in China, and the past and future paths of interest rates.

Moyo's second book, How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead, was published in January 2011 and was also a New York Times bestseller. Her third book, Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World, was published in June 2012 and was also a New York Times bestseller.

Moyo is a member of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Global Economic Imbalances, and spoke at the 2005 annual WEF conference in Davos. In 2009 she spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Enterprise Institute, and was one of the two debaters on the winning side of the 2009 Munk Debate, where the subject was foreign aid. She was a participant at the annual Bilderberg Conference in 2010, while in 2011 she spoke at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2013 she was a participant at the U.S. Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, spoke at the Aspen Institute and the Ambrosetti Forum. She spoke at the World Economic Forum in 2020 in Davos. She is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and a regular contributor to Project Syndicate since 2013.

Awards and honors

  • World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2009)
  • TIME 100 (2009)
  • Oprah Winfrey's O's First-Ever Power List (2009)
  • Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award (2013)
  • GQ and Editorial Intelligence's The 100 Most Connected Women (2014)
  • Handelsblatt's 25 Great Thinkers (2015)
  • Thinkers50's Thinker of the Month (April 2015)
  • Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute and WorldPost: World’s Most Influential Thought Leader (2019)
  • Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage, University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin (2019)
  • Evening Standard: London’s Most Influential People (2019)
  • Thomas Kettle Award, Economics Society of University College Dublin (2020)

Personal life

Moyo resides in New York City. She is an avid runner, and has run several marathons and half marathons. She travels extensively for board meetings, for lecturing, and personal appearances. In December 2020 she married billionaire Jared Smith, co-founder of Utah-based cloud computing company Qualtrics.

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