Professor Kingsley Bosah Chiedu Ayodele Moghalu was born in Lagos on May 7, 1963. He is the first of five children. His father, Isaac Chukwudum Moghalu (now deceased) was a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer, one of a small group of promising young Nigerians inducted into the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs after Nigeria’s independence in 1960. His mother, Lady Vidah Chinelo Moghalu, was a schoolteacher at the Breadfruit School on Lagos Island who later became a professional dietician. Shortly after his birth, his father was posted to Geneva, Switzerland.
The Moghalu family spent a year in Switzerland and then moved to Washington, DC in 1964 when Isaac Moghalu was posted to the Nigerian Embassy there. In 1967, the family returned to Nigeria and Isaac Moghalu transferred to the Eastern Region Civil Service as the Nigerian political crisis gathered strength and later snowballed into a full-scale war. Isaac Moghalu joined the Cabinet Office of the Eastern Region, and later the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Biafra. The family remained in Eastern Nigeria after the civil war ended in 1970 and Prof. Moghalu’s father later rose to become a Permanent Secretary with a strong reputation for probity. This background influenced Kingsley ‘s strong value system — a sense of family honor and a family tradition of public service.
After his secondary education at Eziama High School, Aba, Government College, Umuahia, and Federal Government College, Enugu, Kingsley obtained a degree in law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. Nation Youth Service under the National Youth Service Corps as a Legal Officer at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Ltd in Lagos followed. So did a subsequent three-year stint that combined law and journalism as General Counsel of Newswatch, the leading newsmagazine in Nigeria at the time, a prolific contributor to the opinion pages of The Guardian newspaper, and a special correspondent in Nigeria for several US and European newspapers including Africa News Service (forerunner of AllAfrica Global Media), South, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Kingsley left Nigeria again in 1991 for his post-graduate education at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, turning down an offer from a friend to remain in Nigeria and become the company secretary of a new generation bank that was being set up in Lagos. His sights were set squarely on a loftier dream, one that called for delayed gratification. That goal was a career in the United Nations. Kingsley was awarded the Joan Gillespie Fellowship at The Fletcher School. He obtained a master’s degree in international relations from there in 1992.
Kingsley is married to Mrs. Maryanne Moghalu, a lawyer and social entrepreneur, who is the Executive Director of the Isaac Moghalu Foundation that the Moghalu family established in 2005 in memory of the family patriarch Isaac Moghalu. IMOF supports educational institutions and disadvantaged children and youth with educational infrastructure such as libraries as well as scholarships. The Foundation was inaugurated at Nnewi in December 2005 by Gen. Yakubu Gowon, a former Head of State of Nigeria. Kingsley and Maryanne Moghalu have four children.
Kingsley has four siblings: Nancy Ijeoma Ijemere is a Senior Information Technology Specialist and holds a Master of Science in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University; Chris Moghalu, educated at Howard University, is a security expert and previously served in the US Army Military Intelligence; Robert Odi Moghalu is a US High School educator who is also an author of three books; and Chikezie Moghalu, a petroleum engineer with Chevron Corporation, and who holds a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Southern California.
Armed with interdisciplinary knowledge in international economics, international law and diplomacy, and a global network of contacts, Kingsley was ready to play on the world stage. He was appointed into the UN Secretariat in 1992 by then Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali on the basis of individual merit. In the UN, Kingsley worked hard and rose through the ranks from entry level Associate Officer to the highest career rank of Director. Along the way, he handled legal, strategic planning and executive management assignments at UN Headquarters in New York and in Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania, and Switzerland.
In 2006, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Kingsley as one of five members of the high-level Redesign Panel on the UN Internal Justice System that overhauled the regulatory compliance, accountability, and dispute resolution framework that governs the global workforce of the UN. This was a core aspect of UN management reform. This six-month special assignment was at the nominal level of Under-Secretary-General, the highest political rank in the UN below the Secretary-General.
Kingsley had deferred his plan to study for a Ph.D. when he was appointed into the UN after his master’s degree in 1992. A decade later, he returned to his quest for knowledge. By now a senior officer in the UN system in Geneva, he enrolled and studied part-time and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in international relations at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2005. Kingsley completed his 450-page doctoral dissertation in a record-breaking 12 months and his overall degree in 18 months.
Immediately after this, he studied for and obtained the International Certificate in Risk Management at the UK Institute of Risk Management in London. Later, he received further education in macroeconomics, financial policy, and corporate governance at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Institute
In the course of his UN system career, Kingsley helped design a comprehensive risk management system for the $20 billion Global Fund in Geneva, an international development finance fund established under UN auspices. There, he was also the Head of Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilization and a member of the Risk Committee.
As his passion for risk management grew, Kingsley’s interests shifted to the private sector. He resigned his permanent appointment in the UN in January 2009 and established Sogato Strategies in Geneva with the minimum capital of 100,000 Swiss francs required to set up a Societe Anonyme (limited liability) corporation in Switzerland. The risk advisory firm soon won profitable mandates from global corporations such as the Swiss bank UBS and Syngenta, the Swiss agrochemicals multinational.
His expertise in risk management, and what turned out to be a fortuitous move into the private sector, eventually led to an invitation and his appointment as a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the President of Nigeria, Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009. Risk management skill and knowledge was much in demand after the global financial crisis of 2008.
For five years at the Central Bank of Nigeria from November 2009 to October 2014, Kingsley managed the systemic risks to Nigeria’s financial system, made sure the system remained stable, and led the team that executed the controversial banking sector reforms initiated by then CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
It was a demanding and stressful time. The nation’s financial system was negatively impacted by the global financial crisis of 2008. Nigeria’s banks were hit by their lending exposures to oil and gas companies after oil prices crashed. The oil revenues, which government deposited in banks, dropped to a trickle, and the stock market, to which banks were also exposed through margin lending, nearly collapsed in 2008. As Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability (FSS), he was also a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and the Bank’s board of directors.
Kingsley completed his five-year tenure at the CBN meritoriously in November 2014. A versatile intellectual, he was subsequently appointed Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at the prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a premier US university in Boston, Massachusetts. Premier American universities only confer the title of “professor of practice” on selected, highly accomplished individuals who combine intellectual achievements with high-level real world experience beyond the ivory tower.
Kingsley remained on the faculty of Tufts until 2017, teaching the course “Emerging Africa in the World Economy” in the Economics and International Business Program of The Fletcher School, and is a Senior Fellow at the institution’s Council on Emerging Market Enterprises. The Emerging Africa course is based on Kingsley’s widely acclaimed development economics book Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter, published worldwide by Penguin Books in London in 2014. Kingsley is also the author of several other books including Bretton Woods: The Next 70 Years, Global Justice, and Rwanda’s Genocide.
A philanthropist, Kingsley founded the Isaac Moghalu Foundation (IMoF), a non-profit organization, in memory of his deceased father Isaac Moghalu, one of Nigeria’s pioneer foreign service officers. IMoF empowers youth and women in disadvantaged communities through literacy, education, skills-building and leadership development. He is also the Founder and President of the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), a new think tank based in Nigeria and Washington, DC.