Uzoma Emenike is many things rolled into one. She is a diplomat, an author, a management consultant and now the first female ambassador-designate to the US in the history of Nigeria.
She replaces the late 85 year old Sylvanus Nsofor, Nigeria’s former ambassador to the United States who died on December 10, following senate’s confirmation of the list of ambassadors-designate submitted by president Muhammadu Buhari.
Until her appointment, the Nigerian embassy in US has been headed by men since its opening on October 1, 1960, according to office of the chief protocol, US Department of State.
Before the return of democracy in 1999, a total of 14 other male Nigerian ambassadors were appointed to the US but Emenike’s appointment connotes a new era at the Nigerian embassy in the US. It raises the bar and sets new standards.
Until her new posting, Emenike was Nigeria’s ambassador to Ireland with concurrent accreditation to Iceland. However, with her new role, the Abia indigene will be replaced by Obiezu Chinyerem at the embassy in Dublin.
55 year old Uzoma Emenike holds a B.Sc. in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Maiduguri, and an LL.B. from the University of Reading in the UK. She also has a master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and another master’s in International Management from University of Reading. Emenike also has a doctorate in International Relations from the University of Reading.
Emenike according to her biography, joined the country’s foreign service over 30 years ago. She served in the Protocol Department and Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Subsequently, she was posted to the Nigerian Embassy in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire in 1992, where she served for six years.
Upon her return to headquarters in Nigeria, she was variously deployed to other departments of the Ministry, during which she represented Nigeria in numerous bilateral and multilateral missions, both at home and abroad. In 2002, Emenike left the Foreign Service for the private sector where, amongst others, she worked as a Management Consultant.
A writer with a host of published works, Uzoma Emenike is married to Ikechi Emenike and the union is blessed with four children.