State of Lagos, Nigeria
Richard J. Daley College, Illinois
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is on democracy's front line in Nigeria.
A former student of Richard J. Daley College in Illinois, Tinubu is the governor of Lagos state, a region with the largest city in the most populous country in West Africa. His mission is reconstruction, renewal, and the establishment of a new state. His administration is striving to improve education, health care, roads and other public services. Although it is one of the world's top oil producers and has vast untapped reserves of gas and iron ore, Nigeria is hampered by government debts and widespread poverty.
Tinubu learned about democratic principles while living in the United States. From Daley College, he transferred to Chicago State University and graduated summa cum laude.
After graduation he worked for Arthur Andersen; Deloitte, Haskins and Sells; and GTE Services Corp. before returning to Nigeria in 1983 to work for Mobil Oil Nigeria. At Mobil, he advanced to treasurer of the company.
Tinubu returned to his homeland when exiles were asked to help rebuild the country and was elected to the Nigerian Senate in 1992. After the presidential election was nullified in 1993, Tinubu became a founding member of the National Democratic Coalition of Nigeria that mobilized support to restore democracy. In 1999, after civilian rule was restored, Tinubu was elected governor of Lagos.