Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals

2004 Recipients

Dr. Obioma Nnaemeka, Nigeria
Ph.D., French (1989)

Dr. NnaemekaDr. Obioma Nnaemeka is a distinguished alumna of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies in 1989. While in Minnesota, Dr. Nnaemeka was the president of the Nigerian Students' Association and active on the International Student Council. She was instrumental in maintaining friendly relations among all Nigerians on campus at the time of the Nigerian civil war.

Dr. Nnaemeka was the Verne Wagner Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas and is a full professor of French, Women's Studies, and African/African Diaspora studies at Indiana University, Indianapolis, where she directed the Women's Studies program.

Dr. Nnaemeka is founder and current president of the Association of African Women Scholars, which has hosted conferences in Nigeria (1992), Indiana (1998), and Madagascar (2001) on issues of gender and human rights. These conferences have attracted hundreds of scholars and activists from more than 35 countries and have served as a bridge between these two communities. She is in high demand as a public speaker at both academic and non-academic venues and has published four books and numerous articles and book chapters. Dr. Nnaemeka has received many fellowships, and awards, including the Nigerian Achiever of the Year Award for Leadership, President's Humanities Award, and Daughter of Africa Award.

In naming Dr. Nnaemeka a recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, the selection committee honored her ability to create connections between the local and the international and between disparate disciplines as well as the ease with which she can cross academic and cultural boundaries and motivate those with whom she comes into contact.