As chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) between June 2010 and June 2015, Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega presided over the preparation and conduct of the country’s successful and widely acclaimed 2011 and 2015 general elections.
Before heading INEC, he was vice-chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, a federal university (2005-2010); deputy vice-chancellor of Bayero University (1995-1996); director of the Center for Democratic Research and Training (2000-2004); president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU (1988-1994); and vice president of the ASUU (1986-1988).
Professor Jega obtained his bachelor’s degree (Hon.) in political science from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria, and a master’s degree and PhD from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. He has published extensively on Nigerian politics, elections, democratization and transition to democracy, military and politics, and identity politics, among other topics. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Nigerian National Honors Award of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2005, IFES’ Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award in 2015, and ICPS’ Election Commissioner of the Year awards in 2013 and 2015. He is also the recipient of three honorary doctorate degrees.
Professor Jega has been a visiting senior research fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (N.I.I.A.); a Swedish Institute Fellow in the Department of Political Science, University of Stockholm; a visiting fellow at St. Peters College, University of Oxford; and a visiting scholar at George Mason University, United States. He was also a visiting fellow in practice at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.
Between 2015 and 2019, Professor Jega was pro-chancellor and ghairman of the Governing Council, Plateau State University, Bokkos. He also served on the International Advisory Council of S.G.O. Smartmatics, a global elections technology company, between 2015 and 2019.
Currently, Professor Jega is a professor in the department of political science at Bayero University. He serves as a member of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Electoral Integrity Initiative, the Nigerian Tertiary Education Fund’s (TETFUND) Research and Development Standing Committee, and the board of the International Federation of Electoral Systems (IFES).