Hadiza Bala Usman was recently named as the chief of staff under the administration of Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.
She was born, in Zaria, to radical historian and lecturer, Yusufu Bala Usman. She lived and schooled in Zaria all through childhood to adulthood. Her primary education was at ABU Staff School, and she later attended ABU Demonstration Secondary School. In 2000, she graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; and master’s degree in Development Studies from University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in 2009.
Hadiza became publicly known after the abduction of 219 young girls, on the night of 14–15 April 2014, from a school in Chibok Community in Borno State. Out of deep concern for the missing girls, she teamed up with Maryam Uwais, a human rights lawyer, and Oby Ezekwesili, a chartered accountant and co-founder of Transparency International, who had initially started a social media campaign (using twitter) about the missing girls.
Hadiza spearheaded the #BringBackOurGirls Movement, making good use of old and new media to bring the attention of Nigerian government, international government and foreign bodies to the issues of insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria, particularly on getting all forms of assistance needed to rescue the missing girls.
Hadiza has been internationally recognized for her contributions to issues of insecurity in Nigeria, girl child education, and abuse of young girls. She was named amongst the most influential women of 2014 by Financial Times, most inspiring woman of 2014 (CNN), one of the 100 most influential black women in the world in 20th (Ebony Magazine).