Chinwe Esimai, a lawyer, corporate executive, author and speaker is the current Managing Director and Chief Anti-Bribery Officer at Citigroup.
Chinwe had her secondary education at Federal Girl Government College (FGGC) Owerri, Imo State. In 1995 she relocated to the United States with her mother, three brothers, and sister after her secondary school education in Nigeria.
After relocating to the United States with her mother, she attended university at the City College of New York from 1996 to 2003, obtaining a B.A. in Political Science.
After graduating from City College, she attended Havard Law School from 2000–2003 where she obtained a JD (Juris Doctor) degree.
Career and corporate experience
She worked as an intern at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates for three years. After her graduation from Havard, she worked as a corporate Associate for LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP for a year and six months.
She resumed as Assistant Director, SEC/NASD Compliance at Met Life where she worked for a year and eleven months before resuming as Vice President for Goldman, Sachs & Co where she worked from 2006 to 2009. She later entered the academic field as an Assistant professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN, where she taught Law & Finance in Emerging Markets, Securities Regulation, and Business Associations for a year and seven months.
In 2011, she went back to work at Goldman Sachs for two years before moving to Citi where she currently works. She resumed working in Citi as the SVP Global Anti Bribery & Corruption after which she moved to the position of Interim head, Global Anti Bribery and Corruption. Then to the position of Director – Chief Anti-Bribery & corruption officer.
Before resuming her current position as Managing Director – Chief Compliance officer, Legacy Franchises she worked as Managing Director, Chief Anti Bribery and Corruption Officer.
Awards and recognitions
She has received several awards and recognitions both in America and in Nigeria. She has been recognized among several notable women and men who are trailblazers in their fields. Her recognitions include;
- American Banker Most Powerful Women in Banking
- Crain’s New York Business Notable Diverse Leaders in Banking & Finance
- Diversity Woman Magazine Elite 100 Black Women Changing the Face of Corporate America
- Tropics Magazine’s Most Powerful Africans Shaping the Future of Africa
- Leading Ladies Africa Leading Corporate Women Award
- Ozy Magazine “Angelic Troublemakers” to Reset America and the World
- Leading Ladies Africa 100 Most Inspiring Women
- Face2Face Africa Corporate Leadership Award
- Nigerian Lawyers Association Trailblazer of the Year Award
- She has had speaking engagements at the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Global Compact on Corruptions in 2014, and at the United Nations 2016 Africa Week High Level Event: A Renewed Global Partnership for Entrenching Good Governance and the Rule of Law in Africa.
- She has also spoken at the South by Southwest conference & festival which is dedicated to helping creative people achieve their goals.
- She has presented at conferences and seminars discussing various issues impacting emerging markets, including trends in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-bribery enforcement, private equity investments in Africa, financial regulation in emerging markets in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and the integration of emerging markets in global financial regulation.
- She has also been featured in Female Quotient, Time 100, Forbes, Knowledge@Wharton, Current History, Thrive Global, Medium, Black Enterprise, Real Business UK, Authority Magazine, and Business Intelligence Middle East.
Charity and board membership
She is an Executive Council Member of Ellevate Network, a women’s business enterprise which functions as a community of ambitious and supportive women who believe there is strength in numbers.
She is Chair of the Board of Harambee USA Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to education and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
She created a site chinweesimai.squarespace.com to not only inspire high-achieving women leaders (American Dream Queens) who have come to the United States from all around the world and not only share a passion for excellence and success but also to accompany them on their leadership journeys.
Published author and podcast host
Her book, ‘Brilliance Beyond Borders: Remarkable Women Leaders Share the Power of Immigrace’ was released in March 2022.
She is also the host of the Brilliance Beyond Borders podcast which features inspiring conversations with highly successful immigrant women leaders, thought leaders and world-class experts.
She got married in 2015, and now has three children: a 13-year-old son, a 10-year-old daughter, and a 7-year-old son.
According to an interview she had with C-suite moms, her first child was born after she began practising law and had made the transition from being a corporate associate at a large law firm to an in-house role, while her second and third children were born while she was serving as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs.