The Federal Government has expressed heartfelt congratulations to Nigerian-born Pearlena Igbokwe on her recent promotion to Chairman of the Universal Studio Group, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, expressed the Federal Government’s delight at the news of the promotion, which is the latest in a string of successes that have been recorded by Igbokwe.
Alhaji Mohammed said, “The fact that, in her new role, Igbokwe will lead the American company’s growing global television studio business, which includes Universal Television, Universal Content Productions, UCP, and NBCUniversal International Studios, is a pointer to the huge responsibility that comes with the promotion and a testimony to her capability.
“Igbokwe is an inspiration to millions of youths around the world and, in particular, those in our country’s burgeoning Creative Industry. We wish her success in her new role.”
As Chairman of the Universal Studio Group, Ms Igbokwe is responsible for all aspects of creative affairs and production for NBCUniversal’s three powerhouse studios: Universal Television, Universal Content Productions, UCP, and NBCUniversal International Studios.
She currently oversees the production of over 2,500 hours of programming currently airing or streaming around the globe and manages a slate of ambitious storytellers, including Tina Fey, Seth MacFarlane, Amy Poehler, Dick Wolf, Lorne Michaels, Michael Schur, Nahnatchka Khan, Sam Esmail, Julie Plec, Larry Wilmore, Debra Martin Chase, Gareth Neame, Alan Yang, David Heyman, Sean Hayes, and Tanya Saracho, among numerous others.
The first woman of African descent to head a major U.S. television studio, Igbokwe, from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, was born in Lagos, Nigeria in the 1960s. She lived with her family in a village affected by bomber planes while they depended on airlifted food during the Nigerian Civil War.
She moved to the United States at the age of six. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University. Between June 2016 and September 2020, Igbokwe was President of Universal Television; where she oversaw creative development, casting and production for one of the country’s largest and most successful studios.
Having led the division to new heights with record volume, commercial success and critical acclaim; some of her programming highlights include Russian Doll, The Good Place, New Amsterdam, The Bold Type, Good Girls, and Dick Wolf’s successful new franchise, FBI and FBI: Most Wanted, among numerous other notable projects.
Igbokwe was able to, in a highly competitive landscape, secure pickups for her projects on every major streaming service, a variety of premium cable outlets and every broadcast network.
Before her studio role, Igbokwe served as Executive Vice President, Drama Programming, for NBC Entertainment, where she developed the top-rated new broadcast dramas for three out of her four years in the role – Blacklist, Blindspot and This Is Us.