Musimbi KanyorosqMusimbi Kanyoro: Tireless and Passionate Advocate on the Global Stage for Women, Girls and Gender Equality
President and CEO, Global Fund for Women
Twitter: @MKanyoro

Bio: President& CEO, Global Fund for Women (GFW). Previous roles include Director of Population and Reproductive Health, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; and General Secretary of the World YWCA. Additionally she has been a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Divinity School and has a PhD in Linguistics and a Doctor of Ministry, Feminist Theology.

Innovating in Field of Work:

  • For the past five years has led GFW, the world’s largest foundation to support women and girls’ rights and health globally
  • Focuses GFW grant-making on stopping violence against women, economic and political equality, sexual rights and health
  • Converted the YWCA into an organization actually led by young women—55% of global Board of Trustees are women younger than 30
  • First non-white woman to head the YWCA


  • Has built GFW’s grant portfolio to $100 million.
  • Negotiated GFW’s acquisition of the International Museum of Women; able to use it as a megaphone for women’s voices and issue
  • Named one of 10 women ‘power brands’ working for gender equality, Forbes
  • Named on of 21 leaders for the 21st century, eNews

Role Model:

  • At 62 or 63 she is still an activist as she has been since being a student leader working to end Apartheid
  • Role model to young women participating in the YWCA internationally
  • Speaks, writes, high media profile modeling leadership working to secure female rights
  • Serves on the Aspen Leaders Council, the CARE Board, the High Level Taskforce for Reproductive Health, UN Women Civil Society Advisory Board, and The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s Scientific Advisory Board

Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:

  • “Demonstrated experience in senior management of international development, ecumenical and philanthropic organizations.
  • Committed to understanding the integration of faith and culture in shaping values, and sophisticated understanding of the political and financial systems underpinning the global agenda.
  • Pivoted from academia to social good organizations; author or co-author of many books on religion; shifted focus again to secular gender issues

“Musimbi is passionate about using philanthropy and technology to drive social change.”