Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is an international leader and advocate for the health, development and human rights for women, girls and minority groups. She is currently President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, the largest publicly supported grantmaking foundation that advances human rights by investing in women-led organizations that use Global Fund grants to promote women’s human rights. The Global Fund for Women’s model of social change philanthropy brings together grantees and donors to realize a better world for women.
Kanyoro’s accomplishments include: spearheading efforts to include girls education and women's leadership to Packard Foundation grantmaking while Director for Population Program; as a champion for young women, she successfully led initiatives to ensure the representation of women under 30 on local, national and global boards; and was the first non-white woman to serve as general secretary (CEO) of the World YWCA, the largest women’s membership organization that operates in more than 120 countries reaching more than 25 million women and girls annually. During her ten years at the World YWCA, the organization celebrated its 150th anniversary with a campaign that raised $15 million dollars.
A true global citizen, Kanyoro has lived and worked in all parts of the world including Africa, Europe and the United States. Her extensive international experience has made her a sought after thought leader for media, government, advocacy and NGOs. She has written and published extensively on matters affecting the lives of women and children.
Kanyoro received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and her D. Min. from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including the 2011 Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award from the Women’s Funding Network, the African Women’s Development Fund Women of Substance Award, Femmes Africa Solidarité Leadership in Peace Award, Women, Leadership, and Human Dignity Award for significant contribution to the advancement of human dignity, the Kenya Government Presidential Award in recognition of international leadership, and the Global Leadership Award on HIV and AIDS from the World Vision and International AIDS Trust. In addition, Kanyoro is a founding member of the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS and served on its leadership council for the first five years.