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Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro

6 February 2019

Chair of the Board

Musimbi Kanyoro Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro joined the UWC movement as Chair of the UWC International Board in 2019. Dr. Kanyoro is globally recognized for her leadership of organizations and initiatives that advance health, development and human rights, and served until 2019 as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women which has offices in San Francisco and New York and funds activities in 175 countries.

Prior to that, Musimbi spent 20 years in Geneva, Switzerland where she made history as the first non-white CEO of the World YWCA in its 150-year-history. She has also held senior leadership positions at the Lutheran World Federation and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Dr. Kanyoro received her Ph.D in Linguistics from the University of Texas in Austin and was a visiting scholar in Hebrew and the Old Testament at Harvard University. She also obtained a Doctorate of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Dr. Kanyoro is the recipient of numerous awards over the years including a recognition as one of the 21 Women Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s E-News. In 2015, Forbes magazine named her as one of the 10 power brands working for gender equality and in 2017 was named on the list of 40 over 40 Women who are re-inventing, disrupting and making an impact. At the end of 2018, Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro was listed as one of the 9 people who fought for the planet alongside Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon and Michael Bloomberg.

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro also serves as a Member of: the London School of Economics; the World Bank Group Gender Advisory Committee; the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Board; and CARE International. She has also previously served on the Aspen Leaders Council and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR’s) Scientific Advisory Board.


"I am delighted to be part of UWC: part of a vision that creates international learning environments and opportunities for young people to grow."