Senior Advisor, Former President and Chief Executive Officer
Kavita N. Ramdas provides leadership and direction for the largest grantmaking foundation in the world focused exclusively on supporting international women’s human rights. During Ramdas’ tenure, Global Fund assets have increased from $6 million to $21 million. Grantmaking has risen to more than $8 million per year, and the number of countries in which the Global Fund has made grants has nearly tripled. Ramdas has also overseen the Global Fund’s first ever endowment campaign and the creation of the groundbreaking Now or Never Fund to ensure women’s participation on critical international issues.
Expertise: Women’s human rights, social justice philanthropy and international development.
Languages: Fluent Hindi/Urdu, English and German; conversational Tamil, Spanish and French.
Experience: President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women (1996 – present);
Program Officer, Community Initiatives Program, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (1988 - 1996).
Current Affiliations: PAX World Management, LLC Advisory Council; Global Development Program Advisory Panel to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mt. Holyoke Board of Trustees; Princeton University Board of Trustees; Council of Advisors on Gender Equity to the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University; African Women Millennium Initiative on Poverty and Human Rights Advisory Council; Castilleja School Board of Trustees; Spark Advisory Board; Henry Crown Fellow.
Selected Articles: "Playing Political Catch-up with the Rest of the World," Huffington Post, March 2008; "A Woman's Worth," Foreign Policy, January/February 2008; "Leveraging the Power of Race and Gender," The Nation, February 2008; "Nothing Short of a Revolution,” Conscience, The Newsjournal of Catholic Opinion, Volume XXVII–No.2, Summer 2006; “Feminists and Fundamentalists,” Current History, Volume 105, Number 689, March 2006; “Philanthropy that Funds Transformation,” Leadership Strategies for Charitable Organizations and Foundations, Inside the Minds, Aspatore Inc., 2006; “Global Women for Peace,” Stop the Next War Now, Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism, edited by Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, Inner Ocean Publishing, Inc., 2005; “Kavita Ramdas Interview,” Caroline Hartnell, Alliance, Focus on Investing in Women, Volume 9, Number 3, September 2004.
Awards since 2003: Council on Foundations Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, 2010; the Haridas and Bina Chaudhuri Award for Distinguished Service presented by the California Institute of Integrated Studies (CIIS), 2009Duveneck Humanitarian Award, 2008; Social Capitalist Award, Fast Company, 2007; Women of Great Esteem Award, 2007; Girl's Hero Award, Girls' Middle School, 2007; Woman of Substance Award, African Women's Development Fund, 2005; Juliette Gordon Low Award, Girl Scouts of America, 2005; Woman of the Year for the Public Sector, Financial Women's Association, 2004; LEAD (Leadership for Equity & Diversity) Award, Women & Philanthropy, 2004; 2004 Bay Area Local Hero, KQED Radio, 2004; Women Who Could Be President Award, League of Women Voters, 2003; 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award, Women's e-News, 2003.
Education: Master of Public Affairs, International Development Studies, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1988; B.A., Mount Holyoke College, 1985.