Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, a public foundation which seeds, strengthens, links and supports the capacity building of women’s rights organizations in every part of the world. The Global Fund for Women’s grants help expand the choices available to women and ensure that women’s voices are heard at local, national and international levels.
Dr. Kanyoro is an accomplished leader with three decades of experience managing international non-governmental organizations, global programs, and ecumenical agencies in cross-cultural contexts. She is a strategic and visionary leader who inspires people, and mobilizes action and resources. She is a published author and a frequently sought after public speaker.
Dr. Kanyoro is a passionate advocate for women and girls’ health and human rights, and social change philanthropy. She serves on the Global Committee of the Council on Foundations, and is a member of the Aspen Institute Leaders Council, the UNFPA/IPPF High level taskforce for Reproductive Health. She also serves on the boards of Intra Health, CHANGE, and CARE.
Dr. Kanyoro has PhD in Linguistics from the University of Texas, Austin and Doctor of Ministry in Feminist Theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She was a visiting scholar of Hebrew and the Old Testament at Harvard University. She has received three honorary doctorates and several recognition awards, including a leadership award from the Kenya Government. She is the author of dozens of articles, hundred of speeches and has written and co-edited a number of books.
Between 2007-2011, Dr. Kanyoro served as Director for Population and Reproductive Health Programme of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation based in the Silicon Valley, California, USA. She was responsible for oversight of personnel in six overseas counties and in the USA and a $30 million budget of direct grants to South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, the USA and global issues.
Between 1998 and 2007, Dr. Kanyoro was the General Secretary (CEO) of the World YWCA, whose national member association in 120 countries have an outreach to 25 million women and girls. She was the first woman from a developing world appointed to that post and led the organization through the new millennium and 150th anniversary in 2005. She transformed the organization’s structures and communication and revitalised young women’s participation in leadership.
From 1988-1997, Dr. Kanyoro directed the department for Women in Church and Society of the Lutheran World Federation based in Geneva. She strengthened gender awareness and catalysed the adaption of women-centred policies and budgets in the Federation and its membership. She led Federation delegations through the five United Nations World Conferences of the 90s and established strong collaboration with women’s global movements, the United Nations, and its different agencies.