CEO Search

A Message from Global Fund Board Chair Leila Hessini

Dear Friends,

As you know, Kavita Ramdas is departing as Global Fund for Women CEO, after 14 years of dedicated service. From Sept 15th until the end of her final year of service next July, Kavita will be available to us as our former CEO and Senior Advisor.

We welcome, and look forward to a far-reaching, comprehensive, and inclusive search, culminating in the successful recruitment of an inspiring future CEO and President of the Global Fund for Women.

To that end, we want to share the Position Description that illustrates the profile, experience, and leadership we are seeking for our next CEO. Please read, share and join us in seeking out and recruiting the best possible person for this important leadership position.

The Search Committee, ably chaired by experienced and accomplished Global Fund Board Members Charlotte Bunch and Marissa Wesely, has selected Korn/Ferry to conduct the search. Please send your suggestions for candidates directly to Aimee Meher-Homji or Kristin Mannion at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thank you for your continued support of our work.

Warm Greetings,

Leila Hessini, Chair of the Board of Directors

Position Specification

The Global Fund for Women President and CEO


President & CEO
The Global Fund for Women
San Francisco, CA
Reporting Relationship
The President & CEO reports to the Board of Directors


The Global Fund for Women (GFW) seeks a President and CEO that will enable the organization to be strategic and influential in a rapidly changing and demanding global environment. The President will be expected to position GFW as a premier institution for advancing social justice and women’s rights and strengthening philanthropy. The President & CEO is responsible for advancing the Global Fund for Women’s mission and vision and for achieving the strategic goals as set forth in its Strategic Plan. The President & CEO is also responsible for overall management of the Global Fund for Women and the implementation of its policies. This individual reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for keeping the Board engaged and informed so that they can fulfill the governance responsibilities entrusted to them. This individual will have direct supervision of the COO, CFO and provide leadership and strategic direction to all members of the Executive Team which also includes the Vice Presidents of Communications, Development, and Programs and the Director of Human Resources. Specifically, the President & CEO will:

Management & Leadership
  • Provide overall vision and direction for the organization.
  • Work closely with the Board to develop and manage implementation of the strategic plan and vision for the Global Fund for Women, ensuring priorities are clearly communicated and resources applied intelligently.
  • Encourage ownership of the strategic plan and its objectives throughout the entire Global Fund for Women team.
  • Ensure that the vision is documented and shared within the organization, and fully owned and embraced by all staff.
  • Supervise, motivate, and hold staff accountable ensuring they have the appropriate skill sets to address the Global Fund for Women’s challenges and achieve its mission.
  • Lead by example in modeling the vision and core values of the Global Fund as well as advancing the strategic direction and plan with all staff.
  • Develop strong relationships with senior management and staff both in San Francisco and in the smaller New York office.
  • Provide guidance, leadership, and supervision to each of the 3 Vice Presidents, the Human Resource Director and the COO, CFO on strategic issues for the executive team.
  • Ensure that the organization hires a staff that is functional, represents the core values of the organization, and is inclusive and diverse.
  • Support the refinement and implementation of Global Fund for Women values to sustain a feminist and democratic organizational culture of continued learning.
  • Make donor stewardship a priority and effectively address external factors that might affect the organization’s fundraising efforts.
  • Prioritize areas in which the Global Fund for Women’s fundraising resources should be invested for maximum impact on the populations served by the organization.
  • Personally cultivate, maintain, nurture relationships with major individual/institutional donors and solicit support as needed.
  • Expand visibility and support within corporations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, and other target donor constituencies.
  • Appropriately leverage the relationships and resources of the board and motivate board members, volunteers, and staff to actively participate in fundraising efforts and activities.
  • Partner with the Vice President of Development in cultivation of existing/prospective donors to meet fundraising targets.
  • Ensure the organization has established fundraising schedules, objectives, and tracking systems to effectively ensure that fundraising plans are implemented, goals achieved, timely reports generated, and information shared.
  • Ensure high performance of NY office to support donor cultivation goals.
Communications/External Relationships
  • Work with the Vice President of Communications to advance the goals of the communications team.
  • Build strategic relationships with partner organizations, policymakers, media, and others.
  • Represent the organization by participating in key associations and organizations, serving on committees, boards, and advisory groups.
  • Encourage the development of philanthropic initiatives in partnership with various partners to enhance visibility and influence with key audiences.
  • Represent the Global Fund at high profile, policy, philanthropy, and business forums including public speaking engagements to sustain and build organizational visibility and promote the organization.
Program Development & Grantmaking Oversight
  • Partner with VP of Programs in designing and implementing grant making approaches that truly reflect excellence and advance women’s human rights and strengthen women’s movements worldwide.
  • Oversee the creation, development, and progress of programs that advance the mission of the Global Fund for Women.
  • Support the growth of a team that values shared leadership, has strong relationships with advisors and grantees on the ground, and that advances GFW mission and strategic priorities.
  • Work with VP of Programs to reinforce and advance the distinctive grantmaking philosophy of the Global Fund for Women - “how we do our work is as important as what we do.”
  • Provide vision in new strategic program areas.
  • Work with the VP of Programs to ensure effective monitoring, evaluation and assessment structures are built into design of grantmaking initiatives.
  • Monitor key trends and issues relevant to the work and programs of the Global Fund for Women. Communicate their implications in a timely manner to the board with recommended actions.
Finance and Administration
  • Oversee the organization’s finances, including the budgeting process. Communicate the financial status of the organization to the board and donors. Ensure compliance to proper financial procedures across the organization.
  • Develop realistic annual financial goals and plans and make decisions consistent with those goals and plans as approved by the board.
  • Provide regular and timely internal financial reports and analysis to the board that will enable the board to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities including strategic discussions about financial stability and sustainability.
Board Relations
  • Assist in developing board policies, goals, and objectives.
  • Ensure the preparation and presentation of detailed management, program, and financial reports to the board. Ensure the board is apprised of all pertinent issues on a timely basis and facilitate communication between board and staff as appropriate.
  • Work with the Chair of the Board to help advance the direction and priorities set by the Board of Directors.
  • Closely engage with Board Chair in Board Governance process to ensure a strong, diverse, and active board that reflects the values and mission of the organization and meets the needs of the Global Fund’s strategic priorities.
  • With the Chair of the Board, engage and coordinate the efforts of various board committees and task forces.
  • Facilitate and ensure Board engagement in fundraising, communications, and programs.


The successful candidate will have a strong track record of proven leadership ability and at least 10 years progressive experience in a regional or multi-national organization, which includes addressing issues of women and gender. This individual should possess the capacity to assess, analyze and design strategic organizational structures, programs and processes.

The ideal candidate will have an understanding of the challenges facing global nonprofit organizations such as the Global Fund for Women and the creative vision to address these challenges effectively. The President & CEO must be a strong decision-maker, facilitator, inspiring leader, and passionate advocate who can effect change where it is needed.

Specific previous experiences and qualifications include:

  • Passionate belief in the Global Fund for Women’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the human rights of women and a global feminist perspective.
  • Integrity and high ethical standards with a reputation for fairness and transparency.
  • Strong sensitivity and commitment to cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual, and socioeconomic diversity.
  • Demonstrated fundraising track record and experience in strategic marketing. The ability to compete for and win philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and governmental agencies.
  • Creativity and innovation in conceptualizing, identifying, and pursuing opportunities, partnerships, programs, and resource development.
  • Proven ability to create constructive partnerships among diverse constituencies, to strengthen consensus building, collaboration, and communication.
  • Experience working with members of a Board of Directors with a history of strengthening proper governance guidelines and building the consensus necessary to ensure organizational success.
  • Effective verbal and written communications, including excellent public speaking skills for formal and extemporaneous presentations and the ability to clearly and convincingly communicate the work and vision of the Global Fund for Women.
  • Working knowledge of international development, human rights, and the feminist movement internationally.
  • Ability to articulate political trends and understand global politics and complexities.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to use diplomacy effectively.
  • Ability to travel both domestically and internationally.
  • Fluency in English and preferably at least one other major world language.


Creating the New and Different
  • Is able to come up with the next great breakthrough thing to do; is creative, a visionary, and can manage innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to market; comfortable speculating about alternative futures without all of the data.
Getting Work Done Through Others
  • Manages people well; gets the most and best out of the people he/she has; sets and communicates guiding goals; measures accomplishments, holds people accountable, and gives useful feedback; delegates and develops; keeps people informed; provides coaching for today and for the future.
Dealing with Trouble
  • Fearlessly takes on all issues, challenges, and people; comfortably confronts and works through conflict; delivers critical feedback and messages without hesitation; deals promptly and fairly with problem performers; lets everyone know where they stand; thrives in crises and is energized by tough challenges; not afraid to make negative decisions and take tough action; challenges the status quo.
Communicating Effectively
  • Writes and presents effectively; adjusts to fit the audience and the message; strongly gets a message across.
Inspiring Others
  • Is skilled at getting individuals, teams, and an entire organization to perform at a higher level and to embrace change; negotiates skillfully to achieve a fair outcome or promote a common cause; communicates a compelling vision and is committed to what needs to be done; inspires others; builds motivated, high-performing teams; understands what motivates different people.
Acting with Honor and Character
  • Is a person of high character; is consistent and acts in line with a clear and visible set of values and beliefs; deals and talks straight; walks his/her talk; is direct and truthful but at the same time can keep confidences.
Relating Skills
  • Warm, friendly, and interpersonally agile; easy to approach and talk to; relates well to all kinds of people; makes a pleasant first impression and builds solid relationships.
Being Organizationally Savvy
  • Maneuvers well to get things done; knows where to go to get what he/she needs; politically aware and agile; knows what the right thing to do is; presents views and arguments well.


An undergraduate degree is required. A graduate degree in a relevant field of study such as global/international affairs or development, women’s/gender studies, human rights, law, nonprofit management, international business, or MBA is highly preferred.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract outstanding candidates.


Kristin Mannion
Senior Client Partner

Aimeé Meher-Homji
Client Partner

Hillary Stewart
Senior Associate

Korn/Ferry International
1700 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006

Please send resumes, cover letters, recommendations, and questions to:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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