Kavita N. Ramdas is president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, the world’s largest grantmaking foundation focused exclusively on supporting international women’s human rights. For three decades, Ramdas has worked to empower women worldwide with the financial resources to increase girls’ access to education, defend women’s right to health and reproductive rights, prevent violence against women, and advance women’s political participation and economic empowerment. Since 1996, she has provided leadership and direction to the Global Fund, growing its assets from $6 to $21 million.
Having served on the boards of the Women’s Funding Network, the Women’s Rights Prize of the Gruber Foundation, and the Ethical Globalization Initiative, Ramdas is currently serving on the Global Development Advisory Panel of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Advisory Panel of the Asian University for Women, and the board of trustees of Princeton University. Ramdas has written for Foreign Affairs, The Huffington Post, The Nation, and numerous other publications, and she has appeared on Bill Moyers Journal, NPR, and other media. She is the recipient of several philanthropic and leadership awards, including most recently, the Haridas and Bina Chaudhuri Award for Distinguished Service, presented by the California Institute of Integrated Studies (CIIS).
Ramdas received her master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College. She is fluent in Hindi/Urdu, English, and German, and conversational in Tamil, Spanish, and French.