Kavita Ramdas' "Women's Leadership and Social Movement"
Fri, September 16, 2011 • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM • Avaya Auditirium, ACE 2.302
Kavita Ramadas, Exec. Director of Ripples to Waves, Social Entrepeneurship and Development Program.
In celebration of the South Asia Institute's Fiftienth Anniversary, The Humanities Institute is co-sponsoring a lecture by Kavita N. Ramadas with The South Asia Institute and The Center for Women's and Gender Studies.
This event is free and open to the public.
Kavita Ramdas is currently the Executive Director of Ripples to Waves program on Social Entrepreneurship and Development at the Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law (CDDRL), Stanford University.
She is an inspirational and mindful leader, an advocate for human rights, open and civil societies, and a respected advisor and commentator on issues of social entrepreneurship, development, women's leadership, education, health, and philanthropy. Kavita has spent her professional life shaping a world where gender equality can help ensure human rights and dignity for all.
From 1996 to 2010, Kavita served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, which grew under her leadership to become the world's largest public foundation for women's rights. During her tenure, the Global Fund assets increased to $21 million from $3 million, giving women in more than 170 countries critical access to financial capital that fueled innovation and change. Kavita currently provides strategic input and analysis as a Senior Advisor to the Global Fund.
An instinctive entrepreneur, Kavita's leadership skills were recognized early in her tenure at the Global Fund for Women when she was chose to be a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Her vision, drive, and management skills helped the Global Fund launch programs to promote girls' education, defend women's right to health and reproductive rights, prevent violence against women, and advance women's economic independence and political participation. Outstanding among these were the Africa Outreach Initiative that channeled over $30 million in grants to women's rights activists in Sub Saharan Africa, and the ground-breaking "Now or Never Fund" which infused $10 million over 5 years to groups working to preserve women's reproductive health and rights, combat religious extremism, and sustain communities in the midst of war and conflict.
Prior to her time at the Global Fund for Women, Kavita developed and implemented grant making programs to combat poverty and inequality in inner cities across the United States as well as advance women's reproductive health in Nigeria, India, Mexico, and Brazil in her capacity as a Program Officer at the Chicago based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Kavita's extensive experience in the fields of global development, human rights, women's leadership, and philanthropy have led to her service as an Advisor and Board Member for a wide range of organizations; the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the Women's Funding Network, the Advisory Council of the University of Chicago's Global Health Initiative, and the Global Development Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Asian University for Women, the Global Health Initiative of the University of Chicago, PAX World Management, and the Council of Advisors on Gender Equity of the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University.
Kavita serves on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, Mount Holyoke College, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. She Chairs the Expert Working Group of the Council of Global Leaders for Reproductive Health, an initiative of the Aspen Institute led by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland.
An accomplished writer and public speaker, Kavita's thought leadership is evident in writings published in a wide variety of journals, newspapers and magazines, including the Nation, Foreign Policy, and Conscience.
She has spoken at numerous venues including the Global Philanthropy Forum, TED, and the United Nations. Her media commentary and interviews include appearances on NOW with the Bill Moyers Show, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Democracy Now!, and CNN.
Kavita is the recipient of numerous philanthropic and leadership awards including, recent recognition by Women Deliver 100: The Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women, for sustaining women's leadership worldwide, The 2010 Legal Momentum Women of Achievement Award, The 2010 Council on Foundations Robert Scrivner Award for Most Creative Grantmaker of the Year, and The Frances Hesselbein Award for Excellence in Leadership.
Kavita was born and raised in India an educated at Delhi University, Mount Holyoke College, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.