Musimbi Kanyoro

Former President & CEO, Global Fund for Women

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro joined the United World Colleges movement as chair of the international board in 2019. Kanyoro is globally recognized for her leadership of organizations and initiatives that advance health, development and human rights, and served until 2019 as president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women.

Prior to that, Kanyoro spent 20 years in Geneva, Switzerland where she made history as the first non-white CEO of the World YWCA. She has also held senior leadership positions at the Lutheran World Federation and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Kanyoro received her Ph.D in linguistics from the University of Texas in Austin and was a visiting scholar in Hebrew and the Old Testament at Harvard University. She also obtained a doctorate of ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Kanyoro has been recognized as one of the 21 Women Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s E-News. In 2015, Forbes magazine named her as one of the 10 power brands working for gender equality and in 2017 was named on the list of 40 over 40 Women who are re-inventing, disrupting and making an impact. At the end of 2018, Kanyoro was listed as one of the 9 people who fought for the planet alongside Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon and Michael Bloomberg.