Musimbi Kanyoro

Chair of the Board, UWC International

Since 2019, Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro has been Chair of the UWC International Board, the governing body of UWC (United World Colleges), a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. She is also the Chair of the Board of the Women’s Learning Partnerships and serves on the Boards of the UN Global Compact and CARE international. Dr Kanyoro is a trustee of Homeward Bound Projects, an initiative which seeks to inspire and equip women scientists to embrace leadership in climate change. She also served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women until 2019. 

Dr. Kanyoro is globally recognized for her leadership of organizations and initiatives that advance health, development and human rights. She is a passionate advocate for education and for women and girls’, and believes that investing in women leadership creates sustainable change. 

Previously, Dr. Kanyoro spent 20 years in Geneva, Switzerland, where she made history as the first non-white CEO of the World YWCA in its 150-year-history. She has also held senior leadership positions at the Lutheran World Federation and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Dr. Kanyoro also served as a member of the World Bank Group Gender Advisory Committee, the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Board, the Aspen Leaders Council and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR’s) Scientific Advisory Board.

She 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.

Dr. Kanyoro is the recipient of numerous awards over the years including a recognition 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, Musimbi Kanyoro was listed as one of the 9 people who fought for the planet alongside Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon and Michael Bloomberg.