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Woman Doctor
4.16.04
Politics and Economy:
Women and the World
More on This Story:
Kavita Ramdas Biography

David Brancaccio talks with Kavita Ramdas about her work in women's rights and about the impact of US aid policy on women around the world. Ramdas is president and CEO of Global Fund for Women, the largest foundation in the world focused exclusively on women and girls. As leader of the Global Fund for Women, her work has supported women's human rights around the world, addressing such critical issues as economic independence, increasing girls' access to education and stopping violence against women. Ramdas won the distinguished 2004 LEAD (Leadership for Equity and Diversity) award from Women & Philanthropy.



Kavita Ramdas
Kavita N. Ramdas succeeded the founding President of the Global Fund for Women as President and CEO in 1996. Kavita is an innovative thinker and activist who is recognized as a leader in the fields of women's rights and philanthropy. Over the past two years, she received the "Choosing to Lead" award at the National Women's Leadership Summit, was named one of the "Women Who Could Be President" by the League of Women Voters and was recognized for "Changing the Face of Philanthropy" by the Women's Funding Network. She is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Kavita serves on the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College; she also serves on the Boards of the Rural Development Institute in Seattle, Washington, the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, and Women's Edge in Washington, DC.

Kavita is a member of the Advisory Council to the Ethical Globalization Initiative, a venture of Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She has served on the Committee on Women and Development of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa and the Board of the General Service Foundation. She is a founding board member and past chair of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), and former board member of Women and Philanthropy, affinity groups of the Council on Foundations.

Before joining the Global Fund, Kavita supported both domestic and international programs in economic development and population issues as a program officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her master's degree in international development and public policy studies from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Her bachelor's degree is in international relations and political science from Mount Holyoke College. Kavita was born and raised in India.

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