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Musimbi Kanyoro

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro was President and CEO of Global Fund for Women from 2011 to 2019. She is globally recognized for her leadership of organizations and initiatives that advance women’s and girls’ human rights, and philanthropy for communities. Musimbi is passionate about using philanthropy and technology to drive social change.

During her time at Global Fund for Women, Musimbi saw the organization surpass $140 million in grantmaking and spearheaded a successful merger with another non-profit. She expanded the organization’s influence through her participation in major international dialogues, frequent contributions to major media outlets, and speaking engagements in prominent global forums. Before joining Global Fund for Women as CEO, Musimbi was Director for Population and Reproductive Health at David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Musimbi was appointed general secretary (CEO) of the World YWCA in 1998, the first non-white woman to hold the role after 150 years of existence. During her tenure, she made the organization a go-to organization for young women’s leadership and for HIV prevention and care. She also transformed the World YWCA into a young-women-led organization, with young women under 30 making up 55% of the Global Board of Trustees. Based in Geneva, Musimbi also worked as the Executive Secretary for Women in Church and Society at the Lutheran World Federation for 10 years, where she influenced numerous policies including ensuring an equal 50% of women on governing boards and allocating no less than 40% of the Federation resources to causes that impact women’s lives.

Musimbi’s early work focused on the self-determination of African peoples and the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. She was a national student leader who quickly took leadership on a wider stage, serving on United Nations and other International and Ecumenical Youth Forums, including an early role as the National Executive Secretary for the United Nations Student Association.

Dr. Kanyoro has worked and lived in Geneva, Nairobi, and in Cambridge, New York, Austin, and San Francisco. She has written and published extensively on matters affecting the lives of women and children and has spoken at numerous forums including the UN General Assembly and TEDWomen. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Texas, Austin, and a doctorate in Feminist Theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, and has received several recognitions and awards, including a leadership award from the Kenya Government, and recognition as one of the 21 women leaders for the 21st century by Women’s E-News. In 2015, Forbes magazine named her one of 10 women “power brands” and in 2016, she was named to the Forty Women to Watch Over 40 list for making an impact in philanthropy and gender equality. In 2018, Apolitical honored her on their list of the 100 most influential people in gender policy.

Musimbi serves on the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Board; the World Bank Gender Advisory Board; the Boards of CARE, Landesa, and Sheryl Sandberg’s OptionB.Org; Aspen Leaders Council; the Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE Girls’ and Women’s Committee; and the Reference Group of FP 2020, an initiative of the Gates Foundation, UKAID, USAID, and UNFPA, managed by UN Foundation. She is also a Champion for SheDecides.

Day 1: Panel Discussion: Voices from Women Leaders - Women, Faith & Diplomacy 2020

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Speakers
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Lejla Hasandedic-Dapo

United Religions Initiative (URI) Europe Liaison Officer, board member of European Interfaith Youth Network (EIYN), Religions for Peace

Maria Cristina Kaveri Cantoni

Member executive board, Religions for Peace Italy

Chairperson, RfP European Women of Faith Network

Ms. Ana Maria Daou

Community Engagement Senior Coordinator, Adyan Foundation

Deputy Coordinator, International Youth Committee

Ms. Fatima Hallal

Junior Researcher, Hartford Seminary-Interreligious Relations

Member, International Youth Committee

H.E. John Cardinal Onaiyekan

Archbishop of Abuja, Archdiocese of Abuja

Honorary President, Religions for Peace

Mirian Akuaba De-Souza

Youth Representative, Ghana Conference of Religions for Peace

Member, International Youth Committee

Dr. Manal Omar

Founder and CEO, Across Red Lines

Dr. Fadila Grine

Senior Advisor, Islamic Coorperation Youth Forum (ICYF)

Prof. Evelin Lindner

Founding Director and President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, Germany

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati

President, Divine Shakti Foundation

Secretary-General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance

Prof. Dr. Riem Spielhaus

Professor of Islamic Studies and Education, George-August University Göttingen

Ani Zonneveld

Founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV)

Dr. Salim M. AlMalik

Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)

Irmgard Maria Fellner

Director for Cultural Relations Policy and Deputy Head of the Directorate-General for Culture and Communication at the Federal Foreign Office

Nihal Saad

Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson to the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC)

Lydia Funck

General Secretary, Church and Peace; and Member of RfP Youth Media Team

Renz C. Argao

Director, Argao Center for Psychological Services

Coordinator, Religions for Peace International Youth Committee

Grandmother Marie-Josée Rankin-Tardif

President, Kina8at Together
Elder from the Anicinape (Algonquin) tradition

Lia Giovanazzi Beltrami

Director and CEO, Aurora Vision, Film Director

H.E. Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis

Metropolitan of France, Ecumenical Patriarchate Religions for Peace

Dr. Thoraya Obaid

Former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Saudi Arabia

Clara Mayer

Spokesperson, Fridays for Future Germany, Feminist and Environmental Activist

Prof. Takaaki David Ito

Professor of Spiritual Care at the Graduate School of Applied Religious Studies

Annette Schavan

Chairmanship of the Foundation Peace Dialogue of the World Religions and Civil Society

Ravinder Kaur Nijjar

Chair of Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network

Musonda Mumba

Chief of Terrestrial Ecosystem Unit, UNEP

Audrey Kitagawa

Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Prof. Mary Evelyn Tucker

Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology

Laura Vargas

Inter-Religious Council of Peru – Religions for Peace, Interfaith Rainforest Initiative

Blanca Lucía Echeverry

Country Facilitator, Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, Columbia

Bishop Munib Younan

Bishop Emeritus President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
Honorary President, Religions for Peace

Dr. Nayla Tabbara

Co-Founder, Adyan Foundation
Co-President, Religions for Peace

Prof. Anantanand Rambachan

Professor of Religion, St. Olaf College
Co-President, Religions for Peace

Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh, OBE KSG

Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha

Dr. Claudia Alfons

Mayor of Lindau, Germany

Prof. Cornelius Omonokhua

Executive Secretary, Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC)

Hon. Ela Gandhi

Trustee, Gandhi Development Trust

Co-President, Religions for Peace 

Karima Bennoune

UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights
Homer G. Angelo & Ann Berryhill Endowed Chair & Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis
School of Law

Rabbi David Rosen, KSG, CBE

International Director, Department of Interreligious Affairs in the American Jewish Committee
Co-President, Religions for Peace

Laura Anyola Tufon

North Regional Coordinator for the Justice and Peace Service, Cameroon

Emina Frljak

Program Coordinator, Youth for Peace

Sharon Rosen

Global Director, Religious Engagement, Search for Common Ground, based in Jerusalem

Dr. Kezevino (Vinu) Aram

President, Shanti Ashram, Co-Moderator, Religions for Peace

Dr. Lilian Sison

Chair, Asia and the Pacific Women of Faith Network

Dr. Suphatmet Yunyasit

Representative of Thailand to the ASEAN Women of Peace Registry; Human Rights and Peace Studies, Faculty, Mahidol University; Secretary-General, Religions for Peace Interreligious Council of Thailand; Member, RfP International Women’s Coordinating Committee

Sima Samar

Former Minister of Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan

Winner of the Right Livelihoods Award

Düzen Tekkal

Journalist, Filmmaker, War Reporter, Human Rights Activist,
Founder, Hawar Help and German Dream

Jama Egal

National Peacebuilding Coordinator of the Somali Government

David Eades

Journalist, BBC

Prof. Dr. Azza Karam

Secretary General, Religions for Peace

Rev. Dr. Antje Jackelen

Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala Primate of the Church of Sweden
Co-Presiden, Religions for Peace

Dr. Aruna Abhey Oswal

Vice President, World Jain Confederation
Co-President, Religions for Peace

Humberto Carolo

Executive Director, White Ribbon Campaign Canada, MenEngage Network

Mahnaz Afkhami

Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership

Rabbi Rachel Rosenbluth

RfP Regional IRC, Middle East & North Africa Council of Religious Leaders

Musimbi Kanyoro

Board Chair of Women’s Learning Partnership
Former CEO of Global Fund for Women

Bishop Margot Käßmann

Former Chairperson, Evangelical Church of Germany
Co-President, Religions for Peace

Dr. Mary McAleese

Former President of the Republic of Ireland

Rev. Sr. Agatha Ogochukwu Chikelue

Nun of the Daughters of Mother Mary of Mercy; Co-Chair Nigerian & African Women of Faith Network
Executive Director Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP)
Chair, Religions for Peace International Women’s Coordinating Committee

H.E. Ib Petersen

Assistant Secretary-General, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

H.E. Gillian Triggs

Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

H.E. Michelle Müntefering

Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Foreign Office, Germany

H.E. António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations

Dr. Angela Merkel

Federal Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany

Rev. Kosho Niwano

President-Designate, Rissho Kosei-Kai, Co-Moderator, Religions for Peace, Buddhist, Japan