Women Deliver welcomes incoming Chair and Board Members

Incoming Chair Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, alongside five inspiring gender equality leaders, brings new perspectives and expertise to Women Deliver Board of Directors.

Earlier this year, the Board and staff of Women Deliver, a global advocate for gender equality, embarked on a search to bring new leaders to the organization — leaders who inspire us, are driven by our shared goal of a gender-equal world, challenge the status quo, share our strong commitment to diversity, anti-racism, and decolonization, and understand where we would like to go next as an organization.

Together, we executed a recruitment process that was inclusive, highly participatory, and applied an intersectional feminist lens. We recruited an external search committee that included representatives from our staff, Board, the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program, local and national partner advocacy organizations, and our funding partners, to ensure input from many different perspectives. Today, at the end of this long, critical, and thoughtful process, we are pleased to share that we have selected six leaders to join our Board of Directors, who we believe will be strong champions of our values, committed to our ongoing Transformation, and support our mission to achieve a gender-equal world.

Women Deliver names former Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as incoming Board Chair

We are honored to announce international gender equality champion and former Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as the incoming Chair of our Board of Directors. Phumzile is a fierce advocate for the global advancement of gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), women’s political participation and leadership, and meaningful youth engagement, as well as a longtime partner to Women Deliver:

“Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka’s invaluable achievements and lifelong commitment for gender equality perfectly align with Women Deliver’s core mission. It is an honor to pass the baton to someone of her stature and experience,” said Kristin Hetle, Board Chair.

“During this pivotal and exciting time for the organization, we know Phumzile will bring a wealth of experience, insight, and passion to Women Deliver,” said Kathleen Sherwin, Interim President & CEO.

“I am thrilled to join Women Deliver’s Board of Directors as Chair. Throughout my career, I have been driven by a commitment to advance gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women. Over the last eight years as the Executive Director of UN Women, I have worked closely with Women Deliver and experienced firsthand how the organization is a true and unwavering advocate for all girls and women. Its efforts to build a gender-equal future, safeguard and improve SRHR, amplify civil society and grassroots women rights organizations, bring new evidence to the gender equality investment case, and amplify and meaningfully engage young people in advocacy and decision-making, are needed now more than ever,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “I am looking forward to supporting Women Deliver in continuing to implement their Transformation, deliver on the pillars of their 2021-2025 Strategic Framework, develop the next Women Deliver Conference in 2023, and drive investment — political, programmatic, and financial — in the lives of all girls and women worldwide.”

Phumzile will assume the Board Chair role in February 2022.

Five inspiring gender equality leaders from around the world were selected to bring valued perspectives and expertise to the Women Deliver Board of Directors
Alongside our incoming Chair, Women Deliver is thrilled to welcome our five newest members to its Board of Directors:

– Tulika Srivastava (Sri Lanka), Executive Director of Women’s Fund Asia, will join as Vice Chair in February 2022.

– Norhan Bader (Egypt), Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (PMEL) Specialist at Love Matters Arabic and Women Deliver Young Leader Alumni, will join as Board Member in November 2021.

– Carmen Barroso (Brazil), Former Co-chair of the Independent Accountability Panel of the UN Secretary General, and former CEO of IPPF/WHR and of Global Doctors for Choice, will join as Board Member in November 2021.

– Georgiana Epure (Romania), President of the Association for Liberty and Gender Equality in Romania and Women Deliver Young Leader Alumni, will join as Board Member in February 2022.

– Sivananthi Thanenthiran (Malaysia), Executive Director of the Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) will join as Board Member in February 2022.

The Board will oversee Women Deliver’s five-year Strategic Framework, including Women Deliver’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization grounded in anti-colonialist, intersectional feminist principles, while fostering a culture of respect and inclusion for all. We believe that our Board, with the addition of today’s new members, and the diversity that they bring in terms of geographies, identities, lived experiences, age, skills, and more, is crucial to Women Deliver’s commitment to feminist leadership that includes representation from grassroots organizations based in low- and middle-income countries and young people.

“We warmly welcome Phumzile, Tulika, Carmen, Norhan, Georgiana, and Sivananthi to the Board of Directors here at Women Deliver. Their collective and unique achievements and expertise in our space are truly impressive and bring important knowledge and skills to Women Deliver and the Board of Directors. With their shared and collective leadership, the future of Women Deliver looks bright,” said Helen Clark, Women Deliver Board Member and Former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

“I look forward to joining Women Deliver’s Board of Directors as one of three Young Leader Program Alumni. Meaningful youth engagement is critical within the organizations at the forefront of advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender equality. I am proud to take on this new role and provide the perspectives of young people as Women Deliver implements its Strategic Framework, Transformation, and develops the next Women Deliver Conference,” said Norhan Bader, incoming Women Deliver Board Member and Young Leader Alum.

The incoming Board Members join the current Board of Directors, which includes:
Kristin Hetle (Norway), Former Director of Partnerships, UN Women, Board Chair

Helen Clark (New Zealand), Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Board Member

Wallace D’Souza (United States), Chief Financial Officer of Vital Strategies, Treasurer

Jotham Musinguzi (Uganda), Director General of Uganda’s National Population Council, Secretary

Dakshitha Wickremarathne (Sri Lanka), Consultant, Transition Management Team, FP2030 and Women Deliver Young Leader Alumni, Board Member

We thank our current Board Members for their steadfast leadership and commitment to Women Deliver over the years, particularly Kristin Hetle for her leadership as Board Chair over the last two years.

Our search for the next CEO

The Women Deliver CEO search is in progress. Like the Board search, the CEO search is inclusive and highly participatory. The Board of Directors, incoming Board Chair, staff, and the search committee all participate in the CEO hiring process. We hope to announce our next CEO at the start of next year.

As we implement our Strategic Framework, Women Deliver remains focused on applying, internally and externally, the changes we need to become a more intentionally anti-racist and anti-colonialist organization. Details on our actions to date can be found on our website’s Transformation page, which is updated regularly.

As we continue to transform, we do so during a pivotal year for gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Our mission over the last 10 years — to improve the well-being of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities, and to drive progress for SRHR and gender equality — is stronger than ever. We remain focused on our programmatic work, including but not limited to hosting the next Women Deliver Conference (WD2023), supporting our many partners in the global and national Deliver for Good Campaign, and amplifying the voices of the young change-makers who make up the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. And in all of this work, we continue to advocate for a gender lens in COVID-19 response and recovery. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with our many allies, networks, and coalitions to achieve our shared goals, as well as developing and delivering robust, evidence-based advocacy in support of gender equality.

None of these efforts would be possible without the global community of advocates that we are honored to work with and learn from. We thank you for your continued partnership and for holding us accountable.