Former President & CEO, Global Fund for Women Former Princeton University Trustee Currently Strategy Advisor to MADRE, a global women's rights organization & founder, KNR Sisters, New York
MPA, Class of 1988
Kavita Ramdas is a visionary leader and globally recognized advocate for gender equity and justice. She is an inspirational speaker and thought commentator on the challenges facing philanthropy and civil society as they seek to advance equitable and sustainable development and gender and racial equity.
From 1996-2010 Kavita led and transformed the Global Fund for Women as its second President and CEO to become the largest public foundation for women’s rights in the world. She is recognized as a leader in the global movement, actively engaged in advancing the power, visibility and voice of women and girls. After three years heading the Ford Foundation’s operations in South Asia, she has spent the last year as Senior Advisor to the Foundation’s President on Global Strategy. She is now Strategy Advisor to MADRE a global women’s rights organization and founder of the consulting venture, KNR Sisters, based in New York.
A gifted communicator, Kavita has spoken at numerous venues including the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the World Economic Forum, TED, and the United Nations. Media appearances include NOW with the Bill Moyers Show, the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Democracy Now! and CNN.
A natural entrepreneur, Kavita founded a program on Social Entrepreneurship that is housed at Stanford University. She is a member of Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellows Program. Kavita has served on numerous boards including those of Princeton University, Mount Holyoke College, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Kavita currently serves on the Investment Committee of the C&A Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Board of Trustees. Born in India and educated across the globe, Kavita speaks five languages, loves to sing both on stage and in the shower and cook with her grown daughter Mira Ahmad. She lives with her husband Zulfiqar Ahmad and potted plants in Queens, New York.