Kavita Ramdas is a globally recognized advocate for gender equity and justice. She is a speaker and thought commentator on the challenges facing the philanthropic and civil society sectors as they seek to advance equitable and sustainable development and gender and racial equity. She currently serves as the strategy advisor for MADRE, a women’s rights organization based in New York, and leads KNR Sisters, an independent consulting venture.
From 1996-2010, as its second president and CEO, Ramdas led the Global Fund for Women to become the largest public foundation for women’s rights in the world. After three years heading the Ford Foundation’s operations in South Asia, she spent a year as senior advisor to the Foundation’s president on global strategy.
Ramdas 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 NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Democracy Now! and CNN.
Ramdas founded a program on social entrepreneurship that is housed at Stanford University. She is a member of Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellows Program. She has served on numerous boards including those of Princeton University, Mount Holyoke College, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Ramdas currently serves on the Investment Committee of the C&A Foundation, and the board of Women’s Link Worldwide. Ramdas speaks 5 languages, loves to sing, practice yoga and cook with her grown daughter Mira Ahmad. She lives with her husband Zulfiqar Ahmad in Jackson Heights, New York.