Kavita N. Ramdas ’85 is former president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, the largest grant-making foundation in the world focusing exclusively on women’s rights outside the United States.
During her eight-year tenure, Ramdas led the organization in supporting South African domestic workers fighting for minimum wage and unemployment rights, empowering teenage girls in Uganda to denounce the brutal rite of female genital mutilation, and helping inspire thousands of women to run for political office in Cambodia. She is currently senior advisor to the Global Fund and, as of June 2012, the Ford Foundation's representative for India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Born and raised in India, Ramdas earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science from Mount Holyoke College—where she now serves on the board of trustees. She holds a master’s degree in international development and public policy studies from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Before joining the Global Fund, she worked in economic development and population issues as a program officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Currently, Ramdas serves as a trustee of Princeton University, Mount Holyoke College and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and serves on the board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the African Women’s Development Fund USA. She also chairs the Women in Public Service Initiative, a joint effort by the U.S. State Department and an alliance of women’s colleges. Ramdas is a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute and chairs the expert working group of the Council of Global Leaders for Reproductive Health.