Leymah Gbowee Recruited by Melinda Gates to Advance Women’s Health and Well-Being

Leymah Gbowee, executive director of the Institute on Gender, Law, and Transformative Peace at the City University of New York, has been selected by Melinda French Gates to distribute $20 million to organizations dedicated to advancing women’s health and well-being.

Gbowee founded the Institute on Gender, Law, and Transformative Peace in 2023, aiming to reimagine policymaking from the perspective of social movements and bring those most impacted by crisis and conflict into the policy development process. The Institute serves as a hub for cross-sectoral, cross-movement, and transnational organizing, research, and scholarship.

In addition to her role at CUNY, Gbowee is the founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa. The organization was founded in 2012 to support younger generations in Liberia through outstanding education and leadership opportunities for women and youth. For her significant life-long contributions to advancing peace in Liberia, Gbowee was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.

Gates’ selection is part of her $1 billion commitment to advancing women’s rights globally. In addition to Gbowee, Gates has selected 11 other global leaders to distribute a total of $240 million in funds. The other recipients include former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and Olympic track athlete Allyson Felix.

Gbowee holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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