Ramdas at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013
|Born||1962/1963 (age 54–55)
|Alma mater||Princeton University (MPA '88);
Mount Holyoke College (BA '85)
|Occupation||former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women|
Kavita Ramdas (born 1962 or 1963) is senior advisor to the Ford Foundation's president, Darren Walker. She assumed the position in 2015 after serving for 3 years as Ford's India country representative, representing the office in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of the Program on Social Entrepreneurship at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. She is the former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women.
Background and affiliations
Kavita Ramdas is the daughter of Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, former Head of the Indian Navy. Both of Kavita's parents, Retd. Admiral L Ramdas and Lalita Ramdas, and her sister Sagari Ramdas are have been closely associated with the Aam Aadmi Party through its core committee.
Kavita Ramdas was born in Delhi, India and grew up in Mumbai, Delhi, London, Rangoon, and Bonn. She attended high school at the Nikolaus Cusanus Gymnasium in Bad Godesberg, Bonn, Germany; the Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai, and graduated from Springdales School, New Delhi, in 1980. She studied Political Science at Hindu College, University of Delhi for two years until 1982. In 1983, she was awarded a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she received her B.A. in international relations in 1985 and her M.P.A. in international development and public policy studies from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1988.
In 1990 Ramdas married Zulfiqar Ahmad, a peace advocate, whom she had met in college. Zulfiqar is the nephew of the Pakistani academic and anti-war activist, Eqbal Ahmed, one of the Harrisburg Seven. Given her father's stature as a senior naval officer, there was speculation that their relationship could compromise India's national security.
Ramdas is a former member of the Global Development Program Advisory Panel to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and serves on the Board of Trustees at Princeton University, on the Council of Advisors on Gender Equity to the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and on the Advisory Council to the Asian University for Women and the African Women Millennium Initiative on Poverty and Human Rights. She is a member of the Henry Crown Fellow's Program of the Aspen Institute and previously served as a board member for the Women's Funding Network.
Work at the Global Fund for Women
Kavita Ramdas has been the President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women since 1996. During Ramdas’ tenure, the Global Fund for Women assets have increased from $6 million to $21 million. Grantmaking has risen to $8 million per year, and the number of countries in which the Global Fund for Women has made grants has nearly tripled to over 160 countries. Ramdas has also overseen the Global Fund for Women's first endowment campaign and the creation of the Now or Never Fund to ensure women’s participation on critical international issues.
Honors and awards
- California Institute of Integral Studies, Haridas and Bina Chaudhuri Award for Distinguished Service, 2009 
- Duveneck Humanitarian Award, 2008
- Social Capitalist Award, Fast Company (magazine), 2007
- Women of Great Esteem Award, 2007
- Girl's Hero Award, Girls' Middle School, 2007
- Woman of Substance Award, African Women's Development Fund, 2005
- Juliette Gordon Low Award, Girl Scouts of the USA, 2005
- Woman of the Year for the Public Sector, Financial Women's Association, 2004
- Leadership for Equity & Diversity (LEAD) Award, Women & Philanthropy, 2004
- Bay Area Local Hero, KQED-FM Radio, 2004
- 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award, Women's eNews, 2003
- "Soul sisters". India Today. April 8, 2011.
- "Kavita N. Ramdas; Senior Advisor, Global Strategy". Ford Foundation. Ford Foundation. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- "Ford Foundation Appoints Kavita N. Ramdas as Representative in New Delhi". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24.
- "Kavita Ramdas - FSI Stanford". Kavita Ramdas, FSI.
- Global Fund for Women Web site
- SF Gate news article
- "Thinking Big--and Small: Kavita Ramdas". Forbes. 2008-11-14.
- "A Woman's Work...". SFGate. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- Kavita N. Ramdas Senior Advisor, Former President and Chief Executive Officer © 2010 Global Fund for Women
- Global Fund for Women Web site
- Tonya Garcia; Polya Lesova; Josie Swindler; Kathryn Tuggle (December 1, 2006). "Class of '07: The Fast Company/Monitor Group Social Capitalist Award Winners". Fast Company. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- The high court nominee stays true to her school, 2009
- Women Can Lead the Way to Recovery, 2009
- Leveraging the Power of Race and Gender, February 2008
- Kavita Ramdas Defines Entrepreneurship: Video - February 21, 2008
- Global Fund for Women biography
- Princeton biography
- Mount Holyoke Vista
- Then and Now, Kavita Ramdas, 2002
- A Women's Work, 2002
- Why educating girls is not enough: Video, March 2012