NOVEMBER 15, 2011 – KAVITA RAMDAS, FORMER PRESIDENT and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, spoke at Georgetown yesterday about the changing role of women and what it means to empower women throughout the world.
The Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership (CPNL) recently hired Ramdas as the Waldemar A. Nielsen Visiting Fellow in Philanthropy.
Women’s rights and empowerment is not an inherently Western idea, Ramdas said at a luncheon sponsored by CPNL, GPPI and its Women in Public Policy Initiative.
“This is an equal opportunity bias that cuts across all cultures, all religions, all traditions,” she said.
The native of India urged students and faculty from GPPI, the School of Foreign Service and the McDonough School of Business to understand that women’s issues affect more than just developing countries.
Ramdas is also executive director of Ripple to Waves – a program on social entrepreneurship and development at Stanford University.
“Kavita Ramdas is a global leader in every sense of the word,” said Kathy Kretman, executive director of CPNL. "She brings to our Georgetown community her real-world experience in the issues our students are studying — international development, human rights, social justice philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. She not only challenges our assumptions, she offers examples of individuals and programs that are succeeding in these areas, domestically and internationally.”
Following Monday’s luncheon, Ramdas spoke to several other student groups on campus and is scheduled to return to Georgetown Feb. 27 - 29 to be part of CPNL’s Forum on Global Philanthropy for students, philanthropists, policy makers and social entrepreneurs.