Kavita N. Ramdas – Representative, Ford Foundation

Kavita is an inspirational and mindful leader, an advocate for human rights, open and civil societies,
and a respected advisor and commentator on issues of social entrepreneurship, global development, women’s leadership, education, health, and philanthropy.

Kavita is currently the Ford Foundation representative in its New Delhi office, serving India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In this role, Kavita is the Foundation’s leader in the region to many important constituencies. She assesses local political, social, cultural and economic developments, and helps shape the Foundation’s strategy in the region, and guides its programming and grant-making priorities in alignment with the Foundation’s mission, values and set of global initiatives.

Prior to this Kavita was Executive Director of Ripples to Waves: a program on Social Entrepreneurship and Development at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  She conceptualized and designed the program that builds bridges between grassroots activism, global philanthropy, academia and the private sector while empowering social entrepreneurs to share ideas on gender, democracy and civil society.

From 1996 – 2010 Kavita served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, which grew under her leadership to become the world’s largest public foundation for women’s rights. She serves on several boards and advisory councils, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and currently chairs the Global Agenda Council for India at the World Economic Forum.

Kavita was born and raised in India and educated at Delhi University, Mount Holyoke College, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.