WomenLift Health Welcomes Alumna as New Director to Lead the North America Hub

WomenLift Health Welcomes Alumna as New Director to Lead the North America Hub

June 10, 2024 – WomenLift Health is delighted to announce the appointment of Samara Andrade as the new Director for its North America hub. Samara brings 17 years of experience in leading and managing global social impact initiatives. Samara has worked with multiple institutions across sectors including NGOs, governments, foundations, and multilaterals like the United Nations. Most recently, she served as the Vice President, Program Strategy & Partnerships at HCP Cureblindness. This strategic appointment underscores our commitment to advancing women’s leadership in global health in institutions based in Canada and the United States.

“Samara brings a unique perspective, experience base and skillset as both a WomenLift Health alumna and a talented leader in global health,” said Amie Batson, President, WomenLift Health. “She is joining at an exciting moment as we ramp up our programs to serve more women and institutional partners in Canada, the U.S., and around the world.” said Amie Batson, President, WomenLift Health.

“I am incredibly pleased that Samara, an alumna of WomenLift Health, will be the next North America Director. WomenLift Health is playing a unique role in investing in transformative women leaders who are committed to improving the health of women, children, and communities,” said Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, Global Advisory Board Chair, WomenLift Health.

Samara brings technical knowledge in gender and health policy, programs, and research, coupled with a strong partner network. She has served as an effective leader and coach to teams, with insight into organizational development including staffing structures, culture building, and team development. Her experience and strategic vision will bring new ideas and energy to WomenLift’s works to advance women leaders and work with North American institutional and societal partners in global health.

“I am thrilled to join WomenLift Health as the new North America Director. Having experienced my own transformative Leadership Journey, I look forward to fostering the growth of my sisters in global health,” said Samara Andrade. “The women who go through our Leadership Journey are powerful agents for change. Together, we can address the barriers faced by women leaders in global health in Canada and the United States.”  

“It’s truly a full circle experience when a Leadership Journey alumna joins our Senior Leadership Team. Samara is highly capable, emotionally intelligent, and a strategic visionary. It gives me such pleasure to know that the North America hub will be in her head, heart, and hands.” said Shereen Bhan, Leadership Development Director and former North America Director, WomenLift Health.

A report by WomenLift Health identified several barriers to women’s leadership in institutions based in North America, many of which are rooted in underlying patriarchal systems. Despite laws in the United States and Canada preventing wage discrimination, gender pay gaps persist and contribute to discrepancies in career progression. Lack of a national paid family leave policy in the United States is also a significant disadvantage, especially as women continue to shoulder most caretaking responsibilities at home. Relatedly, stereotypes on women’s behavior contributes to “imposter syndrome” and deter some women from career advancement. At the organizational level, persistent “old boys’ clubs,” and inequitable human resources practices keep women out of top leadership positions. Many specifically noted that all these barriers are felt even more acutely by women of color.

About Women Lift Health: 

Established in 2019, we work to improve health outcomes and gender equality by investing in women’s leadership in the health sector through a range of actions at the individual, institutional, and societal levels. This includes “Leadership Journeys,” which focus on equipping mid-career women with tools, along with peer, mentor, and coach support, to successfully use their voice, expertise, and leadership for impact. It includes deepening conversations and partnerships with senior leaders in health institutions, taking steps to prioritize gender equality. It also includes supporting/convening global conversations about the importance of women’s leadership, amplifying the voices of national and global health leaders, including at the biennial WomenLift Health Global Conference. WomenLift Health envisions a world where diverse, accomplished leaders collectively transform health outcomes. We work in India, East Africa, North America, and Southern Africa and continue to explore expansion to other regions.