Women Leaders in Global Health Conference 2020

Connect | Commit | Act

13-15 October 2020​

From 13-15 October, WomenLift Health will convene the fourth annual Women Leaders in Global Health (WLGH) Conference. This year’s conference will take place in a virtual format, providing an opportunity to reach a broader audience, elevate new voices and facilitate geography-specific discussion, while maintaining the sense of global community, learning and passion that has characterized the conferences since their start.

COVID-19 is an acute reminder of what is at stake in global health decision making, and how disparities in leadership profoundly limit our ability to solve the world’s most complex health challenges. It has also shown us that when women lead, positive change happens for all. In 2020, against the backdrop of COVID-19 and growing calls for social change, the Women Leaders in Global Health Conference is more important than ever. 

The theme of this year’s conference is Connect | Commit | Act. We believe that by coming together, we can shape a collective vision for global health, where diverse women have a seat at the decision-making table. Join us!

Follow us on Twitter at @WLGH2020  #WLGH2020


coming soon!


Women Leaders in Global Health 2020 will take place over the course of three days, with three hours of dynamic sessions and speakers each day.  There will be two distinct days on women’s leadership in South Asia and Africa, culminating in a day of global dialogue. While the geographic-specific days are geared toward South Asia and Africa through both timing and focus, these sessions are open to everyone.

10:00-10:10am UTC – Welcome and Opening Remarks 

10:10-10:40am UTC – Fireside Chat

  • She Leads: South Asian Women Shaping Health

10:45-11:40am UTC – Breakout Sessions

  • Resilient State of Mind: Prioritizing the Mental Health of Women in the Workforce During Emergencies
  • Community Engagement: Health from the Ground Up
  • Representation Matters: Elevating Women’s Voices in Popular Culture and the Media
  • Raise the Volume: Learning How to Advocate for Change 
  • Leadership During Crisis: A Conversation

11:45-12:45pm UTC – Plenary

  • Making Policy with a Gender Lens

12:45-1:00pm UTC – Closing


12:00-12:10pm UTC – Welcome and Opening Remarks

12:10-12:40pm UTC – Fireside Chat

  • She Leads: African Women Shaping the Continent

12:45-1:40pm UTC – Breakout Sessions

  • Embracing Change: Dismantling Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
  • African Women in Tech: Innovating to Break Barriers
  • From Hidden Figures to Prominent Leaders: Advancing Women in Africa’s Scientific Institutions
  • Silent No More: Breaking Taboos on Gender, Sex and Health

1:45-2:45pm UTC – Plenary

  • A Health Agenda for African Women, by African Women

2:45-3:00pm UTC – Closing


1:00-1:10pm UTC – Welcome and Opening Remarks

1:10-1:40pm UTC – Fireside Chat

  • She Leads: Navigating Power in a Sexist World

1:45-2:40pm UTC – Breakout Sessions

  • Decolonizing Global Health: Dismantling Power Imbalances
  • The Art of Leaning Out: A Conversation about Male Allyship
  • The Power of the Mentor: How to Be One, How to Get One and Why it Matters
  • Powering Women in Organizations: Tackling Gender Inequality Head On
  • Grand Challenges: Enabling Women to Transform Science and Innovation
  • Succeeding as a Woman in Academia: Battling a Pandemic and the Patriarchy

2:45-3:45pm UTC – Plenary

  • Gender & Power in COVID: Two Steps Forward or Two Steps Back?

3:45-4:00pm UTC – Closing



The Women Leaders in Global Health Conference convenes established and emerging leaders from across the global health community to meet and work together to advance gender equality in health leadership. The conference is an opportunity for women and men across sectors, disciplines, and countries to share experiences, ideas, and data about inclusive leadership, particularly women’s leadership in health.

The WLGH Conference is attended by established and emerging leaders from across the global health community, spanning disciplines, countries, and sectors. It is also open to anyone who is interested in advancing gender equality in global health.

There is no cost to register and participate in the WLGH 2020 Conference. There is also no deadline to register.  

Live sessions will broadcast on the conference’s virtual platform. On the platform, you will also be able to engage in discussion threads with other attendees, lightning talks, recordings of past sessions, and more, which will be accessible to you at any time throughout the three days. 

A few weeks before the conference is set to begin, you will be notified when the virtual platform is open so you can start building your personal agenda and setting up your networking profile.

Each conference day is open to everyone. While the geographic-specific days are geared toward South Asia and Africa in terms of both timing and focus, we encourage participation from anyone who is interested.

With shorter conference days than previous years, most of the conference sessions have been determined, but if you have a speaker proposal to submit, please send it to womenlifthealth@stanford.edu.  Please include the name and bio of the speaker and the proposed session title and topic.

This year, conference host, WomenLift Health convened two committees: The International Steering Committee and the Content Development Group. The International Steering Committee is responsible for determining the vision and strategic direction of the conference and providing input on the agenda and speakers. The Content Development Group is responsible for tailoring the content to specific regions while ensuring a unifying theme, and helping to determine session topics, formats, and speakers.

Yes, the global Women Leaders in Global Health conference will take place in India in 2021 and will be hosted by DBT/BIRAC.

Join the conversation!

Thank you to our International Steering Committee & Content Development Group:

International Steering Committee

Renu Swarup

Co-Chair of WLGH-ISC, Secretary, Government of India, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology

Shobana Kamineni

Co-Chair of WLGH-ISC, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited

Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija

CEO & Managing Director, AOA Global

Michele Barry

Senior Associate Dean of Global Health, Stanford School of Medicine; Founder, WomenLift Health

Amie Batson

Executive Director, WomenLift Health

Agnes Binagwaho

Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity

Kent Buse

Chief of Strategic Policy Directions, UN Programme on HIV/AIDS; Co-founder Global Health 50/50

Jocalyn Clark

Executive Editor, The Lancet

Roger Glass

Director, National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center

Glenda Gray

President & CEO, South African Medical Research Council

Gagandeep Kang

Professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India; Executive Director, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute

Heidi Larson

Director, The Vaccine Confidence Project

Soumya Swaminathan

Chief Scientist, World Health Organization

Ravi Verma

Regional Director, International Center for Research on Women – Asia Regional Office

Fiona Watt

Director of the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine, King’s College London

Anita Zaidi

Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases


Content Development Group

Amie Batson

WLGH 2020 Content Development Group Chair; Executive Director, WomenLift Health

Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija

CEO & Managing Director, AOA Global

Shereen Bhan

Program Content Lead, WomenLift Health

Desta Lakew

Global Director of Partnerships and External Affairs, Amref Health Africa

Purnima Menon

Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

Anjali Nayyar

Executive Vice President, Global Health Strategies

Sania Nishtar

Co-Chair of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, World Health Organization; Founder and President, Heartfile

Nanlop Ogbureke

Senior Advisor, West African Health Organization/Economic Community of West African States

Manisha Shridhar

Regional Advisor, World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia