Iris Mwanza

Deputy Director of Women in Leadership, Gender Equality Division
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Iris Mwanza, Deputy Director of Women in Leadership, Gender Equality Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2020 Leadership Journey Project: Integrating Sexual & Reproductive Health Services for Adolescents into Community Health

Iris Mwanza leads the foundation’s strategy and investments to improve women’s representation and influence in the fields of health, law, and economics in priority geographies. Born and raised in Zambia, Iris had early exposure to unfair and unequal opportunities for women and girls and has been a driving force for gender equality in her career—from her Ph.D. dissertation on women’s and children’s rights in Commonwealth Africa to her work in international development and global health, including on HIV/AIDS, health systems strengthening, community health, and community health worker rights.

Iris serves on the Care International Supervisory Board and on the board of directors of World Wildlife Fund US. She has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and law degrees from Cornell University and the University of Zambia.

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