Stanford Global Health, in collaboration with other global health leaders and organizations, will develop an international secretariat and global training institutes to achieve the following goals:

  • Empower, train and cultivate the next generation of women leaders in global health
  • Convene, connect and mentor both mid-career and senior women for leadership roles
  • Catalyze research and advocacy to ensure gender parity in the field
  • Create an enabling environment for women to advance to positions of leadership

The first phase, a planning grant funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will lay the groundwork for global implementation by creating a secretariat, identifying training partners, setting curriculum priorities, and developing comprehensive program plans. 


Women bear a disproportionate burden of disease because they provide the vast majority of home care and comprise about 70 percent of the health workforce. The majority of health professions students are women. Yet women are significantly underrepresented in leadership. Just one of 18 global health organizations have gender parity on their board, and only three United Nation’s agencies have a female lead. Among the top 50 US universities, women hold just over a third of faculty positions and a quarter of directorships in global health. Women lead only 31 percent of the world’s ministries of health and just one of the 26 companies in the Fortune 500 health sector.

We want to create gender parity in global health leadership. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it leads to better outcomes. Gender diversity among decision makers in the workforce has been shown to result in stronger economies, more productive institutions, and more stable governance.

To succeed in creating inclusive leadership in global health, we need to involve men and women at many levels and in a variety of organizations around the world. We see a need for a collective, strategic, cross-sectoral response with global partners.

Get Involved

This is a unique opportunity to explore the current context of women leaders in global health, leverage existing resources, and innovate to make systems and organizations more receptive, and women more prepared, to lead.

To get involved, contact WLGHI Program Director Meredith Miller Vostrejs at