WRA Announces New CEO, Senior Leadership Team and Kenya Hub

Sep 28, 2021 | Global Secretariat, GS, News, Press Release

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021, Washington, D.C. – White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) is pleased to announce that Kristy Kade has been named the next Chief Executive Officer; Angela Nguku will lead a new global hub in Kenya and serve as Director of Advocacy and Communications.

“This is a pivotal and transformative time in society, our sector, and White Ribbon Alliance history, requiring transformative leadership. I am wholly confident that Kristy and Angela, and the many leaders within the movement, will take our work to the next level,” says departing White Ribbon Alliance CEO Betsy McCallon.

Kade and Nguku will serve as the core strategic, programmatic and advocacy leaders for WRA; each brings intimate knowledge of and passion for the White Ribbon Alliance movement and are widely recognized for their bold and innovative approaches. Kade and Nguku were both instrumental in the success of the groundbreaking What Women Want global campaign that heard from 1.2 million women and girls about their top priority for quality reproductive and maternal healthcare, a campaign that is changing the conversation about how to truly deliver people-centered health policies and practices.

McCallon announced her intentions to step down earlier this year and shared that a search for her replacement would occur alongside the establishment of a global hub in Kenya that will serve as the campaign engine for the Global Alliance, and a major step toward geographically distributed and representative leadership. Both actions were intended to usher in new leadership for WRA and its movement for reproductive, maternal, and newborn health and rights, now in its 22nd year.

“The selection process revealed a depth and breadth of strategic vision, commitment and innovation from the finalists that will expertly serve White Ribbon Alliance now—and more importantly—lead it into the future,” says Steve Crom, WRA Board Chair and Chair of the CEO transition committee.

With a successful track record at White Ribbon Alliance and several other respected global organizations, Kade brings significant experience in advocacy, movement-building, and facilitating global teams to achieve meaningful change and resource mobilization for vital issues. She has a demonstrated commitment to social justice, an intimate understanding of White Ribbon Alliance and a deep belief in the people who make up the WRA movement.

“White Ribbon Alliance has a history of taking bold actions for women and girls, a history that I am honored to help carry forward,” says Kade, WRA Deputy Executive Director and incoming CEO. “Building on What Women Want, I believe WRA has the potential to radically upend health, development, and social systems by advocating a brazen narrative. A narrative that illuminates the intricacies of the different or limited choices we as women may face and how they intersect to determine the conditions of our lives. A narrative that is unapologetic in our desire to secure true decision-making power for all women and girls in all their diversity.”

Nguku, Executive Director of WRA Kenya, is a driven, resourceful, and agile global health champion with more than 16 years of demonstrable success in strategic advocacy and communications in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and rights. After years as a practicing midwife and midwifery trainer, often under extremely challenging conditions, Nguku turned to advocacy to advance accountability for the health of women and newborns. The campaigns and initiatives she has created center around amplifying the voices of frontline healthworkers, women and girls, so that their lived experiences can inform the health policies and practices that impact their lives—core to WRA’s values and theory of change.

“I started WRA Kenya to help my fellow citizens build the confidence, voice and agency to speak out on the issues that impact their lives,” says Nguku. “I believe we can grow the Global Alliance to be even more inclusive and have greater impact in addressing health and gender inequities across the world. I am grateful and excited for this opportunity.”

Candidates for these crucial positions were deliberately drawn from within the Global Alliance to showcase growth opportunities, attract passionate and talented team members, and stay true to the diversity, equity and inclusion principles WRA is committed to strengthening, all while allowing for stability amidst a complex change process. A CEO transition committee—comprised of Board members, WRA staff, Global Alliance members and partners—led a rigorous, competitive, and inclusive process.

“Multiple perspectives and insights throughout the recruitment and interview process enabled an open dialogue about the future of WRA and allowed us to be very deliberate in identifying complementary strengths amongst the incoming senior leadership team,” says Aparajita Gogoi, head of WRA India and member of the Board of Directors and CEO transition committee. “With Kristy Kade and Angela Nguku ready to take the torch, White Ribbon Alliance is poised to achieve even more impact for women and girls.”



About White Ribbon Alliance:

Founded in 1999, White Ribbon Alliance is a locally led, globally connected grassroots movement advocating for the health and rights of women, girls, and newborns. We actively work in partnership with women, men, their families and communities, professionals and practitioners from diverse fields and all sectors of government. We use many approaches, all of which put citizens at the center so that health policies, programs and practices are driven by lived experiences.

WHITE RIBBON ALLIANCE contact: Kimberly Whipkey, kwhipkey@whiteribbonalliance.org

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