Grameen Foundation names Zubaida Bai President and CEO

CEO and board members to lead Grameen Foundation into its second quarter-century

Grameen Foundation, a leader in providing access to information and resources with a mission to create a world without poverty and hunger, today announced Zubaida Bai as its next President and CEO. She is the first woman and the first Indian American to lead the organization.

Bai comes to Grameen Foundation with over 18 years in the social impact space. Before joining Grameen Foundation, she served as the managing director of CARE Social Ventures.

“We are delighted to welcome Zubaida Bai as CEO,” said Marianne Udow-Phillips, Grameen Foundation board member and chair of the CEO search committee. “Zubaida is passionately committed to social inclusion. She believes social change can come about by adjusting our lens to the changing landscape. Utilizing lived experience, she has championed programs and products that are sustainable. She is the ideal person to lead Grameen Foundation into its next quarter-century of impact.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the Grameen Foundation team,” said Bai. “I believe Grameen Foundation is uniquely positioned to make good on its mission of a world without poverty and hunger. I am humbled to be joining this committed team and thank Grameen Foundation’s board and staff for their warm welcome.”

A compassionate leader, Bai has spent time in the poorest places in the world, co-creating products, and services. With cross-sector insights, Bai brings expertise in creating a meaningful impact while navigating a global market landscape. She is also the founder of ayzh®, a social enterprise based in India and the U.S. that designs and distributes vital healthcare products that improve the health and happiness of women and girls across their reproductive lives. An empathetic communicator, she is as equally deft speaking with a rural midwife outside her hut as she is presenting to Global Leaders at Davos or the United Nations.

Bai has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Maternal Health Champion by Ashoka, a TED Fellow/ Speaker, and named United Nations SDG 3 Pioneer by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). She is a Visiting Social Innovator with Harvard University’s Social Innovative Change Initiative (SICI) and a member of the Governing Body at SEMA (Shaping Equitable Market Access) for Reproductive Health.

Grameen Foundation also announced the appointments of Lauren Hendricks, Gopi Kallayil, and Jeffrey Scott to the board of directors.

"As Grameen Foundation nears the culmination of its 25th anniversary celebrations, we look to these three talented and committed individuals for their unique insights and contributions,” said Grameen Foundation Board Chairman Peter Cowhey. “They will combine with existing members to support Zubaida, whom we are eager to welcome as our new CEO.”

Lauren Hendricks, a global expert in international development and financial inclusion, works to engage technology and the private sector to address the critical challenges of our time. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of KEIPhone, which provides women in developing markets with smartphones, paid for through an innovative advertising-based revenue model. Formerly, Hendricks served as CEO of Equity Foundation International, Executive Vice President of Grameen Foundation, and Executive Director for the Access Africa initiative at CARE.

Gopi Kallayil is Chief Evangelist, Digital Transformation and Strategy at Google, helping to transform its customers’ business around the digital consumer experience. Previously, Kallayil was on the management team of two Silicon Valley venture-funded startups, and a consultant with McKinsey & Co. He has spoken at TEDx, The World Happiness Summit, and Wisdom. 2.0. He is the author of two books, The Happy Human and The Internet to the Inner-net.

Jeffrey Scott built a career in finance and administration at several premier U.S. universities, including the University of Washington, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Columbia University. Scott graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and received his master’s in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

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