Elizabeth Nyamayaro

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  • United Nations Senior Advisor on Gender Equality (2013 – 2020)
  • Founder, HeForShe Global Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality
  • Voice for Global Social Change


Elizabeth Nyamayaro, a former Senior Advisor at the United Nations on Gender Equality and the founder and CEO of AfricaYouth.org, spent her childhood in an African village that was ravaged by both famine and HIV/AIDS. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked as a humanitarian at the forefront of global development for over two decades, addressing the world’s greatest inequalities and improving the lives of underserved communities. While at the United Nations, Elizabeth created and launched HeForShe, one of the world’s largest solidarity movements for gender equality, galvanizing men in every single country in the world. A strong advocate for women rights and youth empowerment, she has held positions with UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and UN Women.  Named as Apolitico’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy 2018 & 2019, Elizabeth has been touted by The New York Times as “one of only two women transforming Davos” with her social impact work featured in Vogue, Fast Company, Fortune, Elle, BBC and CNN. A strong advocate for women rights and youth empowerment, she served as inaugural Glass Lions jury at Cannes Lions and has received the Feminist Majority Foundation’s prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award. Elizabeth is a Political Scientist by training and holds a MSc in Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and leadership education from the Harvard Business School.

 

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A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Elizabeth Nyamayaro
  • United Nations
  • World Economic Forum, Davos
  • Skoll World Forum
  • TED Women
  • Paris Peace Forum
  • The British Parliament
  • NASA
  • Cannes Film Festival Cannes Lions
  • Women in the World
  • Feminist Majority
Panel clip - The Power of One | PwC [1:14] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Elizabeth Nyamayaro's Talks
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An Invitation to Allyship: How to Support Those Seeking Social Equity

Realizing that social change happens when those in power align with those seeking equity, Nyamayro invites us to be critical allies in the movement for social justice and equality. She founded HeForShe, the United Nations global solidarity movement for gender equality, based on a simple idea: that w ...

Engaging Communities for Change

Elizabeth Nyamayaro is a social change-maker.  She knows how to create a movement toward lasting change, and how to enact the difficult work of changing mindsets, finding and supporting allies, and keeping the movement filled with optimism. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked at the forefront of ...

Elizabeth Nyamayaro is a social change-maker.  She knows how to create a movement toward lasting change, and how to enact the difficult work of changing mindsets, finding and supporting allies, and keeping the movement filled with optimism. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked at the forefront of global development for over two decades improving the lives of underserved populations and has held leadership roles at the World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and UN Women, and is a former United Nations Senior Advisor on Gender Equality. She is the founder of HeForShe, the United Nations global solidarity movement for gender equality, in which she invites men to join in allyship with women in the movement for gender equality. She is also the founder of AfricaYouth.org, Africa's largest youth movement to tackle some of the continent's challenges with the power and enthusiasm of its own next generation.

Ubuntu: Africa's Greatest Gift to the World

Ubuntu is the African philosophy that what unites us is greater than what separates us. Elizabeth explains how Ubuntu is not a simple platitiude, but instead a radical philosophy that can be used in the most contentious circumstances, from international diplomacy to social justice movements. Ubuntu  ...

Ubuntu is the African philosophy that what unites us is greater than what separates us. Elizabeth explains how Ubuntu is not a simple platitiude, but instead a radical philosophy that can be used in the most contentious circumstances, from international diplomacy to social justice movements. Ubuntu is Africa's greatest gift to the world and a global call for solidarity and unity in an ever divided and divisive world.

Be True to Yourself: Your Story Matters

Speaking directly to the often-marginalized communities, Elizabeth reminds us that where you are born, and your current circumstance should not determine your destiny nor limit your dreams. No matter how crazy your dreams may seem, they are valid and worthy of pursing.  She shares how she questioned ...

Speaking directly to the often-marginalized communities, Elizabeth reminds us that where you are born, and your current circumstance should not determine your destiny nor limit your dreams. No matter how crazy your dreams may seem, they are valid and worthy of pursing. 

She shares how she questioned everything about herself when she was growing up; was her skin too dark, her hair too curly, her accent too thick, her dreams too ambitious. She came to realize that the qualities that were once a source of insecurity are in fact some of her greatest strengths. In this talk she uses her story to inspire each of us to embrace our own story, always remembering that despite any of our insecurities that being your true self is enough.

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<p>Virtual Programming: Agent of change Elizabeth Nyamayaro tells her story to inspire solidarity among the human collective</p>

Virtual Programming: Agent of change Elizabeth Nyamayaro tells her story to inspire solidarity among the human collective

ELIZABETH NYAMAYARO is one of the most powerful international social voices, and in her speeches she shares how she moved from near starvation in her native Zimbabwe to influential positions for change at the UN, WHO, World Bank and corporate America. From her TED Talk to her upcoming memoir, to virtual events around the globe, Elizabeth's electric message is unequivocally clear: all humans deserve dignity, equality, opportunity and security. What is different about Elizabeth's message however, is that she challenges us to advocate for ourselves, and also challenges us to stand up for others. Not with platitudes, but with action- the difficult kind involving shifting mindsets- grounded in the African philosophy of Ubuntu.

Elizabeth is former United Nations Senior Advisor on Gender Equality and the Global Head of the HeForShe movement, and Africa Youth.org. A strong advocate for women rights and economic empowerment, Elizabeth has worked at the forefront of the global development agenda for more than two decades in both public and private sectors, and previously held positions with UNAIDS, World Health Organization, the World Bank, Merck and UN Women. A Zimbabwe national and Political Scientist by training, Elizabeth holds a Masters of Science in Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science, and leadership education from the Harvard Business School. 

In addition to her countless speeches at global conferences for women's empowerment, she has also spoken to corporations such as Barclays and HSBC; universities in Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, New York, Hong Kong, and more; major trade associations such as the Human Resources Professionals Association. She has been profiled everywhere from the New York Times to Fortune to Fast Company. Elizabeth is a an electrifying force, leaving the audience inspired and hopeful.

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Biography

Long before British Actress Emma Watson became the face of HeForShe, a United Nations global movement that took the world by storm, generating more than 1.2 BILLION conversations on social media and galvanizing men in every single country in the world in just five days - Elizabeth Nyamayaro was behind the scenes crafting the movement that would revolutionize gender inequality with a radically inclusive invitation to all genders.

Elizabeth, former United Nations Senior Advisor on gender equality and the mastermind behind the HeForShe movement, spent her childhood in an African village that was ravaged by both famine and HIV/AIDS. Working at the forefront of global development for over two decades to improve the lives of under-served populations, Elizabeth has held leadership roles at the World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, Merck, and UN Women, where she has led and supported large scale programs including a $0.5 BILLION global commitment to end maternal mortality, and has engaged more than 120,000 African communities in 20 African countries as part of the World Health Organization’s most successful public–private partnerships in global health.

With her TED Talk garnering more than 1 MILLION views in its first weeks alone, Elizabeth is a prominent thought-leader and has engaged at global forums such as World Economic Forum in Davos, Cannes Film Festival, Skoll World Forum, Harvard, Oxford, the British Parliament, among others. Named as Apolitico’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy 2018 & 2019, Elizabeth has been touted by The New York Times as “one of only two women transforming Davos”, and has been featured in Vogue, Fast Company, Wired, Fortune, Elle, BBC, and CNN. She has also served as a Glass Lions jury at Cannes Lions, and has received the PR Council Trailblazer Award for Social Impact and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Award.

A Political Scientist by training, Elizabeth holds a Masters of Science in Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science, and leadership education from the Harvard Business School.