Elizabeth Nyamayaro

NEW EXCLUSIVE
  • United Nations Senior Advisor on Gender Equality (2013 – 2020)
  • Founder, HeForShe Global Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality
  • Voice for Global Social Change
  • Author of "I Am A Girl From Africa," A Memoir



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, and she is currently a Special Advisor for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). She wrote a memoir about her life and experiences, I Am A Girl From Africa. 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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Rave Reviews About Elizabeth Nyamayaro
We couldn’t be more grateful to Elizabeth for bringing such energy, passion and confidence to our program. In addition to navigating a complex agenda in a challenging virtual environment, she brought her personal story and individual commitment in a way that made her one of the most memorable parts of our event. She was a delight to work with from start to finish.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Elizabeth Nyamayaro
  • FICO
  • Empire Entertainment
  • Nutrition for Growth Year of Action
  • United Nations
  • World Economic Forum, Davos
  • Skoll World Forum
  • TED Women
  • Paris Peace Forum
  • The British Parliament
  • NASA
Morning Show - Former UN adviser shares inspiring journey in new memoir | GMA [2:30] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Talks By Elizabeth Nyamayaro
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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, Nyamayaro 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 ...

Realizing that social change happens when those in power align with those seeking equity, Nyamayaro 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 what we share is much more powerful than what divides us. In this talk, Nyamayaro uses this truth to inspire and teach us how we can be allies to those seeking justice.

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>Elizabeth Nyamayaro uses her radiant personality to bring her story and the theme of Ubuntu to life</p>

Elizabeth Nyamayaro uses her radiant personality to bring her story and the theme of Ubuntu to life

When global activist ELIZABETH NYAMAYARO recently appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah she radiated, as always, the bright rays of hope and positivity that make big change seem possible.  She shared with Trevor Noah and his audience how she, a girl from a poor village in Africa, came to be a recognized voice for our shared humanity and an international champion of dreaming big with a purpose - a story which she shares in her inspiring new memoirI Am A Girl From Africa. At events she explains her gripping story of growing up in Zimbabwe during a devastating drought while dreaming of helping others, then moving across the world and using her skills to do just that. As she shares her experiences and the lessons she learned along the way, she explains the African theme of Ubuntu, “I Am Because We Are,” that guides her life and how she uses it to connect people across the globe in our shared humanity. One woman’s story becomes our global story about needing to uplift not only our direct community, but other communities as well, as we are all tied together in both our struggles and our success. Nyamayaro lights up the room as she tells her own story and discusses our collective humanity, delighting audiences with her radiant and warm personality and making them feel right at home while she speaks.

Watch her appearance on The Daily Show here > >

Read the NYTimes review of her book here > >

<p>Elizabeth Nyamayaro's I am a Girl From Africa is the inspiring journey of a girl whose near-death experience sparked a dream that changed the world</p>

Elizabeth Nyamayaro's I am a Girl From Africa is the inspiring journey of a girl whose near-death experience sparked a dream that changed the world

When severe draught hit her village in Zimbabwe, ELIZABETH NYAMAYARO, then eight, had no idea that this moment of utter devastation would come to define her life purpose. Unable to move from hunger, she encountered a United Nations aid worker who gave her a bowl of warm porridge and saved her life. This transformative moment inspired Elizabeth to become a humanitarian, and she vowed to dedicate her life to giving back to her community, her continent, and the world. Grounded by the African concept of ubuntu—“I am because we are”—I Am a Girl from Africa charts Elizabeth’s quest in pursuit of her dream from the small village of Goromonzi to Harare, London, New York, and beyond, where she eventually became a Senior Advisor at the United Nations and launched HeForShe, one of the world’s largest global solidarity movements for gender equality. For over two decades, Elizabeth has been instrumental in creating change in communities all around the world; uplifting the lives of others, just as her life was once uplifted. The memoir brings to vivid life one extraordinary woman’s story of persevering through incredible odds and finding her true calling—while delivering an important message of hope and empowerment in a time when we need it most.

The book quickly gained media attention and lots of buzz, The New York Times giving it a glowing review, calling it "adamantly committed to inspiration, and in that, the memoir is victorious," Nyamayaro was featured on Good Morning America, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and in People, Oprah Daily, Harper's Bazaar, in conversation with Anne Hathaway for Marie Claire, a Q&A on Instagram with Kate Bosworth, a Q&A on Instagram with Gillian Tett, an episode of Porter's Incredible Women podcast, and more. The book has made quite a few lists, including TIME's 15 New Books to Read in April, Good Morning America's "Escape into 34 Books This April," Marie Claire's "25 Great 2021 Memoirs to Pre-Order Now," Bustle's "41 Best New Books to Read This April," Town & Country's "The Best Books to Read This April," and more. 

<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. She is currently a Special Advisor for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Nyamayaro wrote a memoir about her life and experiences, I Am A Girl From Africa.

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.