Sarah Hillware is an award-winning global health and development leader, social entrepreneur, and advocate for girls and women recognized in 2021 by Apolitical as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy for her work advancing gender equity in health.
Over the past 10+ years, she has led diverse teams and spearheaded several programs, including global funds and country-level projects across sectors totaling nearly US$3 billion in 39 countries. She has mobilized support for and worked on a diverse set of issues under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including gender equality, universal health coverage, digital health, menstrual health, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, climate change and environmental health, and energy access. Throughout her career, Sarah has worked at the intersection of program design, innovation, stakeholder engagement and communications strategy to drive global action and national policy reform across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), having co-led several program launches and advocacy campaigns.
Sarah most recently served as Deputy Director of Women in Global Health, a 50,000+ strong women-led global movement to challenge power and privilege for gender equity in health. Sarah is an experienced leader in the sector, having worked as a senior-level consultant at the World Bank for four years, and, in 2012, founding and serving as Executive Director of Girls Health Ed, a women-led organization focused on delivering gender-transformative comprehensive health and sexuality education to adolescent girls and young women globally through its evidence-based model. Girls Health Ed has reached approximately 25,000 since its founding, and has directly served over 6,500 girls and young women. It has been profiled in The Washington Post, Huffington Post and Global Citizen, among others. Sarah continues to serve as Board Chair and advise the organization's senior leadership.
Sarah also co-founded SheWins, a digital health platform for women. In 2014, Sarah and her two co-founders pitched SheWins and made it to the final round of casting for the American TV show, Shark Tank. Prior to this, SheWins was ranked a top 10 finalist in The George Washington University's Business Plan Competition. Previously, Sarah has held positions with the World Bank, World Health Organization, UN Refugee Agency, and UN World Food Programme, and in private sector broadcast media and technology companies.
Sarah's research and experience in the US and globally have led her to give talks at TEDxBerkeley, at the United Nations through TEDxUNPlaza, as well as guest lectures at New York University and American University. She was profiled in 2016 by Population Services International (PSI) for Leaders, Makers and Risk-Takers, alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for her work and has been named to the Leadership Center for Excellence 2014 40 Under 40 list.
Sarah holds a degree in international affairs and global public health from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and has completed executive education at Harvard Business School in behavioral economics, negotiation and decision-making. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Osgood Center for International Studies and is a fellow of The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), a London-based organization committed to finding practical solutions to social challenges. In her spare time, she writes, meditates and listens to podcasts.
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