Founder, Women for Women International
Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International and served as the organization's CEO from 1993 to 2011. She is the author of two books: the national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund) which documents her life growing up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s rule and The Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival and Hope. Her work has been featured in major media outlets, including eight appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Zainab has been honored by President Bill Clinton for her 1993 work in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was also nominated by President Clinton as one of the Harpers Bazaar's 21st Century Heroines to honor her actions, faith and determination in making a difference. She is the recipient of the 2010 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award and was named one of 22 members of the Clinton Global Initiative Lead program, which brings together a select group of accomplished young leaders to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. In 2011 Zainab was named one of the Top 100 Women: Activists and Campaigners by The Guardian and was highlighted as a Female Faith Heroine by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. She was also named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of the 100 Extraordinary Women who Shake the World (2011) and was identified by the Economist Intelligence Unit as one of the most inspirational women in the world. Zainab is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Civil Society Advisory Group focusing on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Zainab has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University.
Photo by Rennio Maifredi