Zainab Salbi, Founder and CEO of Women for Women International, is an activist and social entrepreneur. Ms. Salbi inspires and moves audiences with the passion of her personal experience as a survivor of war and her dedication to rebuilding communities after war, one woman at a time.
She has raised her voice, and thousands of women have responded to the call, to help women survivors of war rebuild their lives through her organization, Women for Women International. The Oprah Winfrey Show has featured Ms. Salbi and her organization seven times.
Ms. Salbi survived the bombs and lies of living in the shadows of Saddam Hussein. She writes about those terrifying years in her memoir, Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (Gotham, 2005). She escaped Iraq and through adversity began to help other women whose lives had been torn apart by war. Her personal story inspires; her passion moves.
Since Ms. Salbi founded Women for Women International in 1993, tens of thousands of women have joined a quiet but strong movement to help women survivors of wars and civil strife to rebuild their lives. One by one, 93,000 women survivors of war have begun to contribute to the political and economic health of their societies. Ms. Salbi has dedicated her life to the belief that stronger women build stronger nations.
She serves on the advisory boards of Tällberg Foundation International Advisory Council, the Peter Gruber Foundation Women’s Rights Prize, World Pulse Magazine and the International Museum of Women. Ms. Salbi also serves as a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and is a member of the International Women’s Forum.
Ms. Salbi earned a Master Degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2001 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from George Mason University in 1996.