Zainab Salbi: 1st Visionary Leadership Award

Zainab Salbi is Founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization helping women survivors of wars rebuild their lives. Since 1993, the organization has helped 250,000 women survivors of wars access social and economic opportunities through a program of rights awareness training, vocational skills education and access to income generating opportunities, thereby ultimately contributing to the political and economic health of their communities. In its 17-year history, the organization has distributed more than $79 million in direct aid, micro credit loans, and has impacted more than 800,000 family members. For its work “alleviating human suffering”, Women for Women International was awarded the 2006 Hilton Conrad Humanitarian Award, becoming the first women’s organization to receive this honor.

Zainab Salbi is the author of two books; a national bestseller "Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund) that documents her life 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 8 appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Zainab Salbi has been honored by Former President Bill Clinton for her work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 and was most recently nominated by Former President Clinton as one of the Harper’s Bazaar 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 has received the Forbes Trailblazer Award and Time Magazine’s Innovator of the Month award, among many others. Zainab Salbi is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, one of 22 members of the Clinton Global Initiative Lead program, and is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Civil Society Advisory Group focusing on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Zainab Salbi has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University.

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