Zainab Salbi Founder, Women for Women International

Zainab Salbi is an Iraqi-American humanitarian, entrepreneur, author, and a media commentator.

At the age of 23, she founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization dedicated to serving women survivors of wars rebuild their lives. Under her leadership as the organization’s CEO (1993-2011), the organization grew from helping 30 women upon its inception to more than 400,000 women in 8 conflict areas and distributed more than $100 million in direct aid, micro credit loans, and has impacted more than 1.7 million family members.
Salbi is also the author of national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund), as well asThe Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival and Hope and If You Knew Me, You Would Care. Her books received support from iconic women writers such as Alice Walker and from several celebrities including but not limited to Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep and Annie Lennox.

In 2010, President Clinton nominated Salbi as one of the 21st century heroes as featured by Harper’s Bazaar, Newsweek and The Guardian identified her in the Top 100 list of Most Influential Women (2011). The Economist Intelligent Unite named her as one of most inspirational women (2011), and she was identified by Fast Company in the 100 Most Influential Women list (2012). Most recently, she was identified by Forbes Magazine as one of the Most Influential Women on Twitter (2014). The PBS Makers series called her one of the women who make America. She is the recipient of the 2010 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award.
Salbi was also selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007 and a Clinton Global Initiative Lead co-chair in 2011. In 2014, Salbi received an Honorary Doctorate from York University for her humanitarian work. Salbi has received extensive coverage in US, UK and global broadcast and print media from CNN to MSNBC to The New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian and The Independent, among many others. Salbi most notably appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show multiple times.

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