"Underreported and Overperforming: How one nonprofit in escalating a little-known issue to help the world's poorest women"

Apr 8, 2015, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Bowl 2, Robertson Hall (lower level)
Free & open to the public


Event Description

Kate Grant *94, Chief Executive Officer, Fistula Foundation

Public reception to follow

Fistula Foundation funds treatment for the childbirth injury obstetric fistula. Initially founded to support one facility in one country, under the leadership of CEO Kate Grant, the nonprofit adopted a global mission in 2009 and has since supported treatment across 29 countries in Africa and Asia.

Despite its singular focus on an issue with which most of the developed world is unfamiliar, Fistula Foundation has attracted the attention of influential organizations, donors, and international media. In the last six years, the Foundation has tripled its annual revenue and has increased the number of surgeries it is now able to provide eight times over – even in the midst of the “Great Recession.”

What lessons can the global development community learn from the success of this highly focused and efficient nonprofit? And what strategies can future NGO leaders employ to avoid mission creep and keep aligned, but resource-contesting challenges at bay?

Ms. Grant will share an overview of her nonprofit’s focused work, as well as advice for growing and leading a leanly focused, leanly run organization.

This event is co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for Health & Wellbeing.

About Kate Grant

Kate Grant joined the Foundation as its first Chief Executive in 2005. She led the expansion of the Foundation from supporting one institution in one country, Ethiopia, to its current position as the global leader in fistula treatment, supporting sites in 29 countries. During her tenure the Foundation tripled its revenue and more than quadrupled the number of fistula treatment surgeries it supports. She’s formed partnerships with key leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Astellas Pharma EMEA, Direct Relief, Engender Health, and WAHA International, and put the Foundation in the top 1% of nonprofit organizations evaluated by Charity Navigator. In recognition of these achievements, in 2014, Ms. Grant was named “Nonprofit Marketer of the Year” by the American Marketing Association and American Marketing Association Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Grant was engaged in advocating for a strong United States role in international cooperation. She served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Staff as the Special Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff at USAID and as a consultant to USAID’s Mission in Tanzania, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and the Women’s Funding Network. Ms. Grant holds an MPA from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, where she was elected Chair of the school’s Graduate Student Body. Prior to attending Princeton, she was an advertising executive at two large agencies: Leo Burnett in Chicago and FCB in San Francisco, managing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies such as Levi Strauss, McDonald’s, and Clorox. She graduated with honors from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. Ms. Grant has served on several boards, including the Governing Board of Graduate Alumni of Princeton University.