Joyce Banda served as the President of the Republic of Malawi from 2012-2014, the first female to hold this position. Prior to assuming office, President Banda served as a Member of Parliament, Minister of Gender and Child Welfare, Foreign Minister, and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.
President Banda was named one of the world’s most powerful black women by Forbes in 2013 and 2014, and one of the most 100 influential people in the world by both TIME and Forbes. In 2014, CNN named her one of the most inspirational women in politics. She has won numerous awards for her work on the global stage and was recently named one of Apolitico’s most 100 Influential People in Gender Policy.
She is the Founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation, which she established after receiving the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger in 1997. The Foundation has served over 1.3 million Malawians. President Banda regularly serves as a panelist and motivational speaker at international conferences and fora, and has spoken at the International Conference on Women in Beijing, the New African Woman Forum, the UNDP High-Level Dialogue on Good Governance, and Women Deliver Conference. She frequently lectures at universities including Harvard Medical School and the Kennedy School of Government, the London School of Economics and Political Science, George Washington University, Kansas State University, New York University among others.