Zainab Salbi

At the age of 23, Zainab founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization dedicated to serving women survivors of wars by offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency. Under her leadership as the organization’s CEO (1993-2011), the organization grew from helping 30 women upon its inception to more than 478,000 marginalized women in 8 conflict areas. It also distributed more than $120 million in direct aid and microcredit loans that impacted more than 1.7 million family members.

In her move to journalism and media, Zainab created and hosted several shows including: #MeToo, Now What? original series on PBS (2018); The Zainab Salbi Project, original series on Huffington Post (2016); The Nidaa Show with TLC Arabic where she started with the historic first interview of Oprah Winfrey in the Arab world; and her latest Through Her Eyes with Zainab Salbi at Yahoo News. She frequently appears on MSNBC as a commentator on current news.

Zainab is the author of several books including the national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam, If You Knew Me You Would Care, and her latest, Freedom is an Inside Job.

Zainab has been consistently identified as one of the women impacting the world. People Magazine named her as one of the “25 Women Changing The World” in 2016. Foreign Policy Magazine named Zainab as one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers,” Fast Company identified her as one of “100 Most Creative People in Business,” The Guardian and Newsweek listed her on their “Top 100 Women of Activists and Campaigners,” and Harper’s Bazaar called her “one of the 21st century heroes.” In 2017, Arabian Business named Salbi as the “#1 Most Influential Arab Woman in the World” and has since been joined by Gulf Business to consistently name her as one of the “World’s Most Influential Arabs.” Zainab was also identified as one of the “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2019” by Watkins Mind Body Spirit. Most recently, she received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for her humanitarian work with Women War Survivors and for her Global Journalism.

Zainab was recently selected as a juror for The Hilton Humanitarian Prize – the biggest award for humanitarian work throughout the world. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Synergos and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).

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