Former ICRW President Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta Confirmed Ambassador At Large for Global Women’s Issues

Press Release Subtitle

Dr. Gupta was foundational in shaping the International Center for Research on Women and has been a champion for the rights of women and girls for decades.

Press Release Date

11 May 2023

Press Release Author

Anne McPherson, Vice President, Communications: [email protected]

Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta, Headshot
Photo Source: PassBlue


WASHINGTON, D.C. —  On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and former President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the role of Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State.  

The Ambassador at Large is tasked with leading the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI), which was established in 2009 to ensure that the rights of women and girls are integrated into U.S. foreign policy. The Ambassador at Large and S/GWI work closely with the White House, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense and other agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector to advance gender equity in the U.S. and globally. The position of Ambassador at Large was first held in 2009 by Melanne Verveer, followed by Catherine Russell and Kelley Currie, the latter appointed after a gap between May 2017 and December 2019. 

“We’re incredibly proud of Dr. Rao Gupta’s confirmation as Ambassador at Large of the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State.” said ICRW CEO and President Peggy Clark. “Dr. Gupta was foundational in shaping the International Center for Research on Women and has been a champion for the rights of women and girls for decades. She brings unparalleled experience working across and within multilateral agencies, philanthropies, and communities and a deep personal commitment to the issue. We look forward to working with her in this new role and applaud this achievement.” 

The Ambassador at Large plays a critical role in ensuring that gender issues are not sidelined or remain on the periphery of the work of the U.S. Government but are integrated into the fabric of policy and procedures across Departments and agencies. It is important that there is a seat at the table for women and girls and to highlight the challenges faced while also ensuring systems are in place for accountability, funding, program evaluation, and return on investment. 

In a 2020 blog interview the UN Foundation hosted about the effects of COVID-19, Dr. Rao Gupta said, “What I will most remember is the way it so quickly exposed the inequities between women and men, the hidden pandemic of violence against women, and the role that women play in the care economy — juggling jobs while caring for and educating their children at home.” 

“Geeta is an exceptional feminist leader who will be incredible in her role as Ambassador at Large,” shared Dr. Ravi Verma, Director of ICRW Asia. “Her gender transformative ideology has fundamentally revolutionized the gender discourse. The ICRW team celebrates Geeta’s commitment and her well-deserved confirmation. Under her vision, those working on issues of gender and social justice will find a genuine and passionate leader.” 

Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta served as President of ICRW for over two decades and demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing equity and lifting issues that are front and center for women and girls worldwide. Dr. Rao Gupta has spent over 40 years focused on women’s issues – from her Women Studies Program at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to Senior Fellow for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF to her more recent role of Executive Director of the UN Foundation’s 3D Program for Girls and Women. 

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Mission Statement:

ICRW is the premier applied research institute focused on women and girls. In 2016, ICRW merged with the U.S. research organization Re:Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women) to create a global research platform.Headquartered in Washington, DC, with regional offices in India and Uganda, ICRW provides research and analysis to inform programs and policies that promote gender equality and help alleviate poverty.