How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

ARTICLE: JUL 17, 2019

In arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), extreme weather manifestations such as droughts caused by prolonged dry spells, among other climate stressors, put ASALs at risk and intensify conflicts. Global Women Leader and visiting fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies Maram Ahmed explains how financial assistance, specifically Islamic finance can help vulnerable communities break a vicious cycle to better prepare and cope with climate change shocks such as droughts or floods.

“Given that a significant proportion of those in ASALs are Muslims, Islamic finance can be a stimulus for that financial inclusion. It creates the opportunity to include those with little to no access to financial services without compromising their religious beliefs.”

Read the full World Economic Forum article by Maram Ahmed here

GWL Women in finance and Philanthropy Event at Norton Rose Fulbright


EVENT: JUN 21, 2019

Tricia Hobson hosted our GWL Women in Finance and Philanthropy event at Norton Rose Fulbright London on World Refugee Day and it was a huge success. An amazing turnout of highly qualified, committed women and NRF Chair Farmida Bi was excellent. We presented Farmida with a SEP Jordan embroidered pouch.

Thank you so much to Nyra Mahmood for organizing and to Sheikha Intisar Al Sabah of Kuwait who shared her philanthropic work and experience working with youth and women. Thank you to the Representatives of SEP Jordan who attended to share their story as a socially-minded and impact driven enterprise working to empower women in Jordan.

The amazing volunteer analyst Wee Kii presented the Talent Beyond Boundaries financing challenge. The organisation connects refugees to international job opportunities and opens labour mobility as a complementary solution to traditional refugee resettlement.

How climate change exacerbates the refugee crisis – and what can be done about it

ARTICLE: JUN 20, 2019

Climate-related displacement and migration is set to be the greatest challenge of our era. Global Women Leader Maram Ahmed, visiting fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, explains the complexities of navigating climate change through innovative finance mechanisms and the importance of prioritzing gender sensitive policies to help build resillience to climate-induced disasters

While there is a general consensus that global warming impacts us all, the role it will play in future human migration is often underestimated. Climate change disproportionately impacts developing countries, and more specifically fragile states.

Read the exclusive extended version of Maram Ahmed's piece for the World Ecomnomic Forum here

Australia UNHCR Womens Boardroom Luncheon, Sydney

EVENT: MAY 22, 2019

“GlobalKimberly Gire showcased Global Women Leaders support for some of the initiatives we interact with, including: Talent Beyond Boundaries, SEP Jordan and Maternal Newborn Health in humanitarian settings at a UNHCR Women’s Roundtable Luncheon with former Governor General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce, who was inspired to learn more about these practical, positive and impactful solutions for women, youth and families.

Milken Global Conference 2019, Los Angeles

EVENT: APR 28 - MAY 1, 2019

“MilkenKimberly Gire attended the Milken Global Conference 2019, most notably the ‘Coming of Age: Women Rise’ meeting and the Disaster Preparedness & the Role of Philanthropy private roundtable to discuss the critical role that philanthropic capital can play in helping communities survive, recover, and rebound from disasters. There are numerous overlapping priorities that contribute to determining the best way to prepare for success in mitigating or preventing long-term public-health impacts.

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World Bank Spring Meetings 2019, Washington D.C.

EVENT: APR 9 - APR 12, 2019

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF and Kimberly Gire, Founder, Global Women Leaders, meet on the sidelines at the World Bank Spring Meetings to discuss girls education and the beautiful embroidery of refugee artisans at SEP Jordan.

Kimberly Gire attended the 2019 World Bank Spring Meetings, focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets. She met with Henrietta Fore - Executive Director, UNICEF and Carla Haddad Mardini - Director, Public Partnerships Division, UNICEF, to discuss women’s leadership and catalysing giving for global education; Mary Louise Cohen the Founder of Talent Beyond Boundaries to discuss opportunities to amplify their work creating skilled-migration pathways for displaced families, starting with Australia, Canada and the UK;

“Julia and Julia Gillard Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and Patron of CAMFED and former Prime Minister of Australia to discuss opportunities to scale funding for educating girls in forgotten contexts.

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Opinion: The UAE's philanthropy boom

ARTICLE: APR 09, 2019

With explosive wealth accumulation, UAE philanthropy is beginning to surge. Global Women Leader Maram Ahmed, visiting fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, explains why development professionals need to take note of this shift.
The United Arab Emirates is an emerging philanthropic power. For over a decade now, the number of philanthropic organizations has been booming in the UAE, as the country has enjoyed economic prosperity. The UAE is not only one of the most affluent countries in the Middle East but in Asia too.

Read the article

Chatham House Discussion: Sustainable Solutions to Challenges Faced by Displaced People and Refugees, London

EVENT: APR 3, 2019

Global Women Leader Trisha De Borchgrave opened the Chatham House session on using public-private impact investing to overcome fragile environments and chaired the discussion on Developing Sustainable Solutions to the Challenges Faced by Displaced Populations and Refugees. It focused on investment in refugees and opportunities for entrepreneurship and the global market. The panellists discussed creating economic opportunities for displaced persons and refugees. Panellists included Global Women Leader Roberta Ventura, Founder, SEP Jordan; François de Borchgrave, Founder and CEO, KOIS; John Kluge, Founder and Managing Director, Refugee Investment Network; Glada Lahn, Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Department, Chatham House and Lorna Solis, Founder and CEO, Blue Rose Compass.

Listen to the panel discussion

Newborn Health in Humanitarian and Fragile Settings, Geneva

EVENT: FEB 27- MAR 1, 2019

Global Women Leader, Sarah Zeid brought a critical focus to Newborn Health in Humanitarian and Fragile Settings Meetings. In a collaborative workshop of experts including Save the Children US, UNICEF, World Health Organization, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, International Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - IFRC and major foundations including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The LEGO Foundation and ELMA Philanthropies Maternity Foundation. The meetings had a philanthropy focus, with Global Women Leader Nyra Mahmood leading a discussion on Islamic financial solutions.

Citibank Women’s Network, Dubai

EVENT: FEB 14, 2019

“KimberlyKimberly Gire attended the Citi Women’s Network in Dubai with Elissar Farah Antonios, the CEO of Citibank in the UAE where they discussed their career journey and driving gender diversity.

Milken Institute MENA Summit, Abu Dhabi

EVENT: FEB 12-13, 2019

Kimberly Gire was a panellist for the session on Collaborative Advocacy: A Path to Gender Parity. The panel examined how working together, in partnership with government and industry will generate profound social change and inclusion reform. Kimberly also attended the session “Building Meaningful Lives for Refugees” with Enrique Steiger, Founder SwissCross Foundation.

World Government Summit, Dubai

EVENT: FEB 10-12, 2019

Global Women Leaders Kimberly Gire and Maysa Jalbout attended the World Government Summit - a global platform that sets the agenda for the next generation of governments, focusing on how they can harness innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity. It functions as a knowledge exchange platform for leaders in the public and private sectors to convene and collaborate with world-renowned experts to create a positive impact for citizens worldwide.

World Economic Forum, Davos

EVENT: JAN 22-25, 2019

Global Women Leader Trisha de Borchgrave moderated an informative discussion on unlocking the potential of refugees and migrants in the Sustainable Impact Hub at Davos. Social entrepreneur and Global Women Leader Roberta Ventura was a panelist and shared the work of the artisan women refugees of SEP Jordan.

Watch the panel discussion here

BMW Foundation Global Table, Udaipur

EVENT: NOV 22–25, 2018

Kimberly Gire joined panellists from around the globe shared their experiences, success stories and challenges, and developed forward-looking strategies designed to counter social inequalities and empower female leadership.

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On Purpose Podcast, Berlin


Freelance Journalist Verónica Zaragovia, interviews Kimberly Gire ahead of the BMW Foundation Global Table, on her transition from banker to strategic philanthropist; the role of women in leading change in humanitarian work and; the importance of bringing the private sector and new models to the humanitarian sector.

Chatham House Discussion Panel, London

EVENT: NOV 20, 2018

Panellists, including Global Women Leaders Kimberly Gire and Rita Dayoub, discussed the role of impact investment in fragile states. The approach aims to deliver a measurable positive social or environmental change through targeted capital investment to address some of the world’s most pressing issues. The panel was chaired by Global Women Leader Trisha de Borchgrave.

Listen to the panel discussion

Women’s Forum Global Meeting, Paris

CONFERENCE: NOV 14-16, 2018

United by the goal of encouraging focus and investment in fragile contexts, our Global Women Leaders were out in force at the Women’s Forum Global Conference, including:

Tricia Hobson, who was a panelist for the opening plenary session: Putting gender into technology to accelerate a better future.

Trisha de Borchgrave, who moderated the session Wellness at Work: technology, loneliness and mental health.

Nyra Mahmood, who led the workshop: ‘Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries’.

Kimberly Gire, who presented during the plenary session: Be the Bridge.

and finally Trisha de Borchgrave, who moderated the session: Safe Harbour: Women’s Leadership in and Beyond Displaced Communities. Panelists included: Global Women Leaders Kimberly Gire and Princess Sarah Zeid in conversation with Dorsa Nazemi-Salam (ICRC).

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BMW Foundation & Toniic Retreat, Paretz

EVENT: NOV 5-8, 2018

As the global population grows faster and faster, resources are becoming increasingly scarce and the gap between the rich and poor is widening. These developments pose enormous challenges for the global economy. How can we achieve a just and sustainable society? And what role does the financial system play? How could such a transformation succeed?

Kimberly Gire was among some 40 international leaders from the finance sector, who discussed ideas and alliances and swapped experiences and expertise on the theme ‘Serving the planet through financial system change’.

Salaam Gateway Podcast, Dubai


Emmy Abdul Alim, Editor of Salaam Gateway, interviews Kimberly Gire at the Global Islamic Economy Summit, about strategic philanthropy and what this means for the Islamic economy.

Global Islamic Economy Summit, Dubai

EVENT: OCT 30-31, 2018

Panellists, including Kimberly Gire discussed 'Problem Eradication Philosophy'; exploring mechanisms to coordinate Islamic philanthropy at a global and regional level, and; the role of public institutions in the Islamic economy and the importance of public goods ‘by the people for the people’ to augment philanthropy.

Watch the panel discussion

LAABA: The Islamic Finance Magazine

ARTICLE: JUL 27, 2018

Farmida Bi, Partner & European Head of Islamic Finance at Norton Rose Fulbright, discusses the world’s first Humanitarian Impact Bond, developed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the assistance of Global Women Leaders and the scope for a Shari’ah-compliant equivalent.

Introduction by Kimberly Gire, Founder, Global Women Leaders.

Read the article

BMW Foundation Global Table, Cape Town

EVENT: MAY 17–20, 2018

Themed ‘Leading towards Equal Opportunities’, Kimberly Gire represented Global Women Leaders by invitation, where a select group of global leaders discussed 'ethical governance, equal opportunities, economy, and justice in and between societies'.

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Milken Global Conference, California

CONFERENCE: APR 29 - MAY 2, 2018

Kimberly Gire represented Global Women Leaders by invitation at the Milken Global Conference, where the theme “navigating a world in transition” was explored.

Read more about the conference

Chatham House Research Event, London

EVENT: MAR 22, 2018

Visiting Fellow, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Global Women Leader Maram Ahmed, chaired a session at Chatham House on Islamic Financing of Infrastructure in Africa.

Participants included: Abayomi Alawode, Lead Financial Sector Specialist and Head of Islamic Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Practice, World Bank Group; Maya Marissa Malek, Executive Director, Global Shariah Advisory, Amanie Advisors; and Annouar Hassoune, Managing Partner, Emerging Markets Ratings, Euris Group

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World Bank Fragility Forum, Washington, DC

FORUM: Mar 5 - 9, 2018

Kimberly Gire spoke on the "Financing Peace: What more Can be Done?" panel. The objective of the session was to present a series of recommendations to improve the effective delivery of financial assistance in countries facing a range of fragility challenges.

Read more about the forum

Milken Institute MENA Summit, UAE

EVENT: FEB 7-8, 2018

While continuing its progress in social, political, and economic reforms, how will the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region execute strategic investments that support its vision for sustainable growth?

Kimberly Gire represented Global Women Leaders by invitation at the inaugural MENA Conference, where action-oriented conversations were held with global thought leaders who have a deep understanding of the region or sectors of focus.

Read more about this conference

World Economic Forum, Davos

CONFERENCE: JAN 23-26, 2018

Kimberly Gire represented Global Women Leaders by invitation at the 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The meeting aimed to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world. The programme, initiatives and projects of the meeting were focused on Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.

Read more about the forum

Milken Institute Summit, London

EVENT: DEC 5, 2017

Themed ‘New Europe: Lead, Follow, or Step Aside’, Kimberly Gire represented Global Women Leaders by invitation, participating in a private session: ‘Unlocking Philanthropic Capital for the Global Goals’.

Read more about the summit

How Women are helping shape the world’s first humanitarian impact bond

PODCAST: NOV 28, 2017

An episode of Intercross the Podcast in which Kimberly Gire, founder of the Global Women Leaders and Jyl Strong, ICRC's Washington Policy Advisory, speak about the role of women in the creation of the first humanitarian impact bond. Conversation is also directed towards the Global Woman Leader's platform and how the unique skillsets of women can be mobilised in a collective effort in the support of humanitarian projects. Hosted by Niki Clark.

Listen to the podcast

Women's Forum Global Meeting, Paris

CONFERENCE: NOV 14 - 16, 2017

Kimberly Gire and Nyra Mahmood participated in the “Sustainable Finance: Integrating sustainability into the core of a business strategy” breakout session. Kimberly called on the business community to develop innovative solutions to the problems facing humanity.

Watch the session

Kimberly Gire also participated in the “Financial and Business Model Innovations for Social Impact” breakout session where she highlighted the incredible potential of innovative finance mechanisms like the ICRC’s Humanitarian Impact Bond (HIB) to address the needs of vulnerable people living in conflict zones. The HIB - which will finance the construction of three physical rehabilitation centres in Africa - is one way in which business can design products to bridge the financial and the humanitarian worlds, “to find both profit, and purpose”.

Forum on Innovative Financing for Development, Washington

EVENT: NOV 9, 2017

Kimberly Gire and Nyra Mahmood participated in panel sessions at the forum. Themed, How Donors Turn into Investors: From Funding to Financing the SDGs - the forum explored the future trends in new financing mechanisms in the context of SDGs and assessed opportunities for international financial institutions, companies and donor governments to work together and crowd in significant private capital flows by leveraging innovative finance and private sector expertise in high-impact sectors.

Global Ethical Finance Forum, Edinburgh

EVENT: SEP 13-14, 2017

Themed ‘Leading towards Equal Opportunities’, Kimberly Gire represented Global Women Leaders where she presented an overview of the ICRC’s world-first Humanitarian Impact Bond.

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