The Charity CEO Podcast


Suzanne Ehlers

CEO, Malala Fund: Amplifying girls' voices!

“Believe in yourself. Believe that you do have the power to make the change…

(Malala) believes in an individual’s ability and power to make the change that they so desire… she tells young women everywhere… believe in your story and believe in your own capacity to catalyse that change and make that impact"

Suzanne Ehlers has served as CEO of Malala Fund since February 2020. In this role, she provides leadership to a global network of experts and advocates who are breaking down barriers that prevent girls from going to school. Suzanne works closely with co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, to advance progress toward girls ’education around the world.

Prior to her appointment at Malala Fund, Suzanne served as President & CEO of PAI, a global advocacy leader in the effort to protect and promote the reproductive rights of women and girls.Earlier in her career, Suzanne was a grant-maker at Wallace Global Fund.

Suzanne also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic (CAR) following her graduation from Cornell University with a degree in Government. Suzanne speaks French, Spanish and Sango (language of the CAR). She is an avid walker and baker. She grew up in south Texas and now resides in Washington DC, with her husband, two daughters and two dogs.


Ep 31. Suzanne Ehlers, CEO Malala Fund:

Amplifying girls' voices!

The world knows the story of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani education activist, who was shot by the Taliban when she was just 15 years old. Shot, for speaking out on behalf of girls and their right to an education.

Malala Fund is working towards a world where every girl can learn and lead.

Suzanne Ehlers, CEO of the Malala Fund tells us about the work the organisation does to break down barriers that hold girls back, creating change pathways and amplifying girls’ voices. We also talk about our responsibilities as leaders to bring about true equity, diversity and inclusion, and how we can look to re-distribute and re-orient power in our own organisations.

Suzanne also shares her personal leadership journey and why the cause of fighting for equal rights for women and girls is her “true North”.

10 years after Malala’s shooting, the Taliban have once again decreed that girls cannot go to school in Afghanistan. And so, the fight continues.

Recorded May 2022.

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