President, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)


As the President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Dr. Sarah Degnan Kambou leads a global research institute that focuses on realizing women’s empowerment and gender equality to alleviate poverty worldwide. Her expertise centers on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS and adolescent health and livelihoods.  Dr. Degnan Kambou has served as a technical advisor to multilaterals, leading corporations and governments seeking to integrate gender into policies, programs and services that will advance the status of women and girls around the world.

Dr. Degnan Kambou is a development practitioner, who believes that research is in and of itself a parallel process of social change. Under her leadership, platforms such as ICRW’s Site for Intensive Learning and Action in Mumbai, India, leverage research as a means to foster local ownership, harness local capacity, and ultimately reposition women and youth in community development efforts.

In 2010, Dr. Degnan Kambou was appointed by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to represent ICRW on the U.S. Commission to UNESCO. She was honored in 2010 with Boston University's School of Public Health's Distinguished Alumni Award for her contributions to the field of public health, and in 2011 as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influential and inspiring women.

As a development professional, Dr. Degnan Kambou has worked for more than 27 years in Asia, Eastern Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. For more than a decade, Dr. Degnan Kambou lived in sub-Saharan Africa, managing signature programs for CARE.  Through her work, she focused on addressing social and economic vulnerability of marginalized populations, strengthening civil society in post-conflict settings and participatory development of underserved urban and rural communities. Prior to her work in Africa, Degnan Kambou managed the Center for International Health, which she co-founded in 1987, at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Dr. Degnan Kambou lives in Maryland with her husband, a senior economist at the World Bank.  They have two children, aged 18 and 21.