Gwen Young

Advisory Council Member
A lawyer and public policy expert by training, Gwen Young currently serves as the Director of the Wilson Center’s Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and Women in Public Service Project.

She has more than 25 years of experience in international public service with some of the world’s most well-known impact organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Medecins Sans Frontieres, International Rescue Committee, Africare and the Harvard Institute for International Development.
Throughout her career, Gwen has advocated for and published on the role girls and women play in political, social and economic development. She has trained women in advocacy skills, how to build a network, and management skills. She has also lived and worked “on the ground” in Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Angola with private sector and public service actors on issues of women’s entrepreneurship including tools to ensure access to finance.
Gwen has also worked as a professional advocate for women and human rights in corporate law settings, with the ICTY and the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. She also provided humanitarian law and advocacy training and developed guidelines to deal with sexual and gender based violence and exploitation in conflict ridden zones.
Gwen is an alumna of Smith College, Harvard, Kennedy School of Government and the University of California Davis, Martin Luther King Jr School of Law.  She has dedicated her career to humanitarian relief, international development, and human rights.