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Organisational Structure

The World YWCA Council is the quadrennial legislative meeting of the World YWCA, which brings together over 600 representatives from over 108 member associations affiliated to the global YWCA movement.

It has primary responsibility for determining the policy, constitution, strategic directions and budgets of the World YWCA. The Council also elects 20 women to the World Board that is representative of all regions and serves as the governing board of the World YWCA.

World YWCA Organisational Structure

World YWCA President 

Deborah Thomas-Austin

Deborah Thomas-Austin joined the YWCA in 1985 as a member of the Board of the Port of Spain Association in Trinidad and Tobago. She served as chairman of the Programme Committee, including responsibility for the Y-Teens. In 1986, Deborah was selected to participate in a YWCA Leadership Training programme in Phoenix Arizona. She also served as First Vice Chairman of the Port of Spain Association.

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World YWCA General Secretary


Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, is Zimbabwean. She is a trained human rights lawyer with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation. For some twenty years, she has been working on issues of women and children's human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries. Active in the women's movement, she has more specifically focused on issues of violence against women, peace with justice, property rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV and AIDS.

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World YWCA Board 2016-2019

  • Deborah Thomas-Austin, President (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Emma Bird, Treasurer (Australia)
  • Haifia Baramki, Vice President (Palestine)
  • Kathryn Ungard, Vice President (Canada)
  • Marissa Chester, Vice President (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Mimi Han, Vice President (Korea)
  • Niveditha Sharat Chandran, Vice President (Aoteara/NewZealand)
  • Andrea Michelle Gradiz Díaz, Vice President (YWCA of Honduras)
World Board Members
  • Angele Koloche Biao (Benin)
  • Caroline Midttun Rostrup (Norway)
  • Jamie Medicine Craine (Canada)
  • Jenna Foster (USA)
  • Johanna Roetman (The Netherlands)
  • Kuena Diaho (Lesotho)
  • Lucy Masiye (Zambia)
  • Melanie Gentner (Germany)
  • Nagham Nassar (Lebanon)
  • Rajini Sureka Wijerupa (Sri Lanka)
  • Silvina Mariel Gerbaldo (Argentina)
  • Valerie Felicia Ho (Taiwan)