- Age: 31
- | She/her/hers
Country of Origin:
Country of Residence:
We must support young people in finding and cultivating their power, wielding it to create change in the lives of girls and women, and encouraging leadership that enables us to reach for the stars and uplift our communities.
- Donya Nasser
Donya is a passionate advocate for youth empowerment, gender equality, and racial equity. For over a decade, she has worked diligently to ensure the rights of young people, women, and marginalized communities to reproductive health services, leadership representation, and intentional engagement. Donya served as the first Iranian-American U.S. Youth Observer to the UN, and is currently serving as a Board Director for the Global Fund for Women and a member of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Board of Directors. In this capacity, she has worked to ensure that youth and people of color are being represented, included, and meaningfully engaged. She is also a Board Trustee of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, an important entity that oversees sexual and reproductive health programs for over 200 million people globally. Donya is a Gates Foundation 120 Under 40 Family Planning Leader, Women Deliver Young Leader, Glamour Magazine Top 10 College Woman, and L’Oreal Woman of Worth. She graduated Summa Cum Laude as a Harry S. Truman Scholar, and went on to receive a Fulbright Grant to Tajikistan. She is a 2021 recipient of the Stanford Knight-Hennessy Scholarship and is pursuing an MS in Health Policy.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
The moment when I was old enough to understand my mother’s story of being powerless in her environment, body, and life was the moment I was inspired to fight for gender equality and reproductive justice. Her story and my own struggles as a young woman continue to spark my passion.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
Attending the G7’s Youth Summit as the US Delegate on Gender Inequalities in Paris. In our communique negotiations, I fought for and secured language on SRHR and services, utilizing a feminist approach to domestic and foreign policy, and the early comprehensive sexual education of girls and boys.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
High-intensity interval training and weight lifting, dancing to Persian music, cooking new recipes, and traveling the world.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Farsi (Advanced/Native)
- Spanish (Elementary)
- abortion rights
- youth empowerment
- DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion)
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Knight Hennessy Scholar (2021)
- Glamour Magazine Top 10 College Women (2014)
- Harry S. Truman Scholarship (2014)
- Gates Foundation 120 under 40 (2019)
- Fulbright Research Award Grantee (2019)