Women Deliver Announces Kathleen Sherwin as New Chief Operating Officer & Other Key Staffing Updates – Women Deliver

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Women Deliver Announces Kathleen Sherwin as New Chief Operating Officer & Other Key Staffing Updates

Women Deliver Announces Kathleen Sherwin as New Chief Operating Officer & Other Key Staffing Updates

New York, NY, 9 July – Women Deliver announced that effective July 1, following a successful Women Deliver 2019 Conference (WD2019), the promotion of Kathleen Sherwin to Chief Operating Officer. Also announced was the transition of Katherine Holland, outgoing Chief Operating Officer, retirement of Senior Advisor, Louise Dunn, and the transition of Lori Adelman, Director, Youth Engagement.

Kathleen Sherwin, Chief Operating Officer
Kathleen will serve as Chief Operating Officer at Women Deliver overseeing strategy and the day to day management of the organization reporting to Katja Iversen, President and CEO. The Communications, Youth Engagement, Conference, and Finance & Administration teams will report into the Chief Operating Officer role.

While there are many priorities for Kathleen in her new position – some of the key highlights will include 1) leading the next five-year strategic plan, 2) planning for the Women Deliver 2022 Conference, 3) ensuring effective integration and alignment across the organization, 4) managing Women Deliver’s growth and scale, and 5) ensuring a culture that is diverse and continues to attract and retain amazing talent.

“Women Deliver is very lucky to get someone in this important #2 role who already knows the organization inside and out, and who is a passionate gender equality advocate and a super professional within our field,” says Katja Iversen, Women Deliver President/CEO. “Kathleen Sherwin will help the organization sustain our growth, increase our impact, and put us on a good path for the future.”

Kathleen has been with Women Deliver for the past two years, first as a consultant and most recently as Senior Advisor. Kathleen provided overall strategic support to the COO, President/CEO and Coordination Team specializing in strategic planning, growth and scale planning, talent, and organizational development, including overseeing the plenary and protocol program for WD2019.

Kathleen brings 20 years of experience helping to scale and manage high growth organizations and start-ups. Before joining Women Deliver, Kathleen worked independently with advocacy, nonprofit, and political organizations serving as advisor to such organizations as The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Acumen, Corkery Group, and Global Health Strategies. Prior to her consulting career, Kathleen held several senior management roles at Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) serving as Advisor to the President (Cecile Richards), and at Binnacle Capital, a large US-based family office, leading both financial and philanthropic ventures. Kathleen began her career in US presidential politics. Kathleen received her MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.

Katherine (Katie) Holland, outgoing Chief Operating Officer (transition)
After more than three years of guiding the organization through an unprecedented period of growth and transformation, Women Deliver will be saying goodbye to its first COO, Katie Holland. Katie’s tenure spanned the 2016 and 2019 Women Deliver Conferences. During her time at Women Deliver, the team and programs expanded severely, systems were made more powerful and flexible, and the organization’s advocacy for girls and women grew in impact and reach. After a well-deserved summer break, Katie will begin a new adventure as Executive Director of Perkins International, leading a network of partners across 67 countries providing services, resources, training and advocacy to improve the lives of the 4.5 million children around the world without access to education due to blindness.

Louise Dunn, Senior Advisor (retiring)
Louise joined Women Deliver in 2009 as Director of Finance and Administration. In 2011, she was appointed Vice President of Operations and worked behind the scenes to help the organization gain solid footing as a leading advocacy organization. Retiring in 2014, she returned to Women Deliver on a part-time basis, largely to help with the 2016 and 2019 Women Deliver Conferences. She is officially retiring again and plans to spend her time kayaking and traveling.

Lori Adelman, Director, Youth Engagement (transition)
As Director of Youth Engagement, Lori is proud to have worked alongside many amazing colleagues to boost the impact of hundreds of young gender equality and SRHR advocates worldwide by building a diverse and dedicated youth engagement team and growing the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program exponentially in budget, size, and scope. Lori also led in laying out a vision for the powerful future of meaningful youth engagement in a new and groundbreaking youth position paper. In the next phase of her career, Lori will explore more writing opportunities including through contributing to a book about feminism to be published in 2020, and to tackle new and different kinds of challenges and opportunities in media, feminist advocacy, and leadership/management.

Tamara Windau-Melmer, the Senior Manager of Youth Engagement, will continue to manage the daily operations of the growing Youth Engagement program. Tamara has been with Women Deliver for the past four years and her steady hands have been key to the day to day management and in building the strong program the organization has today. Tamara will also have the guidance of Chief Operating Officer, Kathleen Sherwin, who will help support the continued growth of the team including as they think about new leadership.

Women Deliver is looking forward to this next chapter for the organization, as it builds upon the momentum created at the WD2019 Conference, embarks on a new 5-year strategic planning process, and continues to change the world for girls and women.


About Women Deliver: Women Deliver is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. Our advocacy drives investment – political and financial – in the lives of girls and women worldwide. We harness evidence and unite diverse voices to spark commitment to gender equality. And we get results. Anchored in sexual and reproductive health, we advocate for the rights of girls and women across every aspect of their lives. We know that investing in girls and women will deliver progress for all. And every three years, we galvanize momentum at the global Women Deliver Conference – our signature event. It’s a bold and diverse gathering, a fueling station of ideas, and generator of action, convening thousands of decision-makers from civil society, governments, the private sector, and international agencies alongside advocates, activists, and journalists to identify solutions and drive change for girls and women.