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Henriette Kolb

Henriette Kolb

Head, IFC Gender Secretariat, International Finance Corporation

Henriette is Head of the Gender Secretariat at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, where she serves as a spokesperson on gender equality issues in the private sector. Henriette works across IFC's investment and advisory service to include women and men as entrepreneurs, employees, consumers, and leaders into the private sector. 

Prior to joining IFC in September 2013, Henriette served as Chief Executive of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. The Foundation works to support women entrepreneurs with building their confidence, capacity, and capital in more than 60 countries, incorporating a strong focus on technology. Henriette has played a leading role in defining and addressing the gender gap in mobile phone access and remains involved with the Foundation as a senior advisor. Henriette also served as a subcommittee member of Secretary Hillary Clinton's International Council on Women's Business Leadership. Devex selected Henriette as one of the "Top 40 under 40" international development leaders in 2011. 

Earlier in her career, Henriette served as the UN Representative advising Quartet Representative Tony Blair in Jerusalem and worked for the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO). She has held positions as governance advisor with the European Commission Delegation to Tanzania, the German Technical Cooperation Agency in Germany, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Tanzania, where she worked on conflict reduction, civic education, and socioeconomic issues in East Africa. 

She graduated with an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and received her MA from Freiburg University, Germany. Henriette is a Bucerius and Hertie summer school alumni and a frequent contributor to Council on Foreign Relations, Huffington Post, and Business Fights Poverty blogs.

  • Gender
  • Private Sector Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Governance
  • Conflict and fragile states