Kirsten Gagnaire is a social entrepreneurship and innovation pioneer with more than 20 years of proven experience in global health concept-to-execution program leadership, specifically in cross-sector partnership with global health, digital development, and gender issues.Full bio
Role at FSG
Kirsten leads the Global Health and Digital Development work at FSG, bringing her experience with global multi-sector organizations including large bilateral governments, corporate, United Nations, and grassroots stakeholders. As a champion for the use of technology for social impact, she brings a depth of understanding of the use of digital tools to advance programmatic effectiveness and connect with the hardest to reach populations.
Most recently, Kirsten was the executive director of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), a public private partnership housed at the UN Foundation, focused on using mobile phones to get vital health information into the hands of women. This work reached over 8 million of the hardest to reach women in India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and South Africa and remains the most highly scaled mobile development project globally. Prior to this work, Kirsten was the Ghana country director for the Grameen Foundation and led the initial implementation of the MOTECH work, connecting pregnant mothers and community health care workers with health-related information and automated medical data. She was also the founder of the Social Enterprise Group, a thought leader and pioneer in the social innovation and entrepreneurship space for nearly 10 years. Earlier in her career, Kirsten was the director of strategic planning for the Casey Family Programs and was a public health and child welfare systems consultant at KPMG Peat Marwick.
Kirsten has lived in Ghana and Mali and has traveled extensively across Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia to gain a better understanding of the issues impacting both rural and urban poverty across low- and middle-income countries. She has a specific focus on how gender plays a role in these issues. Kirsten has always sought to apply cross-sector partnerships and tools to finding solutions to tough social issues. As an experienced champion for the use of technology for social impact and global health, Kirsten brings a depth of understanding of the use of digital tools to advance programmatic effectiveness and connect with the hardest to reach populations. She is a Washington State Advisory Committee member of the US Global Leadership Coalition, a board member of PATH’s Opal Initiative focused on digital health, and an advisory board member of Working Mothers Evolution. Kirsten frequently speaks, writes, and advises on topics related to global health innovation with a focus on cross-sector partnerships, digital technology, and gender.
- Bachelors in International Business, Seattle University
- Global Social Business Incubator, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Santa Clara University
- Washington State Advisory Committee Member, US Global Leadership Coalition
- Board Member, PATH’s Opal Initiative focused on digital health
- Advisory Board Member, Working Mothers Evolution
On working at FSG
“I have always been deeply interested in highly leveraged, systemic change to make social impact more effective and efficient. I am delighted to bring my expertise to FSG where the deep history of shared value and collective impact work aligns perfectly with the digital development experience and understanding of the on-the-ground perspective I have of low- and middle-income health systems. The opportunity to bring together cross-sector stakeholders at all levels—from the most hard to reach families and communities to global corporations, host country governments, and bilateral actors—to create impactful change is one that FSG is uniquely situated to realize and I’m excited to be a part of this great work.”