Katherine Hay is a Distinguished Fellow in Gender Equity and Health, and a Senior Strategy advisor at UCSD. Along with Co-Director Rebecka Lundgren, she leads the Center’s vision and work. Her particular areas of focus are expanding the Center’s policy impact and relevance, and building a Center that places equity and inclusion at the core of work and practice.
Her policy oriented work, includes both analytical and intervention research and evaluation, and focuses on sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, women’s economic empowerment, and gender inequalities. In addition to leading strategy, policy, and partnerships, Hay is leading a $1.5 million grant to the university from the Gates Foundation to focus on gender equity in health and work, and co-leading (with Lotus McDougall) a $4M effort– the Gender Equity and Demographic Research (GENDER) project- a collaborative multi-year project to improve the use of gender data analytics and insights for advancing gender equity and health outcomes in India.
Prior to joining UCSD, Hay was a Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she led work to evaluate large-scale health and gender empowerment programs and co-developed the foundation’s first Gender Equality strategy. Hay also developed and led the Gates Foundation’s Gender & COVID strategy which surfaced critical data on the gender impacts of the pandemic, bringing greater attention (and investment) on gender-informed solutions. Prior to that she spent 12 years with Canada’s International Development Research Centre in New Delhi, where she led efforts to evaluate global health, gender, and economic policies and programs and created new systems and approaches to evaluate equity.
Throughout her career, Katherine has been a consistent voice for gender and equity in policy, research, evaluation, and change. Named one of the world’s most influential people in gender policy by Apolitical, Hay has advised multiple major philanthropies, governments, development banks, and UN and other global and country based agencies on closing equity gaps. She has helped foster new think tanks and institutions on gender and health in Africa and Asia, and established dozens of initiatives and investments resulting in enduring global research collaboratives. She has dozens of peer-reviewed publications, including several in leading medical journals such as the Lancet.
Hay was born in Quebec, Canada and received her Master’s degree in international affairs from Carleton University, Canada. She is married to hotelier Nazir Rah, a native of Kashmir, India. Together they have two teenage children.