For the last eight years, Hay has been 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 focused on improving gender data, research and evaluation on women’s work and enterprise in Africa and Asia, and scaling women’s collectives. 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.
In addition to supporting strategic planning in Health Sciences, Hay will co-lead with Prof Raj a $1.5 million grant to the university from the Gates Foundation to focus on gender equity in health and the health care workforce. “I’m so excited to be joining the UC San Diego community,” Hay said. “I’ve seen the university’s commitment to gender and social equity research, and how they have doubled down during COVID, with a focus on intersecting vulnerabilities and systematic inequities. The opportunity to work on health and economic policies that matter, in California, Asia, Africa and globally – and make connections across borders and people, is a dream job for me.”
“Katherine has been a critical part of building the gender equality program at the foundation. Leaders across the foundation have benefited from her knowledge of the data and the communities that advance gender equality”, says Gates Foundation Director Josh Lozman. “We are thrilled that Katherine’s wisdom and insights will now benefit the UCSD team. USCD has been a partner to the foundation for 5 years now, doing critical work on gender data and health policy research.”
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, UN and other global agencies on closing equity gaps. She 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, and hundreds 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 and travel professional Nazir Rah, a native of Kashmir, India. Together they have two teenage children.