Zainab Salbi (b. 1969)
Founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian organization that helps women survivors of war to rebuild their lives by distributing grants and microloans. Salbi grew up in Iraq, where her father was Saddam Hussein’s personal pilot. She was sent to the United States for an arranged marriage at age 19. This marriage did not last, however, and Salbi started a new life, eventually graduating from George Mason University and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her humanitarian work led to honors from the Clinton White House in 1995 and the Conrad N. Hilton Prize in 2005. She is the author of Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund, 2005) and The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope (2006).