Director of Innovation and Influencing
Global Fund for Children
Vanessa Stevens is passionate about sparking collaborations that strengthen trust, learning, and equity in philanthropy, civil society, and communities. As the Director of Innovation and Influencing at Global Fund for Children (GFC), Vanessa enjoys creating influencing strategies and collaborative learning spaces with youth leaders, local partners, and sector peers. Prior to GFC, she designed capacity development initiatives with social entrepreneurs and NGOs with Impact Hub in Malaysia and CIVICUS in Argentina. Vanessa began her career with AmeriCorps VISTA at the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, growing into roles focused on resource development, program management, and advocacy for immigrant rights. In Alabama, Vanessa realized the power of wellbeing at work and for social change, especially in an organization working with survivors of violence and with community members facing multiple sources of oppression. She organized a committee of team members to find affordable ways to strengthen wellbeing, from celebrating work anniversaries to a yoga class. She later nurtured this passion through a fellowship with Impact Hub Kuala Lumpur where she learned about The Wellbeing Project.
Vanessa is excited to continue to foster spaces for wellbeing with GFC’s team and community of global partners. Vanessa received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies and her master’s degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. She enjoys life most when she can be in nature, feel like a kid on her bike, explore somewhere new (whether near or far from home), cook a delicious meal while listening to a podcast, and do special things that show her love for friends and family.