Vanisa Dhiru

President, New Zealand Council of Women

Born and bred in Palmerston North, Vanisa has an extensive background within the NGO and voluntary sector. During her career she has been in Chief Executive roles including CEO of Volunteering New Zealand, and Executive Director of the 20/20 Trust (focusing on supporting digital inclusion for all New Zealanders). She has held governance roles with groups including the National Council of Women New Zealand, Inspiring Stories, the YWCA and Trade Aid. Her wide community involvement has secured her a place in the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Global Network, and she is the only New Zealander in the network.

Vanisa currently holds commissioner roles with the NZ National Commission of UNESCO and the Library & Information Advisory Commission. Based in Wellington, she is currently appointed to the Department of Internal Affairs He Tohu Board, Lottery Wellington-Wairarapa Community Committee, the Spark Foundation and Victoria University’s Wellington School of Business & Government Advisory Board.

She has been a member of past advisory groups/panels for the Ministry of Social Development, Inland Revenue, Office of Ethnic Communities and the Ministry for Women.

In 2019 Vanisa was appointed as a Te Aho Tāmaka leader by the Manawatū regional economic development agency.

Today, she works leading grants, sponsorship and stakeholder relations for a national charity in the digital sector.

She is passionate about equality, cultural relations, and youth leadership development.