“Growing up in a close knit community helped me understand the value of connections, networks and partnership – all of which we need for strong leadership to see equality in our country.”
Born and bred in Palmerston North, Vanisa Dhiru is the Commissioner – Communications & Information for the New Zealand National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). From 2017 to 2019 Vanisa was the National President for the National Council of Women New Zealand (NCWNZ).
Her past community involvement has helped her become the only kiwi in the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Global Network. During her working career, she has been in leadership roles within the not for profit sector, including CEO of Volunteering New Zealand, Chair of ComVoices, Executive Director of the 20/20 Trust, and acting General Manager of the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand. For a day job, she is the Community Manager at InternetNZ.
Vanisa’s key achievements include “50 Women of Achievement 2016” Women to watch about progressing gender equality; and she has been an Executive Judge for the NZ Awards panel after being named a finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year in 2010.
She is a government advisory member on a number of groups – the Department of Internal Affair’s He Tohu Board, Statistics NZ’s Data Ventures External Advisory Group, and Inland Revenue’s Diversity and Inclusion Group, Te Manu Korihi.
She is passionate about equality, developing young people and cultural relations.