Independent Sector to Honor Global Health Corps’ Diana Nambatya Nsubuga with American Express NGen Leadership Award

Diana Nambatya Nsubuga receives the award as an emerging leader under 40 who has already demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs

(WASHINGTON, July 14, 2016) – Independent Sector announces that it will be honoring Diana Nambatya Nsubuga, Ph.D., Uganda country manager at Global Health Corps (GHC), with the 2016 American Express NGen Leadership Award.

Nambatya Nsubuga is receiving the award as an emerging leader under 40 who has already demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs. She leads the Global Health Corps operation in Uganda by recruiting, training, and supporting leaders to implement family planning programs and reproductive health services.

“Diana is a shining example of the power that good leadership has in making a real difference in people’s lives,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “Her ability to develop and advance a network and use advocacy ensures that her work makes an impact that will be felt beyond her immediate programs and throughout generations.”

Through her work with GHC, Nambatya Nsubuga directly fosters and supports the leadership development of young Ugandan and American health advocates. For example, she has mobilized men, women, and young people to take advantage of cost-effective technologies such as Kangaroo Mother Care, otherwise known as skin-to-skin care where a newborn is immediately held against the mother’s skin. The technique has been shown to prevent hypothermia especially in premature infants. Through her advocacy work and information sessions, she was also able to ensure that women in her community are now about six times more likely to use skilled attendance – trained health professionals – when giving birth, leading to healthier pregnancies and reduced maternal deaths.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Nambatya Nsubuga and her husband Fred Nsubuga, own a farm where she includes reproductive health education and family planning services as part of the training for men, women, and young people who participate in agriculture and health skills building sessions. Members of her community have also replicated her farming methods generating extra income for their families and leading to better nutrition, increased food security, and overall better health outcomes.

“Diana’s ability to create change at a personal and systems level is a mark of a true leader,” said Paul Schmitz, senior advisor to the Collective Impact Forum, IS board member, and chair of the American Express NGen Leadership Award Selection Committee. “She is both having a direct impact on families in her community and changing policies and practices across her country and continent to improve the health of women and families. We are honored to recognize her example.”

“We are proud to continue recognizing charitable leaders like Diana through the American Express NGen Leadership Award,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation and IS board member. “Through her drive, intellect, and genuine care for others, Diana has had a powerful impact on her community and stands as a strong example of the type of emerging leader we are committed to supporting.”

Nambatya Nsubuga holds a doctorate in public health from Atlantic I. University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Makerere University in Uganda. She also has a post graduate diploma in project planning and management from the Uganda Management Institute.

Nambatya Nsubuga will be presented with the American Express NGen Leadership Award during the Leadership Award Luncheon at the Independent Sector Conference in Washington, DC on November 18.

Nsubuga was selected from a panel of five distinguished finalists including:

  • Scott Beale, Founder and CEO of Atlas Corps
  • Steve Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition
  • Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • Trista Harris, President and CEO, Minnesota Council on Foundations

Created in 2010, the American Express NGen Leadership Award raises the national profile and visibility of diverse leaders across the nonprofit and philanthropic community. Applications for the award were evaluated by a selection committee of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. The finalists submitted answers to essay questions and participated in a Twitter Town Hall to share their views on leadership, impact, and the opportunities and challenges within the sector. American Express is also the lead sponsor of the American Express NGen Fellows Program, which contributes to the development of emerging nonprofit leaders through their Foundation’s philanthropic giving initiative committed to leadership.


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About American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow

One of American Express’ three philanthropic platforms is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and social purpose sectors, American Express makes grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. More than 16,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefited from American Express leadership programs, including the American Express Leadership Academy among others. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector by bringing together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations. For leadership journey stories and additional resources, visit

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: Health and Human Services, Leadership Development, Upswell