Ruth Dearnley

Social change starts with influence - and everyone's got it!

Ruth Dearnley

Not-for-profit CEO & Social change strategist

About Me

Ruth is a social change strategist and the Founder and Managing Director of Influence Global – a collaborative social change consultancy, supporting the for-purpose sector internationally. She is also CEO of Birth for Humankind – a Victorian-based organisation providing and advocating for free, equitable maternal health support to women experiencing disadvantage during pregnancy, birth and early parenting.

With academic qualification in social anthropology, she is passionate about understanding how change happens. As a communicator and public advocate she has specialised in finding ways to communicate complex policy into informative educational resources that build public awareness and inspire action. She has built and implemented robust frameworks for measuring advocacy and influence, increasing public participation in social justice issues by helping organisations address the ‘values-action gap’, and improving organisational efficiency and effectiveness.

Ruth is a meditation teacher and supports organisations to integrate meditation and mindfulness practices into professional leadership development and organisational culture.

Ruth has held senior leadership, advocacy and communications roles in INGOs, NFPs and business associations across the UK, Australia and southern Africa – specialising in labour exploitation; child rights, and international and community health. Before founding Influence Global, she led World Vision Australia’s public advocacy department.

She is Chair of Be Slavery Free (formerly known as Stop The Traffik Australia), and a member of Melbourne Women’s Fund and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


- MA Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation, University of Sussex, UK
- BA (Hons) Geography and Sociology, Keele University, UK
- Advanced Not-for-Profit Governance, Australian Institute of Company Directors

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