A confident woman in a blue blazer and colorful necklace standing with crossed arms.

Francesca Uriri

About me

My name is Francesca Uriri, and I’m a social entrepreneur. I’m from Nigeria, but I currently live and work in Dallas, Texas. I have over 17 years of experience leading global communications and content strategies, with a focus on tech companies and non-profit organizations. I believe that, in order to be impactful, brand communications should tell a story, evoke emotions and engage a wide audience. I’m currently in charge of leading global communications for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Product Equity at Meta.

I’m passionate about social causes and a fierce advocate for gender and racial diversity and inclusiveness. My vision is to see a just world where African women and girls have equal opportunities and access to live more meaningful and impactful lives without systemic, cultural, religious and political barriers impeding their progress.

shapeFrancesca Uriri
case2Master’s student
mapPointNigeria / USA
studentExecutive Master In International Development
Abstract image showcasing streaks of vibrant colors blending over a dark background.

"I have a renewed sense of sustainable development and human rights that will now define a lot of what I do."

Francesca Uriri

Leading by example: a tech executive’s journey into global advocacy

Francesca Uriri is not your typical master’s student. With already 17 years of experience in the private sector under her belt, her career journey so far has been impressive. She has held leadership positions in communications, working for tech industry giants such as Uber and Meta, and founded the non-profit organization Leading Ladies Africa, a women-led, women-focused community organization and non-profit which promotes the inclusion of African women in leadership positions. Not yet satisfied with everything she has already accomplished, Francesca has chosen to pursue the Executive Master in International Development at IE University—an experience she says has made a tremendous impact on her life.

Francesca's decision to enroll at IE University was influenced by recommendations from her personal network. "I have a few close friends and acquaintances who have graduated from various master’s programs at IE University, and they've all had excellent things to say about their experience," she says. However, what drew her the most to this program was its curriculum, designed in collaboration with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC). “It means that we're gaining an in-depth and clear understanding of both the UN system and international and global affairs,” she explains.

The Executive Master in International Development has equipped Francesca with a robust skill set applicable to the real world. The program has provided her with a solid foundation in the United Nations system and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework. Moreover, she has learned about the importance of policy coherence in achieving the SDGs in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She applies the knowledge she has gained on a daily basis, as it allows her to carry out her work in communications and advocacy with human rights and sustainable development in mind.

Francesca highlights several courses that have been particularly impactful. The Results-Focused Programming course, for example, has given her the tools to design and implement programs with measurable impact. Additionally, modules on Change Management, Adaptive Leadership and Behavioral Sciences have offered her valuable perspectives on global development and international affairs.

For Francesca, one of the most exciting parts of her experience is getting to work and study with people from all over the world. “This class is a true representation of the United Nations,” she quips. Coming from a career in the private sector, Francesca appreciates the opportunity to gain insights from individuals involved in academia, government, international affairs and public policy. Over the course of the year, she has developed friendships and built networks with people she may not have otherwise met, which has been invaluable in shaping her understanding of global challenges.

While Francesca is dedicated to her career goals, she also finds time to travel, relishing the opportunity to discover new things, people, places and ideas. What’s more, her considerable talents extend to writing: she’s published several non-fiction and fiction pieces on both local and international media platforms. She hopes one day to publish an anthology of poetry, a collection of short stories and a memoir.

Looking ahead, Francesca is eager to leverage her newfound knowledge and experience to make a positive impact. Her ultimate goal is to transition from the private sector to a career in international development and global affairs. “There's definitely a lot to look forward to,” she affirms.

Francesca’s advice for people interested in pursuing the Executive Master in International Development is to go for it: “Will it stretch you? Yes. Will it challenge you? Yes. But will it also open up your mind to new possibilities? Absolutely, yes!”