The Simple Power Of Hand Washing Can Change The World.

Myriam Sidibe - Portrait

Dr. Myriam Assa Sidibe

“Bringing affordable and accessible hygiene and nutrition to families across the world has always been my passion.”

Myriam’s approach to pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo has been pivotal to leading a paradigm shift in the way public private partnerships for health and well-being are managed and funded. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in over 20 countries in Asia and Africa for both public and private sectors, arguing for a more transparent relationship between the two, and advocating the need for businesses to gain growth and profits from engagement in social and health issues in order to build more sustainable, effective interventions.

As one of the world’s leading experts of brands that drive health outcomes through mass behavioural change, during her fifteen-year career at Unilever Myriam spear headed a movement to change the handwashing behaviour of one billion people globally (achieved in 2019).

She also conceived and helped establish the multi-award winning UN recognised Global Handwashing Day –

now celebrated annually in over 100 countries. Her 2014 TED Talk “The Simple Power of Handwashing” has been viewed more than a million times.

Originally from Mali, Myriam is a third culture child that currently lives in Kenya. She holds a doctorate in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Masters in Water and Waste Engineering from Loughborough University, UK. She was trained as an Agricultural and Environmental Engineer from McGill University, Canada, and is currently on sabbatical from Unilever to Harvard Kennedy School where she is senior fellow at the Mossavar Rahmani Centre. Myriam is a Board Member of WaterAid and the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, was a commissioner for the Lancet on the future of health in Africa and an Honorary assistant professor at the London school of hygiene and tropical medicine.


Brands On A Mission

By Myriam Sidibe

Using evidence from interviews and stories from over 100 CEOs, thought leaders and brand managers, Brands on a Mission explores the importance of creating a performance culture that is built on driving impact through purpose, presenting an emergent model that organisations can follow to build purpose into their growth strategy.



The simple power of hand washing as seen on:

Justin Apsey MD East Africa and Betty Mwangi  join Myriam at the Heroes for Change event, Nairobi, 2017

Connect with Myriam Sidibe


Connect With Myriam