Iris Mwanza

Iris will perform onstage at Joe’s Pub for Seriously Entertaining on September 17, 2024.

Iris Mwanza is a Zambian-American author and gender equality advocate. Born and raised in Zambia, early exposure to inequality has been a driving force in her life – from becoming a lawyer, writing a Ph.D. dissertation on women and children’s rights, a career fighting for gender equality, and now a thriller with gender equality as its heart. Iris has spent an inordinate amount of time studying and has law degrees from Cornell University and the University of Zambia, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her day job is Deputy Director of the Women in Leadership team in the Gender Equality Division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and her night job is to write. Her debut novel The Lions’ Den took nine years of nights and weekends to finish. Iris tries to do her part for all creatures great and small and is a proud member of the WWF US Board of Directors.

Purchase this writer’s book via our virtual storefront on, the bookselling platform that supports independent bookstores. A portion of proceeds from all book purchases will go toward helping support SpeakEasy’s nonprofit mission and our literary programs on stage, in schools, and on the road with The SpeakEasy Bookmobile.