S. Mona Sinha
Mona Sinha is an advocate for gender equality in business and society. She has parlayed a career in finance (Morgan Stanley), marketing (Unilever) and restructuring (Elizabeth Arden/Unilever) to work at the intersection of social justice and women’s leadership. Mona uses business tools to build organizational capacities for sustainability that unlock the economic potential of women/girls across different sectors. She has been described as having a muscle for finance and a passion for justice.
She is co-founder of Raising Change, which addresses the funding gap in mission-driven organizations for social change. She also founded the Asian Women’s Leadership University, to bring liberal arts pedagogy to train future women leaders.
She is currently the Board Chair of Women Moving Millions, a community of women who fund big and bold ($1 million+) to create a gender equal world. She serves as Executive Producer of Disclosure, a documentary film on the representation of trans peoples, which premiered at Sundance in January 2020. She is a member of the ERA Coalition which seeks to include a constitutional amendment of equality on the basis of sex. It was adopted in the US House of Representatives in February 2020 and awaits Senate ratification.
Mona serves on several non-profit boards. Breakthrough USA, that uses media and popular culture to shift prevalent norms of violence against women, and the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. She is on the Advisory boards of Apne Aap International that works to end sex trafficking, the Museum of Natural History which among many educational efforts, sponsors science education for inner city girls, and Columbia Business School Tamer Center Social Enterprise Program that pioneered the concept of connecting business leaders to purpose beyond profits. She also works with Women Creating Change at Columbia University supporting the dissemination of diverse voices in teaching and pedagogy, and Columbia Global Mental Health program that aims to destigmatize mental health through research and global collaboration. She is a trustee emerita of Smith College, where she led a Trans inclusive admissions policy and was Co-Chair of the Women for the World campaign that raised $486 million to support women’s education.
Mona is a financial investor in women-led businesses and mentors several hundred young people. She has a BA in Economics and Art History (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Smith College and an MBA in Finance and Marketing (Beta Gamma Sigma) from Columbia University. She is a published contributor to “What I Told my Daughter – Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women” edited by Nina Tassler & Cynthia Middleton.
This April, Columbia Business School will recognize Mona with the Horton Award for Excellence in Social Enterprise. Women’s eNews is naming her one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. In 2019, Breakthrough honored Mona with a Lifetime Inspiration award. She received the 2018 Exemplary Leadership in Development award from Smith College. In 2017, Mona was awarded The Last Girl Champion award by Gloria Steinem on behalf of Apne Aap. In 2015, she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is presented annually to US citizens whose accomplishments in their field and service to the world are cause for celebration.