S. Mona Sinha ’93

S. 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 to address 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 is also the board chair of the ERA Coalition Fund for Women’s Equality, which seeks to codify the 28th constitutional amendment of equal rights on the basis of sex. She is an executive producer of Disclosure, a documentary film on the representation of trans peoples, which premiered at Sundance in January 2020 and was released on Netflix during Pride month in June 2020.

Mona serves on several nonprofit boards including Breakthrough USA, which 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 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’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, which 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 the Columbia Global Mental Health program, which aims to destigmatize mental health through research and global collaboration. She is a trustee emerita of Smith College, where she was vice chair of the board of trustees and co-led the $486 million Women for the World capital campaign, the largest to-date for 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 Business School. 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 and Cynthia Middleton. Her story is featured in She is Me, by Lori Sokol.

In April 2021, 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.