Sharmila (Mona) Sinha
Global Executive Director
“I am a passionate social change advocate and investor in women. My vision is a world where women and girls have equal opportunity to thrive and the intersectionality of their lives is not just recognized but celebrated. The mission of Equality Now, to ensure that all women the world over enjoy equal rights under the law, is a vision I hold dearly and know that we must achieve.
In a world that is shifting away from this vision, our work is even more critical to ensure that women and their communities can thrive. I am deeply humbled to lead an extraordinary team to make legal and lived equality a reality.”
Sharmila (Mona) Sinha is a globally recognized advocate for gender equality. She brings over 25 years of experience in strengthening mission-driven organizations to Equality Now. Aligning her passion for social justice and women’s empowerment with her early experience working in the corporate sector, she has enabled over 90 organizations that unlock the economic potential and protect the legal rights of women, girls, and gender non-conforming people.
With her deep understanding of the women’s rights ecosystem and an intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, Mona has led and catalyzed over $1 billion to fund progressive projects, initiatives, and grassroots movements that elevate the economic agency of women and amplify women leaders. All on a global scale. Mona serves on several non-profit boards with a focus on governance, strategy, and sustainability. She is the Board Chair of Women Moving Millions and serves on the Executive Council of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, slated to be built on the Washington Mall within the decade. She is an Advisory Board member of Gucci CHIME and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia University.
Formerly, Mona chaired the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition’s Fund for Women’s Equality and is a trustee emerita (Vice Chair) of her alma mater, Smith College. In 2022, she was awarded the Smith College Medal in recognition of her bold feminist leadership in stewarding a trans-inclusive admissions policy and her critical role in fundraising $486M for the school’s Women for the World campaign.
She has served in various leadership capacities on the Boards of Connected Women Leaders, Apne Aap International, Columbia Global Mental Health Program in partnership with WHO, Breakthrough USA, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy.
As the founder of the Insight Circle Fund, she has facilitated meaningful partnerships and resources to uplift women and center marginalized communities. She also co-founded the Asian Women’s Leadership University to bring the liberal arts education model to women across the region.
Mona is the Executive Producer of the award-winning Netflix documentary Disclosure, which explores the representation of trans people in entertainment and premiered at Sundance in 2020. She is an Executive Producer of What the Constitution Means to Me, which was nominated for Best Play at the 73rd Tony Awards and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2019. She also produced Sell.Buy.Date and My Name is Andrea, which premiered in 2022 at SXSW and the Tribeca Film Festival, respectively.
She’s received wide recognition for her work across sectors to advance equality and empower women leaders. In 2023, she was listed in Forbes 50 Over 50 for her impact as a leading force driving change for a better future. She’s the recipient of the 2023 Horton Award for Excellence in Social Enterprise from Columbia University and CARE USA’s 2021 Impact Award. She was presented the Last Girl Champion Award by Gloria Steinem and Apne Aap in 2017 and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, honoring the accomplishments and service of US citizens in 2015. She has also received awards from Children’s Hope India, Modern High School in Kolkata, Smith College, and Breakthrough USA, and was named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews.
Mona graduated with a BA in Economics (Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Smith College and an MBA in Finance and Marketing (Dean’s List, Beta Gamma Sigma) from Columbia University.
Read the latest from our Global Executive Director:
Reflections of the Past Month
August 8, 2023
The first half of July was filled with joy and celebration as we marked the 20th anniversary of the most influential legal instrument ever created for the advancement of women’s rights in Africa, the Maputo Protocol. Joined by SOAWR Coalition partners and ...
Maputo Protocol/SOAWR celebration
July 11, 2023
The second decade of this century has been extraordinary, and it has only just begun. A pandemic, a global downturn and deep societal rifts have brought into sharp focus the issues that are tearing us apart. The fault line is gender inequality: and its ...
The Interconnectedness of Business and Equality
May 19, 2023
Equality Now’s Global Executive Director, S. Mona Sinha, presented the following remarks on the interconnectedness between business and equality at the Columbia Business School Tamar Center Award Ceremony on March 16. In the 1990s, gender equality ...