Reshma Saujani is a leading activist and founder and CEO of Moms First. She is also the founder and former CEO of Girls Who Code. She has spent more than a decade building movements to fight for women and girls’ economic empowerment, working to close the gender gap in the tech sector, and most recently advocating for policies to support moms impacted by the pandemic. Reshma’s newest book Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It’s Different Than You Think) presents a bold plan to address the burnout and inequity harming America’s working women today. She is also the author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect, and her influential TED talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” has more than five million views globally.
Reshma began her career as an attorney and Democratic organizer. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, Reshma visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code. She also served as New York City’s Deputy Public Advocate, where she created innovative partnerships to support DREAMers and promote campaign finance reform, among other initiatives.
In her nine-year tenure as the CEO of Girls Who Code, Reshma grew the organization to one of the largest and most prestigious non-profits in the country. Today, Girls Who Code has taught 300,000 girls through direct in-person computer science education programming, and reached 500 million people worldwide through its New York Times-bestselling book series and award-winning campaigns. In 2019, Girls Who Code was awarded Most Innovative Non-Profit by Fast Company.
In response to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on America’s moms, Reshma launched the Marshall Plan for Moms to advocate for policies that value women’s labor in and out of the home. Reshma has successfully worked with House and Senate leaders to introduce “Marshall Plan for Moms” legislation at the federal level and is continuing to act as an outside agitator to change culture through creative awareness campaigns. In 2023, Marshall Plan for Moms became Moms First, a reflection of the progress made in the last two years and a rallying cry to expand the movement we’re building together.
Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. Her innovative approach to movement building has earned her broad recognition on lists including: Fortune World’s Greatest Leaders; Fortune 40 Under 40; WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year; Forbes Most Powerful Women Changing the World; and Fast Company 100 Most Creative People, among others. She is the winner of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.
Reshma serves on the Board of Overseers for Harvard University and on the Board of Overseers for the International Rescue Committee, which provides aid to refugees and those impacted by humanitarian crises. In addition, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Economic Club of New York, and as an ex-officio Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Reshma lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their sons, Shaan and Sai, and their bulldog, Stanley.