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Reeta Roy

President and CEO

A thoughtful leader and an advocate for the world’s most vulnerable, Reeta has worked tirelessly to build a foundation that is collaborative and known for its lasting impact.

Today, the Mastercard Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the world. Its vision is a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Under Reeta’s leadership, the Foundation has focused its work in Africa and committed more than US$2.1 billion to advance education and financial inclusion across the continent. Its programs have improved the lives of more than 26 million people and their families.

A strong believer in listening, Reeta can often be found in the field, working directly with the people the Foundation’s programs serve.

Reeta’s dedication to the work of the Foundation has its roots in her childhood. Growing up in Malaysia, Reeta won a scholarship to complete her education in the United States, an experience that she said helped her develop her capacity to listen and the empathy with which she approaches the Foundation’s work.

Reeta is regularly called upon by the United Nations, the World Bank, USAID, and international agencies to represent the philanthropic sector and contribute to global development strategies.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Reeta was the Divisional Vice President of Global Citizenship and Policy at Abbott and was Vice President of the Abbott Fund, its corporate foundation. She led Abbott’s public-private initiatives related to HIV/AIDS in Africa and a range of global health programs. Before Abbott, Reeta held a number of leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, working on global health policy issues. Prior to joining the private sector, she worked at the United Nations.

Reeta received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

She holds Honorary Doctorate Degrees from EARTH University, McGill University and the University of Toronto. She has received several awards, including the C3 Women Empowerment Achievement Award, The Class of 1947 Memorial Award from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and the Women of Distinction Award from YWCA Toronto. During Reeta’s tenure, the Foundation also has been recognized with a number of awards, including the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education’s Friend of Education Award, the Global Education Award of the World Affairs Council, the Women’s Leadership Award from Opportunity International, and the Global Foundation for Peace Award from International House at Berkeley.

The Walrus Talks Philanthropy

The Problem with Philanthropy

The UN summit on the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals

The Post-2015 Development Agenda

Interview with International Youth Foundation

Skills Training and Education for Youth in Africa