Reshma Saujani is an American lawyer and politician. She was born in Illinois and went to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for majors in Political Science and Speech Communication. She attended John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Yale Law School for a Juris Doctor Degree.
Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization that inspires, educates, and equips young women with the computing skills. The organization’s mission is to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does. With Saujani’s brilliant leadership, Girls Who Code have received much recognition in North America and the whole world. Girls Who Code will have reached over 185,000 girls across all 50 states, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In 2019, Girls Who Code was awarded Most Innovative Non-Profit by Fast Company.
The origin of Saujani’s decision to found Girls Who Code began with her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she was the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, Saujani was aware of the gender gap in computing classes when she was visiting teaching facilities. This realization inspired Saujani to start Girls Who Code. Her work on behalf of young women 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.
Besides Girls Who Code, Saujani os also involved in many humanity organizations including the Board of Overseers for the International Rescue Committee, which provides aid to refugees and those impacted by humanitarian crises. In addition, she serves as an ex-officio Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Not only did she inspire young women to acquire knowledge in the field of computer sciences, Saujani is also an influencer on a broad range of topics with her speeches and publications. Saujani has addressed a wide range of audiences: Fortune 500 companies and leading tech companies, universities and educational groups, international trade associations and beyond. Some of her most well-known topics include Fail First, Fail Hard & Fail Fast, closing the gender gap in tech, women & leadership, democracy, advocacy, gender, youth, and technology. In 2016, her viral TED Talk, “Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection” resonated worldwide. Saujani’s international bestselling book, award winning podcast, and weekly newsletter are taking the Brave, Not Perfect movement to the next level, building a powerful community of women and allies finding joy through bravery.
Saujani lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and their bulldog, Stanley.