Reeta Roy is President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation—one of the largest private foundations in the world, with approximately $40 billion in assets. Its vision is a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.
A thoughtful leader who is deeply committed to equity and inclusion, Reeta has worked tirelessly to build a foundation that is collaborative and known for bold action and transformative impact.
Under Reeta’s leadership, the Foundation has focused its work on Africa since 2009; committed to a goal of ensuring 75% of its partners are African organizations; and based the majority of the Foundation’s operations, staff, and leadership, including Reeta herself, in Africa. To date, the Foundation has committed/deployed more than US$ 5.7 billion through financial inclusion, education, and youth livelihood programs—and as part of their pandemic response. This includes a $1.3 billion investment under the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, which is enabling nearly 40,000 talented but economically disadvantaged young leaders to pursue and complete their secondary and/or higher education. It also includes the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative—a historic $1.3 billion partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to roll out vaccination across Africa and safeguard the continent’s long-term health security, which has inspired others to redouble their efforts to bridge inequities in vaccine access for Africa.
Today, the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which was launched in 2018, has set a goal of enabling 30 million young people, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.
A strong believer in listening, Reeta can often be found working directly with those the Foundation’s programs serve—young people and future leaders.
Reeta’s childhood growing up in Malaysia helped her to develop her capacity to listen and the empathy with which she approaches the Foundation’s work. Reeta was a beneficiary of scholarships that allowed her to complete her education and mentors continue to support her growth as a leader.
Reeta is a member of the African Transformation Leadership Panel and is regularly called upon by the United Nations, regional bodies in Africa such as the African Center for Economic Transformation, and global funders to advocate for solutions for youth employment. Reeta has represented these ideas on numerous stages, including at the African Transformation Forum, the Council of Foreign Relations, the United Nations, and the World Bank.
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, 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 seven Honorary Doctorate degrees and has received several awards and recognitions.