Distinguished Achievement Award

Dr. Reeta Roy, F89, is a thoughtful leader and an advocate for the world’s most vulnerable, Roy has worked tirelessly to build a foundation that is collaborative and known for its lasting impact.

Today, with US $30 billion in assets, the Mastercard Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the world. Its vision is a world where all people have the opportunity to learn and prosper. Under Roy's leadership, the Foundation has focused its work in Africa to advance education and financial inclusion across the continent. Its programs have improved the lives of more than 38 million people and their families.

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

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

Roy 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, Roy 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, Roy 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.

Roy 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, the University of Toronto, KNUST, Queen’s University, American University of Beirut, and Vancouver Island University. She has received several awards, including The Resolution Project’s Champions Circle Award for Supporting Young Leaders, the C3 Women Empowerment Achievement Award, The Class of 1947 Memorial Award from The Fletcher School, and the Women of Distinction Award from YWCA Toronto. During Roy's tenure, the Foundation also has been recognized with a number of awards, including the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education 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.

Photo of Reeta Roy

Dr. Reeta Roy, F89