CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monique Villa is a journalist, a business leader, and a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment. She was appointed CEO of Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2008. She has since transformed the organization into a global corporate foundation, leveraging the skills, expertise, and values of Thomson Reuters to run groundbreaking programs which trigger change and empower people across the world.
With the strong belief that philanthropy and business must go together, Monique accelerated the Foundation’s expansion by launching several new initiatives around the world.
In July 2010 she created TrustLaw Connect, a groundbreaking market place to connect prestigious law firms willing to work at no cost with NGOs and social enterprises in need of legal assistance.
Under the leadership of Monique Villa, the Thomson Reuters Foundation created Aswat Masriya, an independent and unbiased Arabic news website set up to ensure fair and unbiased reporting of the Egyptian elections which followed the Arab Spring. Today, Aswat Masriya is an authoritative mainstream source of information across Egypt and has expanded its coverage into business news.
In 2012 Monique launched the Trust Women Conference. The event gathered in London over 350 delegates from all over the world to tackle issues such as human trafficking, slavery, child and forced marriage, FGM (female genital mutilation) and the Arab Spring. The conference generated concrete commitments to put the rule of law behind women’s rights.
Leveraging the journalism skills of Thomson Reuters, Monique and her team developed and launched a number of innovative polls, which put human rights at the heart of the news agenda. The Foundation’s latest poll, The Best and the Worst G20 Countries to be a Woman, reached over 3 million people through Twitter. Through its media development service, TrustMedia, the Thomson Reuters Foundation trained over 11,000 journalists worldwide, enhancing professional standards across more than 170 countries.
Under Villa, the fast growing Foundation’s editorial team made front-page headlines by covering the world’s underreported stories, putting the emphasis on humanitarian relief, climate change, corruption, women’s rights and social innovation. AlertNet was rewarded with the Voice of Courage Award from the Women’s Refugee Commission as well as the prestigious EPPY Awards from Editor and Publisher in 2011.
In 2011 Monique Villa was ranked 43 of the world’s 100 most influential people in Business Ethics by the think tank Ethisphere. Prior to joining the Foundation, Monique was Managing Director of Reuters Media and Chairman of Action Images.
A French national, Monique spent the first part of her career at Agence France-Presse (AFP) where she held a number of senior journalistic and management positions. She reported for a number of years from Paris, Rome and London where she was bureau chief from 1991 to 1996. She then became Director of Strategy and Business Development at AFP headquarters in Paris, with responsibility for the agency’s major partnerships worldwide.
Monique has two sons. She studied Law and Political Science and has a Diploma from the Paris Centre de Formation Des Journalistes. She lives in London.