STRATEGIC CAPACITY BUILDING ADVISORY GROUP
Mona Sanders provides strategic guidance and support to nonprofit, philanthropic, public and private sector organizations seeking to plan, deliver, and/or fund innovative, high-impact programs in the education and social sectors.
A former nonprofit executive, who also has experience in the private and public sectors, Mona is an excellent diagnostician and problem solver, with over fifteen years of leadership and capacity-building experience with organizations in the United States and India.
Mona helps organizational leaders and their teams design and implement creative and effective solutions to persistent problems; ensures alignment of their missions, programs and capacity; and assists them in identifying and maximizing opportunities to increase and sustain the impact of their work -- through outcomes-based program design, strategic partnerships, and improved management systems and practices.
With an approach that blends consulting and coaching, Mona helps clients to see their work in new ways and enables them to engage in and navigate the complex work of change and improvement with greater confidence.
Translating ideas into action and making strategic connections between people, programs, and resources are key strengths that she engages to advance clients’ work.
Based in Washington, DC, Mona works with organizations seeking to pursue innovative approaches to addressing social inequality and enabling marginalized individuals -‐ especially girls and women – and communities to realize their full potential.
Mona has worked with nonprofits, public agencies, corporations, and philanthropists on projects focused on genocide prevention, education, girls' rights and child advocacy, mentoring and youth development, civil and human rights, environmental protection, livelihoods development, health, leadership development, and employee engagement
Mona became a consultant in 2008, after a sabbatical in India which deepened her interest in helping support and develop leaders in building effective organizations to meet the needs of marginalized populations.
This sabbatical followed a four-year tenure as Executive Director of Mentors, Inc., a mentoring organization serving disadvantaged public high school students in Washington DC.
At Mentors, she successfully built the organization's operating infrastructure, increased the rigor of its programs and visibility in the community, and more than doubled its funding base.
Prior to joining Mentors, Inc., she served as Director of Policy Development and Special Assistant to the Superintendent of the D.C. Public Schools, where she created a policy office and facilitated multi-sector collaboration around school-based social service delivery.
She has also served as Director of Research and Information Services for the Public Education Network, as Assistant Director of the Southern Education Foundation's Initiative on Higher Education Desegregation, and on the staff at Kronley & Associates, an Atlanta-based consulting and philanthropy advisory service firm focused on education.
Mona is a volunteer mentor, has served on several nonprofit boards, and was a founding member of both the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates and EDActionDC, a grassroots organization dedicated to accelerating public education reform by increasing the participation of progressive citizens in local government. She is also a member of the 2007 class of Leadership Greater Washington.
In 2008, while traveling and working in India, Mona had the opportunity to visit and engage with leaders of school and NGOs working with few resources and against huge odds to address social and economic issues. This experience resulted in an enduring love of India and and an ongoing commitment to working on behalf of poor and marginalized populations there.
Mona holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School, where her studies were focused on human services, labor and education policy; the strategic management of public sector organizations, and business-‐government partnerships.
Areas of professional focus include improving access to quality education; economic and educational empowerment of girls and women; leadership development; and organizational effectiveness.
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