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Monique Villa
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.

Monique Villa spent the first part of her career at Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporting from the field. She then led AFP’s business development setting up prestigious international partnerships. Monique later became Managing Director of Reuters Media and Chairman of Action Images. In 2011 she was ranked 43rd in the Ethisphere’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in Business Ethics.

Monique was appointed CEO of Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2008. 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 as 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.

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.

Entries by Monique Villa

10 Takes From Davos

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 6:25 AM

I heard some very inspiring people in Davos this year. Want to share with you my ten takes:

Amira Yahyaoui, Tunisian activist: Women who get to the top often forget the principles of gender parity they'd touted earlier. Some female CEO have scrapped gender parity projects. They...

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If We Can't Measure Slavery, Does It Exist?

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 8:22 AM

CO-authored by Matthew Friedman, CEO Mekong Club

Did you know that more people are being enslaved today that at any given time in history? All the specialists agree, although it is impossible to know the exact number of victims of this horrendous crime.

The Walk Free Foundation estimates there are...

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Want to Boost Women's Careers? Raise Their Expectations

(2) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 1:06 PM

One of the advantages of the digital revolution is its immediacy. You read the news together with the readers' reaction; you flick through pictures understanding how people relate to them. It's a much more enriching experience, because it triggers a debate. So we thought we would bring the same approach...

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Let's Confine Slavery to the History Books

(2) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 11:38 AM

Let's start with the good news. Since my last trip to the Davos mountains, in the past year there has been substantial increase in awareness around one of the world's most horrible crimes: slavery. More investigative reports have been published, more money has been committed to the fight...

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The Truth About Slavery

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 10:39 AM

Have you ever Googled the word 'slavery'? You may be shocked at the results: there are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history: 30 million, 5.5 million of whom are children.

Slavery didn't end in the late 1800s. That's a myth. The truth...

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The Right to Feel Safe

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 2:03 PM

Co-authored by Laura Bates, Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project

Ask a man about his number one priority when it comes to public transport. Most likely, he will say "speed." Ask a woman the same question and chances are that she will answer "safety."

Sexual harassment on public transport is...

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Kailash, the Other Hero

(3) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 12:41 PM


It is thanks to Kailash Satyarthi that thousands of children have been saved from a life of slavery and agony in India. It is thanks to his organization, BBA -- the 'Save the Childhood Movement' -- that these children can regain trust in...

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When Women Take the Lead

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 5:40 AM

Women reinvest 90 percent of what they earn in their families, according to the World Bank. This statistic is global, and of all the thousands of reports on women's economic empowerment, this statistic is, in my opinion, the most powerful one.

Women are the ultimate economic accelerators: when they work,...

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Save the world from your desk

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 11:03 AM


If I told you that lawyers were on the frontlines of the fight against HIV in Africa, would you believe me? And what if I told you that legal professionals around the world are achieving lasting social impact working from their desks?

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Bridging the Gap

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 12:05 PM

There are very few moments in the history of a nation that manage to bring together people from all paths of life to demand radical change. The 2012 Delhi gang rape is certainly one.

It's one of them because of what it meant across Indian society, and because of what...

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Slavery, the Darkest Side of Corruption

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 9:08 AM

Last month I met a man whose life had been entirely shattered by corruption. He had lost everything he had: his family, his friends, his freedom. He had become a slave.

This man was lured to another country, far from home, with the promise of a good-paying...

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Longing for Spring: The Revolution That Betrayed Arab Women

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 11:14 AM

During the past three years, the Middle East has changed faster than anyone could have ever anticipated. When Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia, in December 2010, he couldn't have known his death would trigger extraordinary events that would transform the Arab world.

From the oceanic gatherings on...

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They Walk Among Us - 30 Million People Are Slaves, Half in India

(209) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 5:04 AM

How many slaves work for you? Paradoxically -- in 2013 -- the question is still very relevant, and you might be surprised by the answer. Depending on where you live, what you buy, what your lifestyle is, you have almost certainly been touched by slavery. Almost nobody is clean.

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Put Young Girls at the­ Center of Development

(30) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 11:17 AM

Do you remember your favorite toy as a child? Your first day at school? Your first love? The moment you clearly felt you'd become an adult?

Many young girls will never have any of those memories. As of today, the International Day of the Girl...

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Put Young Girls at the Centre of Development

(65) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 8:00 PM

Do you remember your favorite toy as a child? Your first day at school? Your first love? The moment you clearly felt you'd become an adult?

Many young girls will never have any of those memories. As of today, the International Day of the Girl Child, around 250million of...

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Images for Impact

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 11:46 AM

Imagine the unimaginable. Think for a moment of a world without pictures. Assume that cameras were no more, that humanity had lost the power to document reality with images. Our lives would certainly be poorer, society drastically different, and history, perhaps, set on a very different course.

The truth...

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Save the world from your desk

(1) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 7:18 AM

We have become avid consumers of the most precious commodity: data. We spend 58 minutes a day browsing our mobile phones. We buy from the web, we communicate with texts, we have online 'identities' on social media. And as we consume data, we generate our very own digital footprint: a...

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Change, and I mean it

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 7:43 AM

Everybody seems to be in love with the word 'change'. It's powerful, evocative, and courageous. But I have lost count of the times I've seen this word being abused, to the point that I wonder if society still remembers that 'change' actually entails the idea of transformation: a concept which...

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Reshaping the business of social change

(8) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 9:30 AM

My name is Monique Villa and I run an international, award-winning organization in rapid expansion. My mission is to create value. My motto is global impact.

I am CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the corporate charity of the world's leading source of news and information. I am a...

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Being a woman in a schizophrenic male world

(3) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 12:44 PM

This past week, chatting away at the dinner table, I was asked about one of my favorite books. My answer was swift: 'Il Gattopardo' -"The Leopard"- the masterpiece of Sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

The novel narrates the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Italian Risorgimento,...

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