Reshma Saujani was born in Illinois. She is of Gujarati Indian descent. Saujani's parents immigrated from Uganda in the early 1970s and settled in Chicago. Saujani attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she graduated in 1997 with majors in Political Science and Speech Communication. She attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she received a Master of Public Policy in 1999, and Yale Law School, where she received her Juris Doctor in 2002.
Saujani served as the Deputy Public Advocate at the Office of the New York City Public Advocate. Saujani lost the 2010 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 14th congressional district . Her bid to run for Congress was the first for an Indian-American woman and a first for a South Asian American woman as well.
In 2012, Saujani founded Girls Who Code to stoke excitement for computer science among high-school women. She aims to enroll one million women in the program by 2020 -- and tech has stepped in to help: Google and Twitter are backers, and engineers at Facebook, Goldman Sachs, AT&T and others have signed on as mentors.
Reshma Saujani is also the author of the groundbreaking new book, Women Who Don’t Wait In Line, in which she advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally. She’s been named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40, a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, CNBC’s Next List, Forbes’s Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, Crain’s New York 40 Under 40, Ad Age’s Creativity 50, Business Insider’s 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, City & State’s Rising Stars, and an AOL/PBS Next MAKER.
Reshma Saujani lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and their bulldog Stanley.